Wednesday, April 26, 2017

7 Pieces of Life Advice for New Grads

Are you graduating this spring? 
Here's 7 Pieces of Life Advice I would have told my 22 year old self when I graduated college. 

Hooray! You finally did it!
You graduated (or about to graduate) from college and now you’re ready to embark in the “real world”.  This June, I will be 3 years out of college (already?!). I’ve learned so much these past three years that I wanted to pass some pieces of advice to any new graduates out there.

Here are 7 things I’ve experienced, learned, and giving a heads up about:

1.   Ask Yourself: What type of life do you want to live?
During my last quarter of college, my assigned sales mentor asked me this question and it really stuck with me. When you think about what type of life you want to live, think of these questions:
·         Do you want to be able to go on vacation? Do you want to be able to brunch or shop every weekend?
·         Do you want to pay off your college loans as soon as possible? Or do you want to drive a nice car?
·         Does a career matter to you? Do you want a family? Do you want to own a home?
·         Do you need work life balance? Do you need personal time after a work day or are you fine with working long hours a day?
Asking yourself these questions can help you determine career decisions to support your lifestyle. 

Advice: Ask yourself this question when you first start working and 1-2 times a year. You may find that things become more or less important to you as you fall into your work routine.

2.   School to Work Lifestyle Shift
One of the biggest transitions I faced entering the real word was transitioning from a school day to a work day. I used to go to class 4 days a week for only 4 to 6 hours a day. Aside from my 10-15 hour a week part time job, the rest of my day and week was mine. I used to work out every morning and get involved in student organizations in the evening. 

Transitioning to a 40-50 hours a week working full time really challenged me. I had to learn how to flip my workout schedule to the evenings and find new places/times for personal time. 

Advice: Know that you will face this transition your first year out of college. Be patient with yourself and try different ways to find “you” time”.

3.   Friendships Take Effort
In college, all of your friends probably lived 10-15 min away walking distance from each other. You see them in class, on campus, at the library, at club meetings, etc. Some friends will move away to new cities while some enter more serious relationships. When you graduate and start working, you really have to make it a point to see each other.

Advice: Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends to see them. Schedule brunch dates, happy hours, and girls’/guys nights. It may be challenging coordinating schedules, but it’s always worth it when you get to see your friends!

4.   Don’t Stop Learning
Just because you finish school doesn’t mean you should stop developing yourself. I’m a strong in believer in “what you get out of life is what you put into it”. Pursue a new hobby, build new skills, volunteer, or just do something fun for yourself. 

You may find that pursuing your interests and developing your skills in your personal life may actually help you in your professional life. 

Advice: The hardest thing about trying something new is taking the first step. If you want to try something new, sign up for a class, watch youtube videos to learn a new skill, or look at organizations to volunteer at.

5.   Set New Goals
You’ve been in the school system for almost two decades and suddenly you’re done. You no longer move to the next grade (freshman year to sophomore year) in real life. It’s up to you to decide what the next chapter of your life is going to be.

Advice: Set annual or bi-annual goals for yourself in both your personal and professional life. By asking yourself what type of life you want to live, you can help determine your goals.

6.   Travel!
I never studied abroad in college (I worked or interned every summer, financed half my education through student loans, and worked part time through school). When I graduated, I made a commitment to myself to go out and travel.

I advise you to also go out there to see the world. Whether it’s domestically or internationally, going somewhere outside of your city can give you new perspectives and experiences. 

Advice: Plan your trips out 3-6 months ahead of time so you have time to find cheaper tickets and save up for the trip. Last year I went to Thailand and the Philippines – I spent $1000 round trip with tax for airfare because I booked 7 months ahead. Flights to the Philippines can easily be $1000 round trip if you don’t plan in advance.

7.   Learn how to be comfortable with being alone 
(this could be an entire blog post)
One of my biggest lessons I learned moving away to a new city after I graduated from college was how to be comfortable with being alone. I battled with missing my family and friends but I learned how to embrace my independence. 

When you learn how to be alone (and not lonely), you allow yourself the time to pursue your interests, hobbies or learn new skills. 

You also give yourself the time to reflect, make decisions, or take a break from the day to day stresses of work. 

Advice: If you move away to a new city after you graduate, know that you may face the challenge of learning how to be alone. My advice is be patient with yourself and learn how to be present in the moment. 

To me the biggest challenge of learning how to be alone was dealing with my thoughts. It’s easy to fall into a thought tornado – where your mind races and you think you should be in the company of someone. Learning how to calm your thoughts, stay positive, and be present in the moment (you are where you need to be right now, and if you aren’t, you will get there) will help you learn how to be comfortable with your independence.

I hope these 7 pieces of advice either resonated with you or were helpful. Are there any college related/new grad posts you'd like to see on Emma's Edition? Please let me know in the comments :)

Shop a similar jumper:
MODCLOTH | $55.99
Lulus | $91
Revolve | $105
Photos: Miriam Subbiah

Thank you for reading!



  1. You are seriously my soul sister!! This is such amazing advice and I couldn't have said it better myself. Great post!

  2. You are an amazing and wise lady for being so young and top notch style!!


  3. Love this post! It was so helpful for me with graduation in 6 weeks!!

  4. Learning how to be comfortable being alone is a big one I struggled with! But life is pretty awesome once you get to that point!

  5. I love the advice of asking ourselves what type of life we want! That would make it so much easier to decide what direction we should take. I think this would also be a valuable question for incoming freshman as well. Great post!

  6. So totally helpful and relevant to me!!!! Thank you for sharing