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

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

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 🙂

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Photos: Miriam Subbiah

Thank you for reading!