5 Tips for Transitioning from College to the Real World

Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college

I graduated from college in 2014 (almost four years ago! So crazy!) on cloud 9. It honestly doesn’t feel like four years ago because I’m back in a graduated program and I still have a year and quarter left of school. But for those about to graduate this spring congrats!

I graduated from college in 2014 (almost four years ago! So crazy!) On cloud 9. It honestly doesn’t feel like four years ago because I’m back in a graduated program and I still have a year and quarter left of school. But for those about to graduate this spring, congrats! This post is for any new grads out there/ or seniors who are about to graduate.

At 22, I knew I was going to face the transition from college to the real world.

I had graduated from the Foster School of Business. I ended my 6 year relationship with my high school/college sweetheart.  I moved to Southern California and started working for PepsiCo. And my closest friends near me were almost an hour away in Los Angeles because I worked and lived down in south Orange County.

I look back now and can’t believe I celebrated graduation, I left my family, friends, and Washington, and started working in the real world in literally 30 days. I wish I could tell you my first year out of college was me twirling in this red dress, but it honestly really challenging for me.

The first three months felt like a dream – with traveling for work, exploring LA on the weekends, and running around the San Clemente beach trail. Then reality hit me pretty hard. Between realizing that PepsiCo’s sales culture was not for me and not having a solid community around me really pushed me to my limits my first year out of college.

If you’re about to graduate this spring or are currently in your first year out of college, here are a few tips on transitioning from college to the real world:

Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college

Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college

5 Tips for Transitioning from College to the Real World

1.You’ll be creating a “new normal schedule”

I think one of the biggest changes I experienced out of college was going from having a school + work schedule to only having a work schedule. I didn’t realize how I tired I was going to be after working 40-50 hours a week. I didn’t realize that I would really only work, work out, eat dinner, and then unwind watching shows and go to sleep my first year.

What else was a part of my new normal? Finding my go to grocery stores, a new gym, a new nail salon and more. Even though it can be fun to explore, it can also be stressful finding a new hair lady and nail salon. It probably took me a few months to get familiar with where everything was around in South Orange County.

College to real world advice:

Give yourself time to create a new normal schedule. Maybe you try meal planning on Sundays or cooking a few times a week. Or maybe you try having specific workout days so you have some time during the week to unwind during work. And maybe you try out different coffee shops so you have a go to spot on the weekends. However you figure out your new normal, remember that it takes time and trying new things to build a new routine and familiarity.

2.You’ll learn what type of work life balance you want to have

Working 50 hours a week with a team that encouraged me to always be working pushed me to need work life balance in my life. I personally need the time away from work to do well at work. My first year of college I really relied on working out, seeing friends on the weekends, and shopping to take my mind off work.

College to real world advice:

You define your work life balance – and if you don’t your job/team will probably define that for you. I would also ask your manager and team really early on when you first start your job what the working culture looks like. For instance, is everyone expected to check their emails all night long or not? I feel lucky now that my current employer respects work life balance and doesn’t expect me to responding to emails or doing work on Sunday nights.

Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college

3. Fight the FOMO because everyone around you is on the same boat

Social media makes fighting FOMO (fear of missing out) really hard, but fight it. Remember everyone around you only shares the best parts of their lives. But everyone who’s recently graduated is also figuring out their new normal schedule and their work life balance.

College to real world advice:

When you like your friends vacation or travel photos, remember they’re only sharing moments! I personally never shared those stressful, tearful work days on Instagram or my blog. In fact, I didn’t start talking about my year out of college until it was over and I got into the rhythm of working life my second year!

4. Lean on your friends and family for support

I had a bad week at work and was hanging out with my friend in LA. And I distinctly remember her telling me that weekend, “Emma your manager doesn’t control your happiness. She doesn’t define you. Remember it’s just a job!” I also had another friend tell me, “The worst thing that can happen is you get fired. And if you get fired, you just find a new job”.

I heavily relied on my friends and family (mostly calling my sister and mom) when my roller coaster of a job would push me to my limits.

College to real world advice:

Even if your friends and family are far away, don’t be afraid to lean on them on hard times. It’s okay to call and say you’re struggling! You’re transitioning to a new job, learning working expectations, and maybe even learning how to get around a new city.

Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college

5. You can do it!

You will face challenges with new transitions but remember you can do this! If you end up hating your first job out college, remember you can leave. If you end up wanting to apply to new jobs, remember you can do it! If you end up wanting to leave the city where you went to college, remember you can move to your dream city. If you end up wanting to take up hot yoga or teach wine and paint nights, remember you can do it!

So believe in yourself this year. Recognize your achievements and don’t let any challenges or changes discourage you from doing what you want to do in your life!

If you’re a college senior or a recent grad and want more advice on making the college to real life transition, here are a few more posts to help you out:

7 Pieces of Life Advice for New Grads

5 Pieces of Financial Advice for New Grads 

How I knew it was time to leave my first job 

Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college Tips on Transitioning from College to the Real World – new grad advice – how to transition to the real world – advice for new graduates – entering the real world after college

Thank you for reading! If you have any other college related or new grad topics you’d like to see on Emma’s Edition, please let me know! And don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Karya Schanilec

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. March 7, 2018 / 10:41 am

    Love these tips! Even though I’m well out of college, it feels like I still call my mom all the time. haha Thanks for sharing this! I wish I had a post like this when I was transitioning out of school! Very well written 🙂

  2. March 7, 2018 / 11:22 am

    Such great tips! I totally went through this in my first year out of college.

  3. March 7, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    These are some great to-the-point advice. Love the red on you, Emma!

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