If you're a recent college graduate, you've probably seen this phrase lately:
#Adulting is hard.
I'm not here to dispel that rumor, because I wholeheartedly agree, adulting is hard. You can try to prepare for it, but there are so many situations you haven't encountered before--from finding full time work to filing taxes--there is no way to avoid the inevitable sense of overwhelm.
So here's a tagline to follow that phrase to put all the challenges into perspective a bit.
You can do it.
I'm not saying it'll be easy. I'm saying YOU CAN DO IT. Here's exactly what I mean by that.
You are stronger than you realize.
You have been prepped for resilience and by now, you've built up your muscles. Even though you may not have thought of the stresses as preparation, every ill-timed flat tire, frustrating group project and awkward job interview has been part of your training.
You've learned to fail. You've discovered that you can come back from failure. You've also learned that strength shows itself in times of adversity. The hardest-fought battles are the most rewarding. You'll get there, and when you do it will be so gratifying.
You've got more experience than you may think.
The experience you list on a résumé doesn't have to be paid work experience. Think of your volunteer roles as experience if they are relevant to your work. Have you ever raised funds for a charity? That's an excellent demonstration of leadership. How about officer positions in an athletic organization or club? You have time management skills, priority-setting, and consensus-building. Time devoted to your place of worship, a scout troop, or a local hackathon is all relevant for your career.
If you think carefully about all the roles you have had while working toward a goal, nearly every experience you had brings something of real value to your skill set. Just because you didn't get a tax form at the end of the year for it doesn't mean it's not worthwhile experience.
You have a tribe to support you.
In college it can be easy to maintain friendships. Whether you see someone every week in class or nearly every night in a club, you don't have to work very hard to keep a relationship going. After you graduate, you need to make a concerted effort to keep these friendships vibrant.
You may feel isolated in the first year out of college, especially if you start out in a job where you can't easily make social connections. Nurture relationships that you developed in the past while you work on building new relationships with coworkers and colleagues. Be honest when asked how things are going "in the real world," and ask for support when you need it.
Text messages are great, but actually call your friends every week or so. Invite someone to a networking event with you, or see if they'd like to join you on a free webinar you discovered. They will do the same for you, and you'll strengthen the ties which will help you get through the tough times!
If you're not sure what you want to do with your life...
If the student loan payments are due before the substantial paychecks arrive...
If it feels like you're completely unprepared for what's about to happen...
I get it. Lots of us do. And with faith and the help of your tribe, you'll get through it.
I'm rooting for you!