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What's One Thing You Wish You Knew After College?

I'm Asking: One Thing You Wish You Knew After College

The newly graduated class of 2008 is busy revising resumes and creating cover letters for potential employers. Some of them have already been working in their first post-college job for a few weeks and others are interviewing, while some have moved back to mom and dad's to figure out what is their next step.

Post-college life was full of surprises for me, but one thing I would tell brand new graduates is the real world can feel a bit lonely at first! You're used to being surrounded by your friends at all hours of the day during school, and this kind of group withdrawal is to be expected. What's something you wish you knew? Are there any mistakes you made that could have been prevented with some sound advice?


Join The Conversation
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 9 years
I wish I had known that college and classes don't prepare you for real adulthood and the daily grind of work and bills and worry. It's basically an incubation period between being an adult and a teenager. As a twenty-something I wish I had known in college that planning and planning for the future robs you of enjoying the here and now. I spent so much time mapping out my life that I didn't enjoy that time - and I'm 26 and still no clue where this life is going!
mcreverie mcreverie 9 years
I come from a very competitive environment where graduates liked to brag they got a job at this big firm, and compare how much they're being paid. Look beyond all the things you normally associate with "success" (meaning salary, title, and reputation), and please please please, follow your heart, and always be content and grateful for what you have. Don't let competition and the feeling of "not doing enough" get to you. You're still young; you need to enjoy your youth!
angel0950 angel0950 9 years
definitely do some soul-searching, take care of yourself, travel, work but always remember to play, explore your options within life especially in respects to your career. be true to yourself and the choices you make will fall into place. live.
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Be selfish- consider yourself first.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I would tell myself to worry less, and that life keeps getting better.
hightechlipgloss hightechlipgloss 9 years
To save my money! Materialistic bliss won't last! I can afford whatever I want now thanks to my education and my generous husband, but I remember blowing half my paycheck on bags and stuff I wish I could see growing in the bank, and not collecting dust in my closet! The only expensive things I purchased right after college that I don't regret? My arm full of tattoos :)
tiff710 tiff710 9 years
don't stress out about not having a job right away... unemployment is only temporary (and maybe one of the last real breaks you'll have). employment is (or feels like) forever... :) "you say 'unemployment,' i say 'funemployment.'"
graylen graylen 9 years
If you are still in college, my advice would be to study abroad. It opened my eyes to a whole new world, and it's something I'm so grateful for. It changed me and my perspective of the world.
thelorax thelorax 9 years
Don't lie in wait for the perfect job to come along. The odds dictate that it's not going to happen, and your bills will faithfully arrive in your mailbox anyway. Take something you can tolerate that allows you to afford yourself (and if it doesn't, then simplify!) -- and remember that after 6 months, a year, whatever, you can chalk it up to experience, update your resume with all the crap you put up with, and go get a job you actually like. You've earned it.
mlen mlen 9 years
o and i totally agree with jspeed- i'm in the same place. i took the first job i was offered cause i was afraid of not finding anything and now i'm still stuck with the same company 6 years later and its not in the field i want to be in and its totally hard to start a new career once you've been out for a while!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
No...I just dont like working! :P Its so boring and not fun! ;)
mlen mlen 9 years
take an internship while in college. and study abroad. internships are invaluable experience and study abroad is an experience i wish i had. taking time off after would be nice but not at the expense of finding a good job.
jspeed jspeed 9 years
I wish I had put more thought into choosing my first job out of college, instead of just taking one that I fell into (they recruited me). Now 6 years later I am still in the same field (even with the same compnay) and while the pay and benefits are decent, I feel like I'm trapped in a "career" that I don't want.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I agree, ladypenguin. I would NOT advise 'mooching' off of your parents for as long as you can... And if you don't have anything to look forward to except for two weeks of vacation a year j2e1n9, then you probably picked the worng major/job. ;)
ladypenguin ladypenguin 9 years
j2e1n9, three months wasn't enough of a break between college and the "real world"? I only had a week :P I don't have a problem with college graduates taking a trip after graduation, or moving home with their parents while they look for a job and save up some cash. BUT, by the time you graduate college, you should be prepared to be a responsible adult and not really have a need to "live it up" (if by living it up you mean not working). My advice to college grads: Think of everything you do as a step in the big picture. If your first job isn't your dream one, think about how it can help you get the next one and take advantage of it!
hkdkat hkdkat 9 years
Agreed SDTransplant. I'm still not done w/grad school and I think it's because I took no break...and I work full time now. Getting done is killer now.
hkdkat hkdkat 9 years
I try to stay out of the office gossip and sorority gossip seems silly years out.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
For new graduates contemplating going to grad school right away, go work in the "real world" first and then decide whether or not going back to school (and accumulating more debt) is appropriate for you. I went to grad school right after undergrad and although I learned a lot and enjoyed it, I sometimes wish I had taken a break in between and experienced working a real job first. Had I gone into the real world first, I would have appreciated grad school that much more and probably would have been more focused.
MelissaIsTheBest MelissaIsTheBest 9 years
Live with your parents until you've got every degree you'd ever want. I'm 26 and getting back into school and living on my own - Ug! It's so much harder than I imagined. I'm trying to merge the "real world" with the world the professors to me. So many deadlines, do I want to study more for this final or would I rather take off of work? but will I pay my rent ontime? With these circumstances, should I worry about rent on time? Should I splurge by spending $8.00 to study with a group at a coffee house or should I stay at home and study alone for free? Being a poor student SUCKS. Mooch off the family until you've graduated with every masters you could ever dream of having! P.S. Reach HIGH!!!!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
DO NOT GET A REAL JOB (CAREER) RIGHT AWAY! Take some time off first. Good lord, you will be working for the REST OF YOUR LIFE you deserve it! If you cant afford to do the Europe thing, then at least CHILL out at your parents house, (if they'll let you), while you LIESURELY look for jobs and sit at the pool, go out at night, catch up with friends, maybe get a Summer job ie bar-tending or as a server. DONT do what I did, I jumped right into my career less than 3 months after graduating and once you do that all you have to look forward to is the measly 2 weeks (i.e. ten days!) of vacation a year (for most companies) and going to graduate school at nights. :( I wish I had at least let myself have a Summer vacation, knowing it would have been the last one for the rest of my life. Or until I'm pregnant or retired! Because seriously, you're going to work until you're 70, why not have some fun and live it up while you're still in your 20s and young and hot?!? :P
mazdagirluk mazdagirluk 9 years
Volunteer - and make time for it. Great way to meet people and make new friends.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
Man I miss college, even law school. The real world doesn't make me as happy! I totally agree with the above posters about office politics being a wake up call. That junk makes my job so much more difficult, and it's so unnecessary.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Oh, imLissy, I agree! I really didn't enjoy college at all, and I am so much happier in the 'real world'. I love not studying, being on a schedule, watching the news at 6 am, etc. I would never go back to my college days!
imLissy imLissy 9 years
the real world is sooooo much better/easier than school. For me anyway. People kept saying that college was the best time of my life and I should be enjoying it and it just depressed me b/c I was so miserable in college. Life is great now!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
My parents gave me the best advice, they told me to get my experiance BEFORE I went to school. I know people who are getting out of college etc. and don't ahve a great (or any) job because they have zero experiance or knowledge of the workplace. Now that I roughly have 3 years experiance and actally know what I want to do, I signed up for part-time course starting next week so I will definatly have an advantage over those "newbies" coming out of school.
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