May 26, 2012

Dealing with the Post Graduation Real World Blues. ~ Jakob Barry

Graduating from college is an amazing achievement that all students should be proud of. It ushers in an exciting time full of growth and endless possibilities when transitioning from the classroom into the real world.

At the same time, even if we try and plan everything out all young adults soon learn life has many twists and turns and as those of us who have experienced it know you could very well end up in a place far different than where you envisioned.

That being the case it’s important to keep a certain perspective so when deviating from the intended path, intentionally or not, we have what to latch on to in order to remain afloat.

So in the spirit of making sure today’s graduates stay healthy, sane, and grounded through this transition here are a few bits of advice from my own experience which I discovered along the way.

Stay healthy

The university I went to had a large campus which meant I was pretty active each day getting back and forth to classes and meetings by walking or riding a bike. In essence I was able to get quite a bit of exercise just going about my daily schedule.

After graduation it became an entirely different story with a whole new set of priorities which included needing a car and taking public transportation.

That’s why the first order of business should be to establish a routine whereby you always make time to exercise, rain or shine. With so many types of workouts available today the challenge won’t be finding something to relate to but sticking with it.

If you can accomplish this it will help build the mental stamina necessary for long days and assist in dispensing unwanted stress in a healthy manner.

Guard your personal time

The next thing to consider is something very dear to all of us––personal time. Remember how good life was in school and how tests only came during exam time? In the real world, even at a job you enjoy, that’s always the case because there’s a need to produce. That said, with all the pressures linked to professionalism its important not to loose sight of one’s core in the process.

It’s very easy to say there’s no time for doing the things we enjoy, even if it’s helping others. However, doing so means giving in to a deceivingly positive rat race with the likelihood of eventually burning out.

That’s why it’s essential to make sure that along with fulfilling your responsibilities to make time for yourself. This is especially pertinent if the job you’ve found doesn’t necessarily incorporate parts of your persona which truly embody who they are.

For example, I was once an art student who had to get a desk job in order to pay the bills. While the latter was all about working with the hands and creativity the former, didn’t have the same flair. To compensate I started making a concerted effort to play my guitar, reinvent my love for writing, and become a DIYer doing a little here and there.

The bottom line: without tapping into who you really are life can be become pretty boring and stifle the ability to excel.

Simplify the home base

Keeping up with a job, trying to stay healthy, and catering to our creative needs can take up a lot of time. Couple that with juggling relationships and other responsibilities and a sea of tension and anxiety can easily develop.

One of the solutions, though, is having a calming home base to retreat back to where we can lay low and put it all in perspective. This doesn’t mean the dishes always have to be washed and the floor swept daily but the overall atmosphere should have healing and nurturing qualities. That way when life takes over we don’t have to go far looking for a safe haven to contemplate it all.

One of the easiest ways to achieve such an atmosphere is keeping the living space simple. People have a knack for collecting all kinds of things throughout life which we really don’t need and by the time we realize what we’ve stored in every nook and cranny it’s too late; we’re closed in.

Empty it out, let it go, and retain what’s closet to your heart. Doing so will make everything in life lighter; especially if you suddenly want to get up and go on the road for another unexpected twist and turn.

Editor: Lindsay Friedman

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He blogs about remodeling for pros across the U.S. like Denver, CO, painters.

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