Guest Post: Taking the First Steps in Your Adult Shoes

27 May


Graduating from college is a huge step in life. The question changes from what do you want to be when you grow up to  a more realistic one- now what? The first steps you take after college are the start to your adult life. I started thinking about this in light of a friend deciding to move back home.
My friend Matt went to college in Oregon and moved to San Diego upon graduating last summer- to live with his best friend and start a new life. He got a job as a waiter to pay the bills while he looked for a job. He felt like he didn’t fit in here and talked about it often. He was constantly reminiscing about the college days and how he was the “big man on campus.” After less than a year, Matt has decided to move back home. I have mixed feelings about his move, because he did give it a shot, but I don’t think he was open minded enough.

Here’s a few pearls of wisdom for the new grad out there:

1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND: Be ready for new experiences and new challenges. Be ready to LEARN. Managing my own money and supporting myself financially was something I had to adjust to.

2. EXPECT TO BE DISAPPOINTED: You will be let down at some point, that’s life so just be ready. You might not get the first job you interview for. You may not get the salary you expected. All I’m saying is be realistic. Especially in this economy the game is totally different.

3. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE: Even if you stay in the same city you attended college, your life will not be the same. Friends will leave and life will be different. There are no “mental health days” allowed at work like in college. You need to change your method of thinking and remember that you are being paid to be there and your company values your time so you should too.

4. TAKE RISKS: If not now, then when? Move somewhere new. Apply for a job you might be under qualified for. Travel and work somewhere exotic for a while. Go out and meet new people- NETWORK! This is probably the most valuable take away networking will do wonders for your career in the present and in the future.

5. TAKE YOUR OWN PATH: This is your time to be selfish. By that I mean, you need to make decisions for yourself  about where you will live, work and play. Don’t make your plans according to what your best friend or boyfriend/girlfriend is doing- you will be left thinking what if. Go with your gut and make sure that you are doing something that you are proud of and are in a place that you feel excited about going to work and being part of the company.

Starting off is both frightening and exciting and you will never get another first chance to decide what the first thing you will do after college is going to be so make it something great and do not be afraid of listening to your heart!

-Nicole LaVelle

Nicole LaVelle is a recent graduate from San Diego where she studied graphic design she has also studied in Florence Italy and she is now working as a Designer at a marketing company. You can see her work here


4 Responses to “Guest Post: Taking the First Steps in Your Adult Shoes”

  1. Ashley May 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    Great Post Nicky 🙂 I think we leave college with the expectation that everything is going to be perfect right away. But in reality (unless we are really really lucky) it will probably take a couple of jobs until we find the one that is right for us. The tough part is not getting down on ourselves and thinking we are stuck, but instead staying confident, and having the positive outlook that you described. love you and write more posts for us!

  2. Ryan Stephens May 28, 2009 at 7:29 am #

    As someone who’s currently feeling a lot of the same things that I suspect Matt encountered, I often worrying that even though I’m out here I’m sometimes just going through the motions and not necessarily giving it a fair shot.

    That said, sometimes it’s about other things. I knew what I was getting into and I enjoy what I do most days, but it’s very tough being away from all your closest friends and family.

    I think you learn a lot about yourself when you venture across the country on your own, and you might as well do it while you have the freedom to (that was my rationale), but not I’m thinking a profession (at least for me) is probably secondary to sharing my life with family and friends.

    I guess we’ll see. Either way those 5 pearls of wisdom are all insightful and useful for anyone making the trek to the real world!

  3. Dan Klamm May 31, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    This is excellent advice. As someone who stayed in the same city where I went to college (and actually chose to work for my alma mater), I can identify with point #3 – that change is inevitable, regardless. I am now very content with the decisions I have made and the job that I’m in, but it was all very jarring at first after college. This is a really beneficial blog for new grads to read.


  1. The Adventure of English @ Adventures Post-Grad - July 5, 2009

    […] Starting off is both frightening and exciting and you will never get another first chance to decide what the first thing you will do after college is going to be so make it something great and do not be afraid of listening to your heart! – “Taking the First Steps in Your Adult Shoes“ […]

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