Your life after college is going to be a lot different from before and making the transition can be difficult for those of us that have grown used to certain habits. There are a few things that you need to get used to doing after college and a few things that you need to get used to not doing.
1. Stop procrastinating.
In college, it was no big deal to stay up until two am and get that paper done or spend Sunday night cramming for that exam on Monday morning. But I’m afraid in the real world the procrastination just doesn’t fly. Your boss is going to know if you spent two hours on a report that should have taken ten hours. And after college you have to juggle many more responsibilities. If you’re procrastinating, those are going to feel like a stampede.
2. Stop hanging out with people who are going nowhere.
Your life after college is 95% based on the people that you surround yourself with. If you’re spending all weekend drinking around a keg of stale beer at your buddy’s house then you might want to change your game plan up a little bit. It’s not tough to meet people after college who are looking to do big things, they might not be in your tiny hometown, but there are dreamers out there. You’ve just got to find them.
3. Stop making excuses…like for anything.
Making excuses is a dangerous habit to fall in to because when you start rationalizing your mistakes in one aspect of your life, then you’re going to start doing it throughout your day. The best way to cut down on the routine is to just kill it all together. Don’t make sorry excuses to your spouse, family or your boss. Hell, don’t make excuses to your dog either.
4. Stop going rogue.
It’s time to put that calendar app on your iPhone to use. After college you’re going to have to juggle a lot of stuff so you better get organized. Soon, you’ve got to worry about health insurance, taxes (and how to write them off), and something called a 401k.
5. Stop eating like a fast-food junkie.
I spent my entire life in great shape, I had the six-pack of a Spartan and then suddenly I graduated and the abs turned to flab. I was still working out constantly but I realized I had to cut down on the meatball subs and Starbucks Lattes. Your metabolism slows to a crawl after college so eat all the fries you can now.
6. Stop drinking like a fish.
Okay, it’s Cinco de Mayo, after you turn twenty-two that’s really not a good enough reason to buy a sombrero and get blasted on Jose Cuervo at the shifty dive bar two neighborhoods over. Who do you think you are, Johnny Manziel? The hangovers after college feel like somebody is beating you with a tire iron, and suddenly drinking can be a dangerous habit. The National Institute of Health stated in a report that nearly half of all college students binge drink. After graduation I’m afraid you’re going to have to abandon the Natural Light marathons.
7. Stop being discontent.
In school I was always telling myself “things are going to be so great” and “I’m going to meet a beautiful woman and surf every day and write the next great American novel”. I wasn’t exactly happy in the situation I was in. After college you still have to be hungry, looking for new jobs but you also need to realize that you don’t live in North Korea and your life is just fine the way it’s going right now. Everything you need to happen, will happen.
8. Stop buying more and more stuff.
I’m not a big gadgets guy but I love clothes and shoes. It’s nearly impossible for me to walk past the Thomas Pink store without stopping in for a shirt. After you graduate you’re going to have to ease up on your spending. Your iPhone 5 works just fine and it’s okay if you only have two surfboards. Track your spending like a mafia boss and be thrifty.
9. Stop acting like a fool on social media.
Your social media accounts are huge after you graduate. All that time that you thought you were just screwing around on Instagram and Facebook could come back to haunt you if there are pictures of you doing kegstands. I can’t tell you how many friends I have who’ve gotten in hot water over their online life. And half of the time I apply for a job they want to know what my Twitter handle is.
Essentially, you can sum it up by figuring that after college you’re going to have to get your act together. There’s still fun to be had but you have to do a lot more juggling of responsibilities and you need to get better at it.