Life Lessons

When Life isn’t What You Expected After Graduating

Growing up, I thought that after I had finished college, everything will fall into place. I wanted to work as early as I could. While I was studying, I wanted every year to pass quickly. I thought that graduating would immediately turn my life around. I was not prepared for how I would feel after I had a taste of adulthood. I did well at school. There was a system I can count on. If I study and work hard, I will get results. It was that simple. After I had finished my studies, I immediately applied for a job and got accepted. I thought the journey ends there. I thought that it was enough as a measure of success. I was not prepared for the reality that would hit me.

Graduating with honors won’t get you anywhere if you don’t have the right attitude, social skills and practicality that the real world demands. It does not guarantee your success. Sometimes, your classmates who barely made it into class will surprise you because they are the ones doing well and achieving so much. You might start questioning everything. Was all that hard work at school even worth it?

Just because you have work, that doesn’t mean that you always have enough. Bills pile up, your responsibilities grow and your needs change. You quickly realize that if you don’t manage your finances well and learn how to budget, you won’t be able to build up enough savings for your future. 

People in general, and in the corporate world, can be so mean. You will encounter people with real issues. Those that hurt you for no reason, those who want to see you fail, those cunning enough to plot the downfall of others and so much more! We have no control over how other people will treat us. 

More often than not, along the journey, we realize that the job you have is not what you want to do forever. You start to want to know yourself better and question what your purpose in life really is. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who knows exactly what you want and what you’re good at, you will feel a strong desire to pursue what makes your soul light up. 

Despite all these, here we all are – trying. Trying hard everyday. 

Sometimes, life is not what we expect it to be. However, even that fact is beautiful in its own way. How boring would life be if everything just went the way we wanted it to? How would we grow if we don’t encounter any kind of adversity? Of course, I won’t leave the first part of this blog as it is. Here’s my perspective. 

Our years in school were all worth it. It is where we got the chance to build some of the most important life skills we have today. The memories we had in school were some of our fondest moments. It is also where we met some of our closest friends. Being responsible is part of adulting. Along the way, managing our finances on our own is teaching us valuable lessons for the future. We can all benefit from learning how money works and being smart with our paychecks. And yes, even though we can never control how people are, we can always take control of ourselves – how we react, how we take things and how we make decisions. Growing up will make you realize that people project – their fears, own insecurities and baggages are being lashed out on others. That’s why not everything is personal. Understanding this fundamental truth can help us understand others better and have empathy even when things get hard. Lastly, it is never too late to pursue a passion. Even when you can’t go all out, you can make time if you really want to. Something I have learned from one of my personal development coaches is this: “If you don’t have enough time for something, you can wake up earlier or sleep later.” It comes to a point where we realize for ourselves that we have a choice. 

I had days when the monotony of life felt so suffocating. I wanted to move forward but I didn’t know how. I started to ask myself the hard questions.

“What do I want to achieve?”

“How do I want my life to look like in 5, 10 or 15 years?”

Life may not be what you want it to look right now but never forget the fact that you can weave the future you want to have through taking charge of your life and choosing the decisions that will get you to your desired future.

Every new day is a new chance to get closer to the life you want to live. When life isn’t what you were expecting after graduating, you can still start fresh and change your life right now.

It may not be easy – but it will be worth it.

I hope that this blog sparked something in you.

Sending all my love and support. 

Kath
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