Moving on after graduation can be an incredibly difficult transition. I know because I did it. And several of my friends have done it. Our stories have all been a little different, but we all experienced the challenges of this stage of life. This is the second post in a new series called The Next Chapter, in which I will detail the steps of the process from ending one chapter to beginning another. I hope you stick around for the ride! If you're just joining now, you can catch the first post here.
I was a bit overwhelmed when I graduated and realized I was now an adult (how did that happen?!). I had quite a bit of freedom in college, but there's something distinctly different about leaving the safety and predictability of the college bubble and entering the "real world."
It can be daunting to realize that you are now completely responsible for yourself. There are a lot of things to take into consideration-- where you'll live, who you'll live with, who your friends will be, where you'll work, what kinds of community groups you might join, how you're going to manage your time, and how you're going to handle things like bills, insurance, loan payments, car maintenance, and various appointments.
It can be a lot. Sometimes it can even feel like too much to handle.
But you're not alone! I've been there. Some days I still feel a bit of that overwhelm, but I've made progress.
If I could tell you just one thing, it would be to tackle one item at a time. I know that would have been good advice for me in the season of life after graduation. I tried to figure it all out at once so I could feel settled as quickly as possible.
But all that really did was made me feel frantic and frustrated.
I find it much easier to conquer one task at a time. You can start with the easiest one to get the ball rolling or start with the hardest to get it done and over with-- that's up to you.
There are also all kinds of resources available to guide you through this season of transition. Sometimes it seems like there are too many voices making too much noise, and that can be problematic, but I'll help you out and give you some of my favorite resources right here in one place (just scroll down to the bottom of the post).
I suggest that you prioritize finding community, because no matter what you're struggling with in this season, chances are, somebody else is probably having a hard time with it, too! That was the premise of the first post in this series, and you can check it out here.
What else can you cross off? Is there just one thing you can tackle or make progress on today?
Sometimes you just have to take one step forward. There might be days when that's all you can manage. And that's okay! In fact, it's normal.
I certainly didn't have it all figured out right away! I knew I was going to live with my parents, but that was about it. I had no job, only a couple friends, and was returning to a world that no longer felt like mine. First, I found a church to get involved with, then I built some community and friendships, worked to find a job, and learned to manage my money. Doing it one step at a time was the only way I could keep from going crazy.
You don't have to feel like you have to figure it all out right away. You can do this, one step at a time. You can find a job. You can find a place to live. You can make friends. You can pay your bills, maintain your car, figure out insurance and retirement, and learn how to be a bona fide adult.
When you don't know what decision to make, sometimes it helps to remind yourself that with most decisions, you can change your mind later. If it comes down to the wire, you can just make the best decision you can, knowing that it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out perfectly.
Along the way, you'll figure out what works for you and what doesn't, which voices you should listen to and which you're better off tuning out, and you'll start understanding who you really are and who you want to be.
It might be exhausting at times, but you're not alone! You can connect with others who are in the same boat as you, including me! I've figured these things out, but I'm still working on managing all of my time and sticking to a budget. I've been where you are! Feel free to connect with me on social media or shoot me an email! And, as always, I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
Ready, Set...Now What? Discovering Your Identity, Gifts, and Purpose in the Real World by me!-- a book to help you figure out who you are, what you're good at, and how to live a life that matters
Helpful How-tos Pinterest board by me!- full of links to various shortcuts and "I wouldn't have thought of that!" things to make life easier
Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey-- a course full of fantastic, practical advice on all things money-- budgeting, insurance, retirement, investing
Stephanie May Wilson's blog, full of encouragement and practical advice for friendships, relationships, and life in general
The Homeowner's Yearly Checklist (from Pinterest)
The First Time Homebuyer's Checklist by Visaulistan