What I’ve Learned Since Graduating College (So Far)

It’s been a little over two years since I graduated from college, and wow, the time has flown! Living in New York City has been challenging, but for all the negative experiences there have been just as many positives – making it totally worth it! I’ve been doing a little self reflection lately and I just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned since I received that diploma and started my first job.

Graduation

1. It’s important to be selective. Over the past year I’ve realized the importance of selectivity. Not only in my time but also in my relationships, career, finances, and blog – the list goes on. I feel like with my generation [Millennials] we’re constantly pushing ourselves to do more and we have this awful inability to say ‘no’ to things. Whether it’s a coffee date with an acquaintance, a new pair of shoes, a company wanting to sponsor a post on your blog, even a job offer – it’s important to know when it’s the right time to say ‘yes’. I’ve learned that I don’t have to take every opportunity that comes my way and saying ‘no’ isn’t being mean or ungrateful – it’s being responsible.

2. Sometimes you have to let it go! Looking back on my school years it’s almost comical to me some of the reasons why I held grudges against certain people. During my first two years of ‘real life’ [as I like to call it] I’ve experienced a few very stressful situations that really put life into perspective for me. Situations that have made me realize just how unimportant and frivolous the reasons were/are behind many of the grudges I held and still hold. Life is short and holding grudges is exhausting. I don’t want to waste my energy waiting for apologies or hoping that people will change. I’m am going to try my best to just accept people for who they are and give more second chances.

Let it go

3. The importance of family. It’s really hard seeing my parents and grandparents get older. I’ve definitely had a few sob sessions over the past year when I’ve thought about the fact they aren’t always going to be around. It’s sad, but it’s reality. As I continue to grow older I want to cherish the time I have with my family and appreciate the precious moments I still get to have with them.

4. The value of my physical AND mental health. Both are important and I think it’s tough for a lot of young working women to find a balance when it comes to maintaining both. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve totally fallen off the wagon with working out. I was going to SoulCycle and barre classes for a while but I just got busy and stopped signing up 🙁 It’s true that you feel better when you work out – not just physically but mentally!

strive for progress not perfection

5. College really doesn’t prepare you for the workplace. I mean, it’s true. In my opinion the only value of college is the experience – not the educational aspect. Everything I learned knowledge-wise came from my internships, not the classroom. But of course if it wasn’t for the fact I was enrolled in a 4-year program I would have never been offered those internships in the first place.

6. Millennials are spoiled. Over the past two years I’ve realized that my generation is incredibly spoiled. I’m not referring to material objects or things – I’m saying we’re “emotionally spoiled.” Growing up our parents constantly told us we were special and important. Anytime I had an issue my family was always there to talk and if I had a problem with a friend or a teacher – I was normally right in the conflict. I’m not just talking about myself, I’ve seen it with friends and other people my age too. The reality is we really are just not that important. In the workplace not everyone is going to care about your problems and it’s up to you to fix them. No one is just going to hand you a job offer because your mom told you deserve it. If you got rained on walking to work and you had a fight with your boyfriend, no is going to coddle you and tell you you’re special and it’s going to be okay (but that’s awesome if you have someone who will).

 

A negative mind will never give you a positive life 7. Don’t forget to have a life! It’s really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day once you start a job. You get so into your routine and all you’re thinking about is how great it’s going to feel plopping down on the couch to watch the Real Housewives once you get home. This has definitely been an accurate description of me at times, as I’m sure it has for many of you! That being said, it’s important to put work and your real life responsibilities to the side and HAVE FUN! Whether it’s having a girls’ night with your friends and going to a dive bar or actually using your vacation time to travel – taking time for YOU is important. Life will pass you by if you don’t make the time to experience it.

Well that’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll think of more – will have to do a follow up post soon! Let me know what you think in the comments belowwww ! Any life lessons for me you want to share? xo

 


21 Comments | in Life

21 Responses to What I’ve Learned Since Graduating College (So Far)

  1. Rose says:

    I love all of these quotes, and everything you have learned. All of these are so important, yet I tend to lose sight of them because of lack of maturity, ect. Thanks for reminding me what really is important.

    http://thepreppysisters.blogspot.com

  2. Lindsey says:

    I’m going into my senior year of high school so hearing this perspective is really cool. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lauren says:

    Katie – First congrats into your full adulthood immersion! I am working on a post like this myself with (26 around the corner). I think everything you learned isn’t just for the early-20 somethings but lessons we will have our entire lives. I can certainly sympathize with #2 and “Letting go!” and #4 – Soulcycle class some time!?

    Hope all is well.

    – Lauren/PRB

  4. Amy says:

    Wow..this info couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! As someone is who is your age and struggling with figuring out life, what I should say “yes” to, and planning for the future, this was a much needed boost. Thank you!

    Amy

  5. Jess Zimlich says:

    I couldn’t agree with #5 more! When I tell this to people they think I’m crazy.

  6. Lindsey D says:

    We are on exactly the same page. I’m 2 years out of school and could not agree more with all of your points. I’ve had my struggles with my career, family involvement & people (as I’m sure we all have), and I believe you’ve hit the nail on the head as far as the things I’ve been thinking about in the past 6 months. I feel especially strong about 5 & 6 – I find myself constantly reiterating to people the fact that “life isn’t fair” and I don’t think that everyone should be brought up to think that it is.

    Great post! You’ve inspired me to think about writing one similar 🙂

    Lindsey | Dressy Casual

  7. Lauren says:

    Thank you for your thoughts!!! I’ve been graduated for about that long as well and I have the same thoughts! I’ve started to reach out to the friends that I lost because of grudges and I’m so much happier because of it!

    xoxo
    Lauren
    http://www.dressingdallas.com

  8. I love this post!! So well said! Thanks for the reminders and the perspective!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  9. Love this Katie!

    xx
    Staci

  10. Kelly Larkin says:

    Loved this post, Katie! I can definitely relate to the “saying no” part. A lot of times, I feel like it’s against everything I’ve been taught… but taking on too much can be so destructive. When I have too much going on, I’m affected mentally and physically. It’s just not good! I’ve been out of college for a WHILE and I’m still learning that lesson. 😉

    xx
    Kelly
    kellyinthecity.com

  11. Arianne says:

    this is one of my most favorite posts! there’s so many things you mentioned that I can discuss but this comment will end up being so long. one thing I can say is that I am mostly alone at the moment. The only people I interact with are my co-workers (because I have to), and my housemates. My family and I are not communicating for many reasons, some of them my fault I believe.

    However, just as you said, mental health is important, and I am taking care of myself first, I’ve decided. My mental health isn’t where I want it to be, and with much effort and therapy, I have high hopes I would once again be able to look at my family,and people in general, and not lose my cool every minute I’m around them.

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