Graduating college was one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve had in my life. I worked really hard in school, had multiple jobs, and managed to maintain somewhat of a social life. I could not wait to get out into the real world, be completely independent, and have an awesome life that didn’t revolve around schoolwork. Well, I soon realized “adulting” was hard af.
You see, no one tells you when you start college that you will spend four years studying your butt off to have a difficult time finding a job that is entry-level and doesn’t require 20 years of experience. And when you finally find a job with a somewhat mature title, it pays as much as a McDonald’s in most states. You just get a few more benefits, I guess.
Now, I’m not advocating to drop out of college whatsoever. But I guess if I could go back and talk to young Sarah in college, I’d give her the following advice:
When I graduated, I got a job right out of college and thought life was on my side. However, this job overworked me, treated me unfairly, and decided not to pay me for my hard work. I quit my job after a month of not being paid and was left jobless. Guess life wasn’t on my side after all. I took the first opportunity I could find at a summer camp to buy me some time until Fall to find a new job. Once Summer was over, I was still without a job and was about to have to move back home. I took a job as a Dental Assistant having no experience or desire to be in the medical industry. I was a creative and I felt like I was being pushed further and further away from my career goals. But let me tell you, the opportunity eventually came. It took a year to get out of the cycle of crappy jobs that didn’t see my value as a creative. But the opportunity came. And it will come to you too. Just be patient and hold on to your dreams, because if you let them go, they may never come true.
Keep Working Hard No Matter What
It took being a Camp Counselor, Dental Assistant, Nanny, and Tile Salesperson to get to where I am now. No matter how much I hated my jobs and what I was doing, I proved I am an intelligent, hard working, powerful woman and even though I was on the bottom of the totem pole, I still showed that I was the best at being at the bottom. Always work hard no matter how much you hate what you’re doing. Because you never know who is watching. You never know what you might learn. And you never know who you might meet along the way. You could be grumpy about where you are and feel like what you are doing is beneath you. But trust me, even if you are scrubbing toilets, you are taking a step towards your goals.
Know Your Worth
Sometimes you might feel down doing what you are doing. You might feel insignificant for working for low pay or for not having a job yet. But don’t lose sight of how awesome you are. You did not come this far in life to give up on yourself. I gave up on myself a couple times. I’ve cried myself to sleep many nights because I felt I wasn’t good enough. But your confidence is what will keep you going. If you know you are smart, talented, creative, or whatever amazing qualities you have, people will see that and you never know who your confidence will have an impression on. Keeping positive about who you are and how valuable you are will keep you going and give you the energy and motivation to work toward your goals.
Your Dreams Will Change, And That’s Okay!
I changed my major three times in college. All within the art/creative realm. But I went from painting to photography to multimedia. If you manage to go through college without changing your major, good for you! Seriously. But it’s kind of unrealistic to expect a 17-year-old to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I graduated college thinking I was going to be a video game designer. Sometimes you realize you want to do more than what you thought you wanted to do. Sometimes you realize you want to blog (haha!). Sometimes you realize you want to go back to school and become a doctor. Your.dreams.will.change. Or mold into a different version of your dream. What I wanted when I was 20-years-old has had to adapt to my new life. I met the love of my life and we have an amazing dog and I can’t have the amazing life I have now if I lived on some random island alone painting the ocean. The vision you have of your future will change as you grow and as other elements in your life change. Just be okay with the change and let life take you where it takes you as long as you are happy with your new dreams.
Keep Pushing to Be Better
I am a firm believer that we were not put on this earth to be stagnant. Even the biggest CEOs, Doctors, Actors, etc. continue to push themselves to the next move. You are never done growing and learning. In life we will reach goals and outgrow them. As humans, we need goals to keep us going. Life would be so boring if we didn’t have anything to work for. So when you do get that dream career, promise me you will keep working harder to be the best you can be. And when you are the best, keep pushing to be even better.