College to Career: 5 Ways To Kickstart Your “Grown-Up” Life

For most of us, college is both the first step toward and a virtual pause button on the inevitable: adulthood. And from the very minute you take off the cap and gown, you start to freak out and ask, “Am I ready for this?”

Well, ready or not, here you come. To help reign in your anxiety I‘ve compiled 5 College to Career “Kickstarters” that will put you on the path to productivity.

Real Life Kickstarter #1: Transition Your Friendships

Some friendships will fade. Others will flourish. Still more haven’t been made yet.

As you and your peers’ lifestyles change, so will your friendships. Don’t be too lazy about cherished connections that you think tagging them on an occasional social media post is going to cut it.

Make calls. Send texts. Make plans. Relationships can get more challenging to maintain as life gets more full – and it’s on both of you to stay interested and connected.

Real Life Kickstarter #2: Consider A ‘Life Skills’ Class

I know – you’ve had it with classes…but…do you know how to cook? Manage money? Manage your time? Get organized? Choose a great bottle of wine?

Some life skills can be learned on the fly, but why not fast track your grown-up-repertoire by seeking out some – occasionally free and almost always inexpensive – classes on the things you wish you knew. Your local library, learning annex, or community college usually holds classes like these on the regular – and they can even be a great way to meet new friends.

Real Life Kickstarter #3: Embrace Routine

‘Routine’ is a word that’s gotten a dull rap. But, if you’ve ever been so tired you couldn’t think straight, you already know how valuable a regular sleep/wake schedule is.

You don’t have to plan every second of every hour of every day. By all means, be open to some spontaneous fun. Just be sure to prioritize the things that help keep your world on its axis, including sleep, exercise, chores and even “me time”.

Real Life Kickstarter #4: Avoid Weekday Hangovers At All Costs

You will most likely mess something up…  and You. Will. Be. Judged.

Even if you didn’t “get hangovers” in college, they’re coming for you now. You don’t have the luxury of skipping an 8:30 class in favor of extra sleep – you have a job that waits for no one.

Happy hours are one thing – and they can offer an opportunity to “tune-up” those aforementioned friendships – but remember when I said to prioritize sleep/exercise/et al? Well, moderation in this department helps to accomplish just that.

Real Life Kickstarter #5: Enjoy The Moment. You Won’t Get It Back.

Ever hear the eye-roller cliché: “Be Present”? Well, do that. I’m serious.

You have an idea of what you want but you’ve also got the freedom to completely change your mind.  And, you will change your mind many times about many things you thought you were totally set on. So, what?

Maybe you’ll move to a place you never dreamed you’d like. Maybe you’ll date someone…you never dreamed you’d like. Maybe you’ll change careers – twice, three times. Maybe you DO have it all figured out and are exactly where you need to be. Who knows?

So, stay excited about what lies ahead but don’t get such tunnel vision about the future that you aren’t open to what’s happening right now – the lessons, the anxiety, and the excitement. If you’ve prioritized your mind, body, and health you’ll have the foundation you need to get the most out of your “grown-up” life.

More College 2 Career Advice…

Are you ready for your first post-college job interview? Want to know how to build the perfect career-gal wardrobe? What about making your mark once you land the job? Check out the other blogs in my College to Career series by clicking the menu above and be sure to follow the #JustCareerAdvice tag on, @JustineSantaniello on Instagram and @JNSantaniello on Twitter.

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