Murphy’s Law states, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” My life as of late has been a living example of Murphy’s Law. Ever feel like that? This article could be of use to you.
I’ll start with saying that I’m lucky. I’m genuinely lucky because I’ve had grandparents and parents who have pushed me (although kicking and screaming at times) to get a college education. They pushed me to work when I turned 16 and pushed me to “never quit” and “stick the team out until the end of the season”. They even pushed me to shoot for my dreams of pursuing the production industry even though I know they winced at the thought of “freelance”.
Aside from all that luck, education and pushing from loved ones, I’m still finding myself stuck in Murphy’s Law. I’m so stuck that I’ve been without a steady job in over a year, I’m borrowing a friend’s car because mine is totaled, I’m in over my head in debt, my lease ends in three weeks and I have yet to find a house. The one thing I can’t say I’m in dire need of is the inspiration to write. I am hoping, that through my most recent failures and my love of writing, others can take the shorter route to learning life lessons (because I definitely didn’t). So, here’s to the meat of this article… what you DON’T do post-graduation.
- DON’T be scared to travel. If there is anything rich in life it is the chance to travel. I can legitimately tell you that every time I’ve found myself in a foreign place, I got that “ah-ha” moment you see in movies. Immediately after graduation, my boyfriend and I saved up every dime of our “Congrats, you have a degree” money to jet off to Europe. We spent three weeks getting lost, indulging in weird foods, and partaking in local traditions that were insanely alien to us. We sweated at nights clubs in Spain and froze around outside markets in Austria. We slept on trains to France and got drunk on booze and happiness in Germany. We laughed our hearts out and bored our brains out with countless museums and nights lost in sleepy towns. It was absolutely an experience I wish for everyone. What I hate, is that not everyone thinks they have the guts, time, or money to do it. Well, this is your sign to just freaking do it. You have the money if you save correctly, and time will never be on your side, so go against it. If this doesn’t make your heart ache for desire then I stand corrected, but when life gets me in a tizzy, nothing soothes it more than pictures from our European adventure.
- DON’T keep poor company close. I’ve always been a people pleaser and a pushover. It’s who I am and I can’t say it’s one of my favorite qualities. It has actually taken the full 24 years of my life to realize that It’s not my sole purpose to make sure that everyone is happy and that everyone should like me. Sadly, it’s also taken a few too many hour-long phone calls with my long-distance bestie to realize that. I moved to a new city, and clung to anyone who threw a smile my way because I was desperate for friends and familiarity. I befriended people who didn’t fulfill their half in a friendship. I invested emotions and time into people who… just weren’t that into being a good friend – or in other words, got a rise out of putting me down. And I spent way too long accepting this and letting it sway my self-worth. What I’m trying to say is if a friend is constantly causing drama, making you feel shitty about life or making you feel dumb, it’s okay to draw a line and see less of them. The best advice I heard related to this was, “we’re at the age where we don’t have to be friends with who we don’t want to be friends with.” It’s possibly the simplest, most true advice you can give. So, please, adulting can be an emotional roller coaster as it is, save your emotional tank for circumstances that deserve it and not on friends who essentially only care about themselves.
- DON’T assume that all advice is good advice. I know that this one is a cliché as I’m attempting to give you advice but hear me out. The worst habit I developed since graduation is calling everyone and their mother (well, my mother) for advice. You will LITERALLY get 12 different answers on how to make a single decision. I realized that when my life is spiraling down, I grab onto anyone and everyone who will listen. Even worse, I listen to them. You’ve got to realize that your friends who are also broke and single are going to have a completely different perspective than your mother, A.K.A. the woman who birthed you and has a 100% tendency to be biased in your favor. What you need when you feel like you’re going to explode is to give YOURSELF a chance to give YOU advice. In my situation, I felt like my world was falling to pieces and that my head was going to shoot off if I didn’t get the heck out of Nashville. So, I took a vacation to Charleston, SC just a month ago… completely alone. I literally forced myself to take four days to listen to me, myself and I. And trust me, that solo-trip found a clever way to show me what I needed once I let it.
- DON’T always go after what you want, go for what you need. Yes, this is stemmed from a song. If you’ve watched Big Little Lies, then you can’t get this song out of your head. But it’s a great line. Let’s break it down: you don’t always get what you want. No, you don’t always get your dream job out of college. You don’t always date the guy who is ready for marriage. You don’t always have the body you see on Instagram and you definitely DON’T always act perfectly to every situation life hands you. But that’s O.K. You do however, need to get what you need. In other words, stop letting your desire portion of your brain guide you and let rationality take over once and awhile. In my case, if I would’ve listened, my rationality would’ve sat me down and told me, “yes, you can chase your dreams but there’s other ways to chase them than by working yourself mindless and accepting an unlivable pay.” In summary, I chased the dream of working in television production so long that it led me into a life of confusion and dissatisfaction. I forgot to eat right, work out, be nice to my boyfriend, and I forgot who I was and what makes me, me. I forgot that as much as we hate that money rules the world, IT RULES THE WORLD and dammit, you need it. What I’m saying is, sometimes what you need isn’t to be chasing childhood dreams and going broke, it’s to have a stable life so that you can afford drinks with friends and time to have those Netflix and chill nights with bae like everyone talks about. So, find out what you need before chasing what you want.
- DON’T think everyone else has it figured out. They DON’T. No one, nowhere, no matter how much they tell you they do, lovessss their job every single day. No one has the perfect relationship. And I’m absolutely positive that no one is perfect. Do yourself a favor, stop comparing yourself to others on Instagram, and tell yourself that no one’s perfect. I didn’t do this enough and it caused me months of indecision, companies to retract their job offers, and me almost ending a four-and-a-half year relationship. You will drive yourself insane if you think constantly that you’re falling behind in comparison to everyone else. In conclusion, life is messy and to think for one second that everyone else has it figured out is just stupid. Everyone has their own battles, they might just be better at hiding it.
Bottom line, everyone jokes about it but no one can prepare you or tell you just how hard adulting can be. To present-day post grads who are broke, hating their job, or second guessing why they rushed into the adult life… A sista hears you, and you’re not alone. I was with a group of friends just the other day talking about how unprepared we all felt for it. At the same token, it’s a crazy beautiful mess, and it’s who you choose to spend it with that makes it all worth it in the end. What I hope is that this article made you laugh and maybe even made you feel a bit better about all that worrying you’re doing. I hope that you retain my points so that you can save yourself the time it takes to figure it all out. And remember, your life is absolutely and positively up to YOU.
Author: Niki Eisgruber
Your Bio: Atlanta Born but Nashville living. I spend my free time binge-watching Game of Thrones and grilling out with friends. I do a happy dance every time I see food, dogs or small children. The only person who laughs at my jokes is my dad and sometimes my boyfriend (but he’s usually laughing at me). My best friends tell me I need to write a book, but also describe me to others as “I don’t know how she’s made it this far”. I take pride in my southern roots but travel as often as I can. I’m pretty much a C+ student at the University of Adulthood.
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