Life after college can be incredibly stressful. It feels like you’re tossed into this wide abyss of possibilities and everyone’s recording you with their phones yelling “PICK SOMETHING TO DO QUICK!! QUICK, DAMN IT!!!! TIMES RUNNING OUT!!”
It can be uncomfortably dark, lonely, and very very confusing. Even if you try to pick things to hurry on and “get your life together”, every step seems to be laced with thousands of negative consequences. Well if I do this…then I can’t do this! Every possible commitment seems like a death sentence.
What if I don’t want to become a lawyer for life! And I’m going to grad school? Should I go to grad school? Should I just travel the world and find myself? I don’t want a boring 9-5? Or do I?
This unpleasant barrage of questions just keep floating and bumping into each other like a group of warriors trying to triumph over the doubts of the others.
Oddly enough, this race to find something can end up paralyzing you. Every choice seems the wrong choice, and it seems safer to pick…nothing.
Amidst all of this uncertainty, you’re probably looking for outside sources that can provide answer. A roadmap, a step by step guide that will lead you where you’re “supposed” to be at this point.
You’ve probably google searched the hell out of all your questions, and wished that someone would just tell you what to do already damn it! What’s a great fit? Someone look at me and just give me a job! Give me my purpose!
Unfortunately, while we’re not able to scan your brain and chug out what your life’s mission is supposed to be, you can do that through experience. The first thing for getting out of this horrid “I have nothing going for me and I’ll be an absolute failure” mindset, is to fixing your perspective and approach to life.
You have to transform graduating college into a gift rather than a burden.
This uncertainty is finally a gift! No TA’s are hounding you down to turn in your essay by next Monday! You don’t HAVE to take classes you most likely won’t enjoy! You don’t have to do readings that you won’t do anyway!
Changing your mindset and perspective can be tough work. It took me an entire year just to stop the panic and doubt in my brain, and to quiet it enough to finally sketch out a rough draft of how I want to approach my life in the next few years. This takes a lot of time, acceptance, and inner-work. It will happen, and it’s better to do that innerwork now than to blindly bustle about life without trying to calm yourself down first.
What helped me was listening to to other people, and finding validation and advice that calmed me down enough to be content, and excited for the next steps I can take.
Here are some of the youtube videos that helped me through that awful, frightening, straight up not great time after graduating:It Feel Great To
Videos for Relatability (Seeking Out Other’s Who Feel the Struggle so we Can Cry Together)
Malissa Tran- LIFE AFTER COLLEGE RANT
Malissa encapsulates the confusing feelings and frustration a lot of us deal with after college. She describes how difficult life after college can be when you don’t know where to go. It was reassuring knowing someone else out there was having a not-so-great time after college, and that she had to pursue jobs that didn’t necessarily fulfill her.
Basically it’s this giant “It’s okay if you’re feeling stuck, a lot of us are feeling the same way too”.
She ends the video on a positive note, that while she may not know what she’s doing at the moment, there’s always time to sort it out in the future. I think I’ve watched this video at least three times now.
2. Ashley Devonna- My Life After College: Moving Back Home etc.
Ashley pursued business and had a whirwind introduction into the corporate world as a marketing executive. She worked hard, snagged a wonderful position at a company right out of college, then…reality hit.
She talks about her experience working for a company that didn’t value her time or potential, and it’s a harsh reality a lot of college grads face. Working extra hard for a company or employer that doesn’t see your value.
It was inspiring to hear her speak about all her attempts to get a job, and how she plans to go on.
Seriously guys, life after college is ROUGH.
3. Alisha Jasmine- What to Expect After University (weirdest year of my life)
If there’s anything worse than taking up a job you hate right after college, it’s taking up a job you hate that you don’t need your bachelors for. I can relate to that so much, and Alisha describes her life after college in a raw, and at times comical manner.
It’s so hard to start from square 1, and girl, I feel the struggle, you feel the struggle, we all feel the struggle.
4. Life After College: How to Get a Job, Dealing with Debt, My Experiences
This video was honestly awesome to watch. She explains her thoughts on her college experience, and the steps she needed to take after college (she explains the importance of networking- and I know, a lot of us hate that topic but it’s important I guess).
When You’re Done Crying and You Want to Move Forward
Mel Robbins (her entire channel just binge it)
Mel Robbins feels like that extremely blunt aunt that everyone needs in their life. She’s not rude, she’s not condescending, and she just wants the best for you. The way she delivers her points are clear, precise, and straight to the point.
In this video she explains why it’s okay to be unemployed after college, and how to embrace failure rather than fear it.
One of the things that tend to paralyze fresh grads that don’t know what they want to do with their lives, is this overwhelming need to find their calling. You just graduated college, you were turning in assigned homework for almost two decades who the hell are you supposed to konw what you want right away?
As someone who was obsessed with finding my calling the few months after college, this was an eye opener. It relieved me of a lot of pressure of trying to find the perfect job, of stepping into the perfect career path, and just pursuing my interests (in a logical manner).
Mel has so many great videos on how to change your mindset, and how to get going. I would link all her videos, but that would be incredibly excessive. Please go on her channel, it helped me a lot and most of them are short and in bite sized pieces rather than two hour long seminars repeating the same information!!
2. The Financial Diet
9 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently Post-Grad
The Financial Diet makes adulting seem do-able. Rather than viewing finances, taxes, and job hunting as daunting tasks, the financial diet explores topics in the “adult world” in entertaining and helpful ways.
In this video, she really breaks down different aspects of life after college, from being easy on herself, to learning how to use a credit card.
Explore their channel and blog because they have so many great topics and discuss questions I know a lot of new grads would have!
3. Evan Carmichael-Finding Freedom Through Discipline
Okay, so maybe you’re finally out of your rut, you’re finally motivated, and you want to get to business to try something, anything! Then you feel lazy and get into this analysis paralysis of what you should do, and once you know what you want to do you just don’t…All too familiar.
This video explains how discipline is not related to wanting to do something. Discipline means doing something even when you don’t want to. It’s simple, and it may seem like common sense, but there are so many self-help books and youtube videos that focus on “motivation” rather than “discipline”. Super insightful video!
His channel has a lot of compilations from various speakers, and it’s awesome to hear so many people explain the same topic in their own way. Another helpful channel that usually pops up next to Mel’s vids on youtube.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been watching so many of these videos because of how lost, unhappy, and terrible I’ve felt the year out of college. I still don’t have a dream job, or my dream apartment, but I feel at peace and ready to approach my life with curiosity and excitement rather than fear and anger. I’m no longer constantly comparing myself to my peers (It can’t be helped sometimes but I’m doing a lot better), and I just want the best for myself. I’m learning to be content with where I am at in the moment, but I’m also converting my frustration into an aggressive desire to explore and do more with my life.
I hope these videos will help you to start shifting your lenses to one of fear and disappointment, to acceptance and a healthy drive to test out what energizes you.
It’s a tough time straight out of college, and even moreso in the global climate we’re experiencing. Either way, I’m wishing you all the best of luck! May we do our best in this world, and achieve all that we want to achieve.