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Graduating into the Adult World

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We would only be able to find truth in the latter half of this Dickens’ quote since the “worst of times” is indeed upon us, especially if we’re talking economics and the daunting depression to have caught us all in our worst preparedness state ever. While the unemployment rate skyrockets to record-breaking levels, we’re here to question how the new-employment rate is doing? And offer ways on how it should be doing.

Usually a season of celebrating the release of one’s academic journey in life for bigger and better, more “real-world” opportunities, this year’s graduation season faces one of the toughest obstacles: a lack of jobs and plenty of people newly-seeking and still-seeking for them hopeless, doubtful, and desperate.

But freaking out and settling for something far lesser than what you imagined doesn’t have to be the only solutions available for recent graduates, who are no longer full-time students. Keeping some of these key concepts in mind while starting out your new fit for adulthood might make your newly-instated adulthood much more easier. 

Goal Setting: Make Your Dreams Top Priority in Everything You Do
Must we remind you with the oldest academic form of reference? Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream once, in fact some would even say it was too big of a dream at the time, but eventually, it came true. As someone possessing now a higher educated degree, you should know that there’s no stopping of the impossible. Being no longer a student, no longer studying what your dreams ought to be, it’s about perfect timing for you to start working solely towards your biggest goals in life.  

Likened to the act of declaring a major and taking the required courses to complete it, you must first declare your dream and start working as close as possible to achieving it. This means always keeping your goals centered in your heart and never straying too far away from how you can achieve them. It will probably be harder now since you won’t be measured on your accomplishments with a final grade, but it could be measured with a bonus, a promotion, or simply just your own peace of mind that you know for yourself that you’re on the right track.

Be Prepared, or Get Prepared
Don’t assume that just because the economy’s on a downturn, you should just go along with that same pessimistic trend. Always keep yourself busy by working hard towards your goals—even by taking on jobs that don’t supply instant gratification but ones you know can go towards some “greater good” to you down the line. Job shadow, intern, learn extra on your own at coffee-houses or bookstores, but bear in mind that you can always do more than doing only the tasks you’re getting paid for. Enriching your life with as many different fields makes you a valuable candidate for many different professional paths, and in this day and age, being “hungry” for more knowledge, acquiring more talents, can make you stand out in any thing.  

Keep Your Friends Close, And Your Professional Contacts Closer
It’s great keeping in touch with old pals from class, but don’t forget to keep in touch with your mentors from school as well. Now that you’re an adult, you don’t have to be scared that they caught you sleeping in class once (or twice) and always ask for a reference or letter or recommendation from any one you admire. Surrounding yourself with the people you want to be like is key. From there, you are more able to target your niche industry-base, network amongst fellow professionals, and get feedback constantly to help you learn more on how to improve your personal resume. If you’re shy to approach the high and mighty, bear in mind that even though they may know everything there is to know, that you can also be able to offer something new to them: insight, fresh set of eyes, and a different generational feedback. 

Accept Full Responsibility
One of the toughest baby steps, doesn’t have to be so tough if you’re willing to accept you’re no longer a “baby.” Budgeting wisely and making mature financial decisions is indeed crucial to leading a successful adult lifestyle. Begin distinguishing the difference between “wants” and “needs” for reasons why you should spend. It is also recommended that you should start being more conscious of the money you’re spending by really looking at it as “money” and not plastic swipes, which means, deposit that paycheck, withdraw only a small amount allotted as “spending money”, and put the rest into savings, rent, or emergency swipes. Start making sacrifices now rather than later when your cash-strapped and watching all your friends (who happened to invest wisely) travel the world, upgrade their apartment, or buy that new car. 

Stay Motivated No Matter What
Because you suddenly realize that you won’t be young forever, you should also admit that no one likes mediocrity. In fact, avoid mediocrity unless it was in your dream for your life to be lukewarm as opposed to fire-buring-red! One of the biggest dream-crushers many young (but sheltered) individuals make is settling for something they hate because they think “that’s life,” newsflash: that’s the opposite of life! If you don’t know quite what you want yet in life, you should at least know dead-on what it is you don’t want—and you should steer clear of those painful displeasures. Don’t let something suck out the life and energy from you just because it’s the only thing available. Plus, it’s never too late to go for the passionate choice as opposed to the “only” choice. Shaking up your life from time to time only makes it more enjoyable, so why not? After all, staying at a dead-end job kills motivation and only causes stress, and stress only leads to dire health consequences. So … how can you stay motivated? Make sure everything you’re doing in life right now will bring your closer to your dreams. Even if it’s a slow climb to the impossible, at least you know you’re working closer to it than further from it.

Originally published on SmakNews