Living in another country also reminded us that people measure success and happiness in different ways. A lot of Spaniards live with their families into their late twenties, which is almost taboo in the U.S. We also met young travelers with our same idea of traveling before being tied down by jobs, relationships, etc.-which helped us validate our decision and not feel so alone about going against the grain.
The "College to Real World" transition isn't talked about
After 20+ years of schooling, getting that diploma doesn't just mean graduating, but a complete shift in lifestyle. Some choose grad/med school, a gap year (woot woot!), or starting that first job. But no one talks about the transition: like how intense more school is, how tedious job searching becomes or the struggles of adapting to a 9-5 work life. Not to mention that many of us are paying bills for the first time, keeping a budget and probably living in a new city.
Honestly, we have no idea why this life change isn't the most talked about...so make the change yourself! Whenever I network, I'll ask for just general life advice, which always leads to an interesting conversation. Some of my mentors have told me to be careful when choosing my first job-because it's easy to get stuck in an industry when you're comfortable-while another talked about how to look at my first salary (what you need to live vs. what you want, i.e. a financial goal).
Most people are still figuring it out
It's easy for us to compare ourselves to others and think, Why does my life not look like theirs? Why don't I have my shit together? But if you really look past social media and take the time to talk with the post-college crowd, no one has it together. Many people I know are living at home and planning out their next move, some are already changing jobs and others are taking time to be an Au Pair or join the Peace Corps. Own where you are in life and be honest about it!
Life after college is its own animal-and not always the most fun to deal with. Like with any life change, you've just got to lean on your friends and family, roll with the punches and really focus on what makes you happy.
**Looking for a new adventure after college? Click HERE to read about how we chose our gap semester program!**