I've been working full time this summer so I guess you can say I've gotten my first real glimpse of "the real world". The world I'd been living in before felt pretty real but you know what I mean. From what I've experienced the past few months, I’m actually getting really concerned about post-grad life. I can't help but think is this it??? I refuse to believe this cycle of schooling and preparation is only set in place to have you continue living a robotic lifestyle. I'm scared to have each day start and end the same way. My parents are already asking me about what Master's programs I'm applying and family members are starting with the "so what's next?" EEEEP. I've always been the type of person who does what's expected and really just follows this system but the more I come in contact with people who've mastered the art of a 9-5 and reporting to a superior the more inclined I am to break this cycle. I guess I can say this summer has been an eye opener in the least. I can't say I know what I want yet but I'm one step closer by knowing what I don't.
As I’m getting more in tune with “adulting” and such there a 5 things I wish I knew before coming into contact with them head on.
College loans are hell.
Well, we knew this but it's a new hell compared to Freshman year. Your student loan debt might be more than you’re expecting. It might be useful to check out the Student Loan website to make sure your projection is on track. I sat down to crunch numbers and calculate interest last week and was very much shocked by the final amount. I was way under with my estimation so the number HIT HARD but I’m glad I know now so I’m not in shock when it’s time to actually start paying. My best friend Laura, from Burke Does, also made my loan saga better (or worse?) by letting me know Parent Plus loans are not eligible for the income-based repayment option, considering your parent is the borrower, not you. double EEEP. See, more real world scams.
Making time for friends gets harder but you’ll see who you want to see.
Apparently, the real world is all about being alone and never seeing your friends anymore. I’m kidding...kinda. But really, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO MAKE AND KEEP PLANS? I know everyone’s busy grinding with school and work but damn. This summer has been the epitome of busy so I definitely see how hard it can be to free yourself up but I’m also big on making time for what’s important. I’ve started to cherish certain friendships a little more because of this. Having someone come from a full day of work and still make time for you requires a little more appreciation than I’d given it before. Plus, the other side of this forced me to get out of my comfort zone and do more things by myself. It’s weird at first when you sit down at a restaurant alone or pick your seat in the movie theatre by yourself but those are two experiences I think every woman should bring herself to do. Not everything needs to be social event. It is so important to make sure you aren’t missing out on wonderful events because of the lack of company. Be your own friend! I mean that in the least loner way as possible--alone not lonely!
Grocery shopping for one is basically impossible.
UGH. The bulk of my frustration comes from trying to shop for one, while on a budget, and coming up with healthy meals. HOW DO YALL DO IT? On a weekly basis, I’ll end up with way too much pasta or a fridge full of produce gone bad before I get the chance to touch it. I know you’re probably just like, buy less produce, Jovania. But let me tell you, when I try that I’m left hungry or bored with my meals and end up buying food. My last grocery shopping trip, I tried doing that 20 meals under $20 with plans of spending $40 for two weeks--HAAAA. Not only did I spend $80 that day but I was still clueless on what to make. It’s a mess. I need to really find the experts on this one.
Napping almost always sounds better than working out but find your groove and stick to it.
Like any normal 20-something, I love naps almost just as much as I love donuts. When these are your two favorite things, you have to find an exercise program that works for you. I’ve told you guys a little about my workouts before but I found that even though I was running, lifting, and watching what I ate I still looked the same and my weight never dropped more than five pounds. I blame that on getting bored with my workouts and not having that little push to do an extra set or keep going when I got tired. I started Crossfit last week and this might be exactly what I need to get back to being athletic. I love the team style workouts and how it’s a little community. I’m definitely reminded of basketball season back in the day so let’s hope this is the answer to shedding the freshman( and sophomore & junior) 15!
And of course, the last thing I’d wish someone told me earlier is this- Find passion outside of your normally scheduled routine and make time for what you love.
I’m still finding out exactly what my passion is and I know it’s going to take a mixture of exploring and even failure. My cousin reminded me: “the real world is full of machines so the only way for us to enjoy our lives us to be doing what we love.” With the way the economy is, I can’t say that we can immediately live off doing what we love but that should be the end-goal..don’t lose sight of it. It might take a 5 year plan of working for someone to get your money up until you can do what you love full-time but don’t let those 5 years pass by without working on your passion project just as much as you are on someone else's. Do a little of what you love everyday until you’re at the point where you can do it all day with no worries.