3 Takeaways For Those New to “Adulting”
Growing up, if you were anything like me, you always wished you could have your own responsibilities, go places on your own, make your own plans, and even come home when you want. I was a pretty independent child and I liked my "me" time.
I'd say by the time I was a senior in high school I was quite ready to be on my own and make my own decisions. When I got to college I got a small taste of reality and the oh-so-wonderful adulting life.
I began paying bills for rent, utilities, and groceries, and even used my "fun money," as my dad called it. I worked throughout college at various part time positions so I could have fun and get the bills paid at the same time. I used to think going to class was a chore, when as a matter of fact now that I look back on it, was actually life's way of telling me this is it. Once you're done going to class you get to work. Work. Work. Work.
I graduated in May of 2017 and ever since then I have had the pleasure of going to a 8-5 job and feeling like I am always just working. I took advantage of the relaxed college life of being able to take a nap every day and considered class for 3 hours of my day was "work."
I can tell you ladies and gentleman, that morning of May 25 2017, my alarm went off at 6 am and life slapped me in the face. I have developed quite the routine: wake up, get ready for work, shove a minimal breakfast down my throat, pack my lunch, sit at a desk for 7.5 hours, enjoy that hour lunch, go home at 5, maybe go to the gym, eat dinner, and mentally prepare myself to do it all over again before going to bed.
I know most of you are thinking "well she just graduated not too long ago, why is she complaining?" And I am here to tell you that this is my reality of "adulting." It is the same thing every day, but I have learned a few things that have made me grateful for the life I have and some lessons I have learned along the way.
Here comes life lesson #1: go to the gym and if you don’t have access to one then get some type of physical exercise in.
Working out has been my life saver in so many ways. I feel more awake and alert during the day, I’m not as cranky and short-tempered during the week, and I sleep better.
If you don’t have time to do a full blown workout, at least walk, run, or do the elliptical for 30 minutes until you get in a good routine.
Even if I were to go to the gym for a small amount of time, I have found it was way better than never going because it gave me so much more energy throughout the day.
In college, I always thought to myself how awkward it would be if I saw a professor outside of the classroom and how I wouldn't want to make forced conversation. Let me tell you right now, I was right. On the other hand, seeing your coworkers outside of work is not the same. I repeat, it is not the same. I work at a small office of 12 people. We've gotten to know each other quite a bit and socialize throughout the day.
Seeing them outside of work is fairly refreshing. We've gone to lunches, dinners, spend time together at our conferences (not working, though) and it's nice to get to know them on a personal level.
At my job, I mostly work with women that are around my parents age, a few women around my age, and a couple men. I have learned how to make the "mom-jokes" if you please. Is that a thing? Mom jokes? Anyway...
They are all super nice, and actually make it a point to get to know me. They care about my life outside work and want to get to know me for me, not just how I can help them personally.
Especially if I am having a bad day...I notice others taking the time out of their days to make sure I am O.K. and it makes me feel important. Like I matter. Like when someone asks me if I want a coffee from Starbucks because they are making a coffee run or if they just brought one to me that morning; seriously, I think they know the way to my heart.
I have had the chance to sit down with quite a few of my co-workers one-on-one and they are super fun to talk to. I've heard drinking stories, a lot of really great life lessons, and even stories involving celebrities. Side note: didn't know so many famous singers were from Oklahoma!
Life lesson #2 coming in hot: take the time to get to know your coworkers. They could surprise you.
Adulting is all about try and fail and making those failed experiences life lessons you turn around and try differently next time. I am fortunate enough to have a family always giving me life lessons and “when I was your age” speeches. As annoying as those stories can be at times, they never fail to happen to me and I get the old "I told you so" and "What did I tell ya, Kaitlyn?"
When I was fresh out of college, I kept applying and applying to jobs and wouldn’t hear back. One thing my family kept telling me was to apply no matter what and if I get an interview, to go forward with it even if the job isn’t exactly what I wanted.
So what did I do? Just that. It has helped me brush up on interviewing skills and to really learn how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Did I want to go to interviews that I knew would lead me no where? No. Did it seem like a waste of time? Yes, but in the long run it helped my interviewing skills and my small talk.
Doing so helped me break out of my shell more and I have become a lot more social than I was in the past. I don't fear social situations nearly as much as I used to.
Last life lesson comin’ at ya: always keep every opportunity open. Even if you think you failed miserably, at least you tried and gave your best effort.
I know I haven’t been out of school that long, but living on my own and having been at 2 jobs with various different types of people has allowed me to open up and grow more than I ever thought imaginable.
Personally, I would so much rather try with all I have and know I put in my best effort than wish "what if."