Time flies when you’re having fun! It seems like it’s been forever ago since I graduated from college and while I’m so glad that I will never go back, there have been so many different things that I’ve learned about myself, and my life throughout these few years. As I look at myself and I am proud of the woman that I am, I thought it would be great to share some of the most valuable life lessons that I’ve learned since graduating.
College does not prepare you for the real world
While my degree in computer engineering definitely prepared me to get my first job working as a Software Engineer, it did not prepare me for what it would be like to move to a really expensive city. A new city with no friends, trying to manage my finances and trying to navigate corporate America. My first year out of college genuinely felt so isolating and left me doing a lot of work within myself to better handle the real world. This is one of the hardest life lessons I’ve learned after graduating.
Long-distance friendships are a real thing
While I’ve made a couple of really close friends where I live now, a lot of my best friends that I met in college live all over the country. Although I have gone several months to even more than a year seeing some of the people that are closest to me, it has forced me to be more intentional and cherish every meetup that we have when possible. And even though I may not live down the hall anymore to them, the bond is still the same and I love them so much more.
No two financial situations are the same
There is so much financial advice and so many financial accomplishments that people love to publicly celebrate. Sometimes this may have caused me to start to compare myself to other people, especially when I don’t feel like I am hitting the same financial milestones, but in reality, my financial situation is different than other people’s. I know that I will hit the goals and the milestones on my own time in the way that I want to hit them on my own terms.
Your career is a marathon, not a sprint
Climbing the corporate ladder is nice, but being intentional about where you are going on the ladder is important as well. I think there’s immense value in taking the time to really understand and operate in a particular role as you work to discover what’s important to you and what feels best aligned with you.
It’s okay to be selfish
No one is going to care more about anything that you do than you do. When I was a lot younger I felt that there were times that I was afraid to say how I felt because I was too afraid of what would happen if I did. Now, I recognize the importance of advocating for myself both professionally and personally so that I can truly be in an environment in which I thrive.
Your Brand is important
As you start to make connections in the real world, those connections will carry with you and it is important to leave a lasting impression. Building your online network allows you to cultivate a community that enriches you and also allows you to find new opportunities that you thought would be possible.
The amount of growth both within my career as well as within my personal life that I have seen myself go through within the past five years is honestly one of the things that I am most proud of and excited about with myself. I can’t wait to see how my life and career evolve over time within the next five years. These 6 valuable life lessons have been very helpful to me as I face the next 5 years of my life.
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