How to Best Handle Change After Graduation
Posted on August 16, 2016
I couldn’t decide what to write about so I asked Hanna, one of our Alumni Intern Queen Ambassadors who graduated from Muhlenberg what her biggest fear about graduation was. Without hesitation she said the word change. Her biggest fear was change and not being at school all of the time (like she has been for the past 22 years), not seeing her best friends constantly, and being away from her family. I could totally relate to the fears she was sharing. I might be the Intern Queen – but I’m still as scared of change as the rest of them. When I graduated college, I moved across the country – from Florida to Los Angeles – this post really got me thinking about how I handled the change. In thinking back to my post-college days, I wanted to share some thoughts that might help all of you deal with the changes that are about to occur:
- If You’re Moving, Make Your New Place as Comfy as Possible. When I graduated and moved to LA – I was out of my dorm, out of my apartment, and out of my parents’ house. I moved in with a complete stranger in Los Angeles. It was important to bring things and to buy things that made me feel comfortable and at home when I was at my new place. Bring your favorite comforter, pictures from home – and anything that’s going to make you feel comfortable when you come home after a long day of work.
- Create a Morning Routine to Roll Out of Bed For. I slept through a few classes in my day but when I had my first job at the largest talent agency in the world – sleeping in wasn’t an excuse. I had to create a morning routine that I loved and really wanted to wake up for. Make yourself breakfast, take a long shower, rock out to the Empire soundtrack as you get ready – whatever you need to do. Just try to wake up on the positive side of the bed – this is your life now – get ready!
- Commit to Becoming a Phone Person and Use Travel Time to Chat– ASAP. I live in Los Angeles. I’m actually pretty good at staying in touch with all of my friends and family across the country who live in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma, and New York (for the most part). I’m dealing with different time zones and people who are just busy. Even today (years after graduation) it can be difficult. My friends are having babies, they are getting promoted – their schedules are very different than mine. If I hadn’t committed to being a phone person after graduation, I would not be as connected to these important people (so many years later) as I am today. Whenever I’m in the car, its phone time (hands-free). I try as many of them as I can and end up speaking to most of the important people in my life at least twice per month. I probably speak to my parents at least once or twice per day. If you live in NYC, your calls will be made on your walk to/from work or the subway.
- Join a Gym, get a Class Pass, or Join a Sports Team. When I had my first job I was around more sweets than I was used to. Not only did the office have free bagels in the break room but they also had cupcakes, pizza, and cake every time it was someone’s birthday. I also noticed an increase in my stress levels. I was dealing with conflicts in the office and stress over work. I didn’t know how to deal with getting fat (to put it bluntly) or the amount of stress – I didn’t join a gym soon enough. Figure out your workout routine from the beginning – it will keep you looking good, feeling healthy, and provide a daily stress reliever. Make this a priority.
- Be Open to New Friends. Even if you are moving into a city where you have a network of friends – be open to making new ones. Treat everyone with respect and remember – this is a new chapter in your life – it’s healthy to embrace the change and the new people you’ll meet. I promise – you’ll make a new round of friends once you start out in the working world. They don’t need to be your best friends but this is your new chapter – your new life – let’s see who the characters will be!
For more tips on how to handle “the real world” check out my book – Welcome to the Real World.