28 May 2014

Graduating to Adulthood

College a difficult part of life for all, some have it a little less than others but overall it can be a difficult journey. You do a lot of growing up in college or at least you should. If you don't you still have time to do so afterwards, only it gets harder because everyone now thinks of you as an adult. It becomes increasingly difficult to do stupid things once you're out of college, for some reason people are a lot more judge-y once you leave college. However, if you make it through college to the beginning of the next tunnel - CONGRATS!

This past week I read an article about the correlation between low-income students vs. high-income students. Turns out that people are now publishing articles about what most of us already knew or lived. When you come from a high-income home it's more likely that you will graduate from college and do so with good grades. When you come from a low-income home the probability that you will not graduate - that if you do it will be with low grades - increases almost exponentially. I remember college. It was tough and I finished but I was not a stellar student. Actually I graduated with a B average, went on to work different jobs, and all in all didn't do that bad but I have to say it could have gone slightly better. I always felt (sometimes still feel) like I was behind in some way, that I wasn't quite up to par in comparison with my fellow students. I also worked 2 jobs most of the time to be able to go to college. I worked as a student assistant and I had a retail job after school. Yes, working 2 jobs and I still qualified for financial aid. Did I mention the 45 minute commute from my house to the university? In the end I finished and decently. I won't say that it was a horrible experience because it wasn't, it's part of who I am today. I don't believe that I would be who I am today without that work and experience, I am thankful. Although some days I still wish that it had been just a little easier than it was.

This man has a full time job but his passion is singing opera,
so he does it in his spare time on the streets of San Francisco.
He does sell a cd also.
Living that was important to me but it was also bad for me because I have allowed that to define many parts of my life. Feeling subpar has led to my accepting work/positions that are less than I deserve and now I see that employers have seen that and taken advantage of my own insecurities. My work for the past 3 1/2 years has been good and I have felt respect from my employers but I didn't believe in myself, so I felt they didn't believe in me. I have proven my worth over time but I always go in on the defensive, working hard to prove my value. Now I realize that I was only proving it to myself because those people saw in me what they needed for their work and have utilized it - the only one who doubted it was me.

This month has been a month of graduations and many hopeful students heading out into the world. For them I say this -

  • Stop being so hard on yourself, stop doubting yourself. You have time to improve and to achieve what you want.
  • Take risks. Fear is normal but don't let it decide for you. Though failure is not a pleasant experience, regret is way worse.
  • Ask for help, seek it out! I think this is the most important, you are not weak for needing help. You are not a kiss ass for seeking help or wanting to network. Many people will tell you the contrary and try to make you feel bad for this - don't. Those older than you want to mentor you and help, take it!
  • Work hard and enjoy the work for what it is - a building block. Not all the work you do will be your "passion" but be passionate about your work because it reflects who you are even if it's not your dream come true. Your true passion may just not be something you might be paid for - like being a parent.
  • Don't stop learning or growing or dreaming! Goals can be achieved but the morning after goal fulfillment may seem empty if you don't keep on dreaming. There's more to dream of, aim for, and achieve in this life, than we have time for.
  • Don't buy or want to buy crap you don't need. Brand name clothing & accessories are for suckers, believe me no one really knows what label is under your collar in real life. You don't need to dress like Hollywood. Use your money wisely. 
  • Have a savings account with enough money to live off of for at least 3 months! You have no idea how important this will be in your future, especially after college.
  • Last but not least work at being happy. Happiness is not a given in anyone's life, you have to work for it. If someone tells you that a relationship (work/love) isn't worth it because it's not easier, walk away. Happiness will always take work to achieve and maintain, but that is what makes it so special and wonderful. 
I hope this wasn't too preachy and that someone get's something good out of this :)


  1. Great post! I tell my son so many of the same things you've stated here - especially the stop being so hard on yourself. He's young and can't expect instant greatness overnight - success takes time...

    1. Thanks! Yes success takes time and lots, lots, lots, lots of hardwork.