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Dealing With "Different" After Graduation

Updated: Mar 8, 2019



Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and give ourselves a pat on the back...

Take a moment to reflect on your personal journey thus far. If you're reading this & recently graduated, congrats to you on the accomplishment! Nobody really knows or understands what you went through to get that degree more than yourself...never forget that. Now that you've taken the time to soak in the good vibes from graduating, you should begin to focus on the rest of your journey that lies ahead.


You'll soon see who was really putting in work, verses the individuals who always flashed refund checks but no job offer letters. Go figure...

Having clear priorities & having a strategy matter, and you’re blessed with a front row seat to see who got the memo! Think about the wins & loses you've encountered, the lessons you've learned from stressful situations & anything else under the sun that'll provide you clarity. When you've been programmed to act & think a certain way for the past 4 years (or maybe even longer), it can be tough transitioning into a life that demands different elements from you. Life after graduation is different... and with that being said, different can indeed be scary, it can be unwelcoming & unwarranted. When things are "different", life can feel daunting and tiresome. Most of the time, we're never given the opportunity to even prepare for "different". Truth be told, it's hard to find comfortability when you're surrounded by "different". Dealing with this complex is a gift and a curse!


Finding unfamiliar areas within yourself that NEED & DESERVE the opportunity to grow and develop, isn't easy by any stretch...but it's NECESSARY.

Why should you continue to avoid and downplay what's "different" when you have the power to shape what's "different" into whatever you could possibly imagine? Hello, your light-bulb should be pulsating right now! We hate the rigors of college, the constant hand-holding into adulthood but yet we bask in the safety net that our college years provide. You can fail every class in a semester, and still have some semblance of peace of mind...trust me! At the age of 18, failing grades don't quite yet translate into unpaid electric bills, over-drafted checking accounts, overdue student loan payments, maxed out credit cards & constant judgment from the outside world. It’s crazy!


Looking back, we felt like adults the moment we stepped on campus but it's funny how when you actually step off campus, you realize how much of a kid we really were...

As a newly minted college student, you don't realize the impact your teenage judgement can have on your future adult life. This present day, when you self-reflect, you may think like "Wow...I was really trusted to make these grown ass decisions without the proper context!?" Looking back it almost seems criminal. The fact that dynamic is playing out across the country in countless young adults is wild, shameful & unavoidable. The sad truth is that you can't avoid every L that's been placed in your lane. You can't finesse God & fate like that. However, you CAN control how you respond to the inevitable adversities that you'll be eventually encountering. God & fate play a role here too! Sometimes your destiny will be standing directly in your face... but it's all for not when fear is pressuring you to keep your eyes shut. Don’t let the idea or even the thought of "different" scare you...


Ask yourself, why are you so comfortable with where you are in life, to the point that "different" makes you shrink yourself? Let's flip that script...

Different can mean that you want more for yourself in life. You may even want different relationships with people. Understand that your friends and family are dealing with their own personal battles with “different“. One minute someone is in your circle and things seem tight & then the next they’re nowhere to be found. Dealing with "different" can mean spending an extended time alone, simply because you rely too heavily on the presence of others. When you have to deal with "different" alone and by yourself...that's when things get really scary! When you have to face your demons single-handedly. When your scrolling through your contacts with nobody to call on or anybody to even answer. That‘s a pretty ugly situation, but ask anyone who’s been in it before how they managed...


Dealing with different will expose strengths you didn’t know you even possessed! This is how you level up...

Different can mean that in your past, you've done the bare minimum to get by but now you want something "different". You want something deeper! Different can take the form or shape of whatever you desire; what exactly do you want differently from your life? Do you want to remain stuck at your entry-level position with a Bachelor's behind your name? Do you want to continue skipping from job to job because you haven't come to grips with your own personal defects? Or maybe you want your life to remain in limbo with no sense of direction? Either way, not even a MBA could save you from yourself when you're consistently refusing to see things "differently".


Stop shying away from "different". Seek it out instead. You have to WANT it!

You have to accept all of your growing pains if you indeed want to grow! This includes all the good & bad experiences that'll help you to claim what's yours in life. It's impossible to finesse the struggle so embrace it! Let it break you down & build you back up to a form that was unattainable in your past. When we pray for growth, we don't always account for those growing pains that are included. Learn how to enjoy & accept this ride called "life"...


Life after graduation is a consistent & stark reminder that you can't rely on anyone to save you from yourself...but you!


Learning the tough lesson that you can't blame your parents, your teachers, your classmates or even the system...is definitely real. It's impossible to avoid being served by reality checks, so you might as well cash them sooner than later right? Sounds easy I know, but you no longer have to deal with daily stresses that college provides, so reclaim your sanity! Get back to "you" or put that energy into CRAFTING the new and improved "you"!


Regaining the mental space you've reserved for schooling is refreshing and you deserve to drown in that feeling...period!

That's all of your real estate, that you personally own. If you ignore it, you're only doing yourself a disservice! So now that you have this new found mental capacity, how are you wielding it? How are you staying sharp? What are you going to do "differently" post-graduation that you couldn't do while in school? Luckily for you, I have 4 challenges to help you while you're dealing with "different" and they'll aide you with answering those tough questions previously mentioned.


1) Get off your butt. Get out the house. Go out into the world. Don’t look back, just go!

Make conscious attempts to break your daily habits & get your butt out of the house! If you don’t have a hobby, you need to find one. Not only can it be an outlet for you to stimulate your mind, relieve stress & build meaningful connections, it can possibly earn you money! It’s lowkey hard to make moves from your couch. Get up and make enough moves so you can AFFORD to lounge around. This is the grind time period of your life. Make the most of it.


2) Let the past be the past. Own ALL of your opportunities to level up & grow!

Nobody cares about what your GPA was anymore, who you used to have beef with, if you won homecoming, your failed past relationships, or even if you averaged a double double your senior year of high school. Your past failures do not define you, nor can you rest on laurels from days of old. Your student organization involvement days are over too, let it go. Now is the time for you be about yourself. Your growth. Your career & ultimately your future. Humble yourself & understand it’s time to activate “sponge-mode”. As young adults, we must consciously practice the art of listening without expecting something in return; soak up the knowledge around you and seek wisdom at every turn. Use this time to be quiet, assess the field and observe. Learn your new environment & parameters. Do your homework!


3) Let your friends go. That’s life.

This is controversial but so what? It takes all types of people to make the world go around, including people who show their faces for periods of time. Don’t take it personal, we’re all on our own journey and you have to be emotionally smart enough to let people grown in their own space. There's nothing wrong with that concept and you should hope they do the same for you. People that are meant to be around always will! That’s the funny thing about life. This isn’t the time to waste energy, focus it all internally. This is where faith comes into play. As you progress on your own journey, what's for you & WHO'S for you will show...


4) Find your “spiritual center”...

Honestly, whether or not you go to church doesn't even matter. What does matter is that you’re using time to learn about yourself spiritually. Having a spiritual compass or even growing one, is a viable way to add direction to your life. Church is the easiest example, but even dedicating a hour a week to meditate and self-reflect counts too! Our spirits speak in multiple languages, so don't pigeon hole yourself into believing that going to a traditional church is the only option. If you find yourself the most at peace while you're working out, cooking or even being around the people that truly matter to you...then those activities are inching you closer to having your spirit at peace as well. Now that you're older, it's easier to see the people in your life that are living without being at peace with their own spirit. They uncontrollably reveal themselves by their frowns, depression, negativity, jealousy, pessimism & overall outlook on life. Think about it, how could you really be happy if internally, you're not even at peace with yourself? Let that sink in a bit...some people need "different" or else. Dealing with "different" can be life or death. Figuratively & literally...


Now...after reading, are you ready for "different"...?

Hopefully, you've absorbed what you've read in this article. Even if you only walk away understanding 25%, that's still more than what you woke up with this morning! Life after graduation is supposed to be tough and not a gimme. Things aren't supposed to feel or be the same from when you were in school. What I'm trying to allude to is that, "different" is part of growing up, it's apart of the grand-master plan. Gather your energy, feelings & emotions, and prepare to do something differently the rest of the year! Brace yourself for the adventure life is going to take you on & cherish every single second, minute, hour etc.. As we grow older, of course we gain more money, bigger houses, nicer clothes, and more items to flaunt our self-perceived status. The only caveat, is that time is something we can't get more of as we mature and age.


Time is limited. Time is precious!


Now is YOUR time. Do something "different" with it...
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