I graduated from Houston Baptist University on December 16, 2017. To this day, it has been one of the best days of my life. However, I have entered a new year, a new career, and have learned to operate in the “real world”. There is a lot that college has taught me, and I’ve listed several lessons I’ve learned since graduation below.
Personal Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduation
Indulge in More Me-Time
It is okay to allow myself to have more me-time than I did before. Before graduation, I worked (while balancing a full-course load), and survived a hurricane, displacement, and job loss. (All of this occurred during the final semester of my undergraduate existence.)
Why does any of that matter? Well, it was easy for me to lose sight of taking me time. Since graduating, I have made it a point to step away from work, step away from people, and allow myself to recharge. Guess what?! There’s NOTHING wrong with taking time out for myself. I got so used to not doing it that it felt foreign treating myself. Now that I’ve gotten back to it, I WILL NOT allow myself to not take time for me again. Period. You shouldn’t, either.
Invest in What Matters Most
For so long, I’ve felt the call to travel and felt like I couldn’t allow myself to indulge in such things. (I would definitely liken myself to Moana.) I felt that it was not worth the investment and that I should put my money towards everything else.
However, when I consider where my money goes (fast food and nonsense), I realize that it’s money that could be put towards a flight or hotel. Life is no longer just about material things to me anymore. Life is about making memories and creating new experiences. 2017 has taught me to travel and invest in my love of travel.
Everyone doesn’t have a travelers heart… and that’s fine. Invest in whatever makes you happy. If that’s having designer clothes/shoes/accessories, then save up and begin building your collection. If that includes starting a business… learn all that you can, and begin investing in it. Whether that’s going back to school… make it happen!
Whatever your passion is, pour you are all into it and make it a point to make it happen. It may take some time. It’s possible that it won’t happen overnight, which is okay, too, but don’t give up.
Sometimes You Have to Encourage Yourself
I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way… several times. I stick out from some of my friends and family like a sore thumb. Sometimes I want to share things with them, but I get met with dry responses or no responses, and it’s discouraging. Of course, I always talk to my mom, but sometimes I want to expand my excitement beyond her and my family.
Last year, I learned to be my own hype woman, and I learned to encourage myself. I even made a post about validation and encouraged others to validate themselves. Sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader, and that’s okay.
At the end of the day, you are always responsible for your life. Take control! Don’t stand in your own way. Lean on your faith, trust in yourself, and pat yourself on the back. Encourage yourself. Reward yourself. Be proud of yourself. Self-love can unlock the doors to so many other things and people. It allows you to accept REAL love from others.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
This is a big one! It’s also one that I am not going to stay too long on. Step outside of your comfort zone. Try new things! Explore new territories. Meet new people. Go new places. Quit that job that is draining you, and pursue your dreams. You’ll forever be miserable (or mediocre) if you never step outside of your comfort zone… Sad, but true.
Professional Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduation
It Pays to Be Friendly, BUT Boundaries are SUPER Important
I take pleasure in one thing about myself in the workplace. I’m an enigma. I have a youthful face, fun personality, and old soul. By default, it seems to draw people into me. I rarely speak, but when I do, I tend to surprise my coworkers/superiors. Everyone (for the most part) gets a smile from me because it shows my approachable attitude.
It pays to be nice to everyone, even when you feel like breathing fire. Why? You never know who you might need. On top of that, when people feel comfortable with you, they don’t mind advocating on your behalf. Not only because it’s the responsible thing to do, but also because it’s the humane thing to do.
It is, also, important to keep boundaries in place, even if work and personal collide. Part of my being an enigma is setting and keeping my boundaries. I don’t participate in personal conversations (very often), and I mind my business. I do my work, I speak, and I keep moving. Why? I have boundaries that I refuse to cross. Also, you shouldn’t be a doormat for anyone. Set boundaries of how much extra you’re willing to take on, and learn when to say no, or walk away.
It’s Okay to Keep Your Private Life Private
Furthermore, I am always a mystery in my workplace, because I rarely talk about anything relating to my personal life. I have a saying. I don’t discuss age, wage, religion, nor politics in the workplace. I’m an introvert, and I enjoy recharging myself alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. I choose to keep my personal life private. You control how much you do or don’t share with others.
Relational Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduation
Relationships Will Continue Changing
Your relationships with yourself and others will ALWAYS continue to change and evolve. Sometimes it grows and gets better, sometimes it separates and gets worse. Relationships change because people change. You’re going to change. The people around you are going to change. Life is going to change. It’s okay for your relationships to change. It’s natural, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you will be.
It’s Okay to Move Forward/ Walk Away
With that being said, it’s okay to move forward and walk away from people and things. Part of maturing is discerning situations. Discernment can prevent you from a world of hurt. Trust me! I know. Sometimes it is best to move forward with people that you would not suspect. I’ve turned away from people who meant me good, for someone who proved to be nothing but toxic. On the other hand, I’ve learned to listen to my intuition, and walk away when it’s time. This is hard for people to do.
Me… I’m loyal to a fault. I’ll keep a person a thousand chances to slap me, and I’ll continue to turn the other check. I would ignore the yellow discoloration of the “rain” on my leg, and believe it when they’d tell me it’s raining. I’d hold on to someone who shows me that they don’t care about me as a person, they care about the benefit of being connected to me. That being said… when I’m done… I’m done! There’s no changing my mind, and there’s no coming back. Once I make up my mind to let someone go, once I see the final ashes of the bridge that has been burned, there’s no rebuilding. There’s no repair. I am done with you!
There are a LOT of Lessons I’ve Learned!
In this short couple-month period, I have learned a lot of lessons. I have accepted things that I have ignored for the longest time. I’m no longer accepting mediocre. Oh no! Nor am I surrounding myself with people who aren’t aligning themselves to become better.
I’m not allowing myself to be stagnant. I won’t be ignoring my desires. Furthermore, I am sticking to the boundaries that I have set. I am working on living my best life, and it only happens as I continue to learn lessons.
So… what lessons have you learned over the past few months? What’s some advice that you would give to others who are trying to navigate through adulthood (and life in general)? Let me know in the comments below. Also, I would love some shares and love! Until next time…