A year ago I was paining over finals for the last time. My future was so uncertain. But then all of a sudden, I had a job, graduated, and roadtripped home. Now it’s been just about a year since graduating college.
Work started 4 days later, and though it was a lot to adjust to, I’ve learned. Most of my prior job experience was summer internships, so it’s an odd and nice thing to be committed to a long term job. I moved closer to work in October. And since then life has just been plugging along.
I heard lots of people talk about how hard the transition into real adulthood can be. But honestly, I was already living in an apartment before graduating, paying for groceries, and taking care of myself. Being self sufficient isn’t hard for me.
What I have found extremely strange is how boring this season of life can be.
Since college was halfway across the country, friends and organizations didn’t come back with me. I loved living with four other people (and some honorary roommates who frequented our place). I was constantly busy doing something. At first it was going to ALL the things freshman year. Then I led the campus pro-life group for the next two years. Senior year I’d passed on the head role and participated by receiving requests for baby items I then delivered to families around town. I taught CCD and helped a mom out once a week, more than occasionally got up at 4:30am on Saturdays to be on the sidewalk outside the nearest abortion facility, and always had an assignment or project to work on. There was always something.
Now I go to work and come home.
For the first time in my life, I’ve had huge amounts of time where there’s absolutely nothing I’m expected to complete and no one to report to. It is weird and wonderful. Mostly weird.
I feel a certain sense of responsibility to spend my time well. But oh my goodness is that HARD. I can’t just walk across campus to adoration. I don’t know families near me I can go help. Places don’t respond when I ask about volunteering. Church doesn’t have much for young adults. Life isn’t what it used to be, and I have to rebuild with new people, places, and things.
Even though I’m somewhat of an introvert, it is incredibly tiresome to have so much time to myself. Who knows how long this season of life with so much stillness and quiet will last. While it does, I want to give my time away. It’s too boring keeping it to myself.
So what am I going to do about it?
My sister and I hosted a Blessed Brunch, and have had people over. I joined a gym recently and rediscovered my love of group exercise classes. Perhaps the Etsy store I’ve thought of for months will finally launch. The sky’s the limit. So one awkward get together at a time and attempt at building life all over again, it’ll happen. It takes a lot of patience and wow-I’ve-tried-that-and-will-never-do-it-again, but it’ll happen.
And just like other times in life, I’ll look back and smile, realizing life was happening, all of a sudden and all along.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people in this season of life? I’d love to hear from you!
8 thoughts on “A year after graduation”
God will definitely continue to unfold His plans for you in this new chapter, but my biggest advice would be to try to cultivate solid friendships with other women (mostly ones in the same season of life, but also a few that are in different seasons– married or moms or even elderly women– one of my best friends when I was single was a lovely older woman whose husband had just been diagnosed with dementia). Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, extend invitations, and be vulnerable or go deeper. The ones who don’t connect or do the same will fizzle out but you will find some great lifelong friends!
Thank you! A year out, and I’m definitely still scratching my head as to how one goes about finding and cultivating those friendships. It feels so silly to say that! I’m not in 4th grade for crying out loud! But seriously. Did you just say hi after Mass? Invite strangers over? Join a group? My sister and I hosted a Blessed Brunch recently, and there are a few groups I’ve gone to meetings for. Not much has clicked yet, and I’m okay with the trial and error. It was just so dang easy in college, but life in the real world takes a whole lot more effort in this area. What I’d love to know more from experienced people is the concrete steps they took, because I have no idea what I’m doing!
We tend to keep to ourselves so much of the time in our culture. But I really, really, want to break that habit. It’s not fun at this stage, but I know it’ll be worth it 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement!
I totally feel you on this season of life being boring. When you have a real job you don’t get tons of vacation time so it’s like you are always working with not a lot of time off in between. I’ve been out of college for almost 10 years and I’m now married but there’s still times when I feel bored and like I’m forgetting to do certain things. I also find it hard to meet new people in this phase of life. Then other days I find it overwhelming and not enough time in a day. Oh well. I can’t win. LOL
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I’m definitely taking advantage of vacation time, and have taken a few trips. But it’s definitely weird to have so much unstructured time! I want to devote it to something worthwhile, but have just not found the right outlet yet. It’s a work in progress! I also find it a bit challenging geographically, because I live in the middle of different groups, but not super close to any one in particular. Yes another excuse, though. I’m slowly trying things out, and I figure it’ll just take a while. I guess that’s why patience is a virtue! 😉
I totally feel you about the geography problems because I am the same way. Most of the young adult events are about 45 minutes away and I know that doesn’t sound far the last thing I want to do after working all day is drive 90 minutes round trip.
True story. I don’t want to use it as an excuse, but staying near work for over an hour to then drive back 45 minutes after an event is just a lot. I’d love to figure out something closer!
Laura, oh my goodness your post has resonated with me so much! I just graduated a year ago as well 😀 The monotony/loneliness of post-grad life is still something that I’m getting used to. Being part of community was a lot easier in college, for sure.
I don’t have much words of advice, as I’m still trying to navigate through it myself…and trying to be patient 😉 I recently converted to Catholicism so I try to connect to people in my RCIA class.
And I also try to attend events at my workplace, or go to lunch with coworkers. I also try to connect to volunteers at the orphanage I go to once a week. So while I don’t have the single, strong college community I used to have, I guess I’m sowing little “seeds” in different places and see what works.
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Welcome home! So glad this resonated and you’re finding people in your RCIA class. It’s true how much more intentional you have to be. I just would love more concrete examples from people who have been here, instead of leaving each of us to figure it out all over again. But anyhoo, no one said it would be easy! Patience and lots of little seeds will hopefully pay off in the long run. It’s the short run that we want changed, but life doesn’t usually work like that, does it? Thanks for stopping by!