The Truth About Life After College [Guest Blogpost]

The following is a guest blogpost by my good friend, Zac Bean.

Let me start this off by saying I am not a writer, nor do I pretend to be one. I am actually writing this on my phone; it’s thoughts and observations I have made since graduation.

5 Years Later

I don’t know about everyone else, but growing up I had heard about and seen movies about life during college. I expected it to be the best four years of my life. Do not get me wrong…I would not trade that experience for anything. I learned a lot, received a great education, made some memories and stories that I will tell my kids (well, at least some stories), and last but not least, made some lifelong friends that can not be replaced.

I realized that no one ever talks about life after college. Specifically for me: the first 5 years after college. I would consider these first 5 years a greater “education” than what I received while I was in college.

In the last 5 years I’ve grown as a person in many aspects of  my life. I’ve learned what is like in the “real world” and what it’s really like to be an adult. If you’re anything like me, college was the next logical step because all you knew was schooling at that point in your life. I went from elementary to middle, then to high school, and finally college. Now, I sit back and reflect that by the time college rolls around you know nothing except for schooling.

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What is the next step?

So how are you supposed to know what you want do with the rest of you life when you have never really lived? When you’ve done nothing other than school?

I talk to my college friends, trying to stay in touch with everyone, and we seem to all have the same hardships. What’s the next step for us? Some of us get married, some start businesses, and some just get jobs to pay their student loans. I was one who got a job to pay the loans; but I was one of the lucky ones who fell into a job which I now call a career and love what I do.

For people who don’t know me, I am a car salesman (not the shady stereotype). Call me an disillusioned or a dreamer but there is no better feeling to me than selling a car…it’s not because of making money, but most of the time I get to see the joy and happiness when someone gets a new car.

Life is too short

But what I do has nothing to do with what I’m writing about. In the last 5 years I have learned so much, have had so many highs and lows. I have suffered my first real family loss – my Grandma passed away and it was a tough time for me. The one thing I won’t forget is the last thing she ever said was “Don’t mourn my death, but celebrate my life.” I couldn’t agree more; everyone always says life is too short. I question, though, if we ever really live like it is? Do we really make the most of the opportunities in front of us?

I think this pertains more to recent college grads and young professionals than anyone else. We are so focused on our career, finding love, or starting a family that we sometimes miss what’s right in front of us. To me, what’s right in front of me is opportunity! The opportunity to travel, the opportunity to make mistakes, the opportunity do whatever I want and not ask for forgiveness or permission. I hope and wish everyone thinks the same because it will make you strive do great things.

So make the most out of life right now! Think about how far you have come; I know I can’t believe the person I have become and how much I’ve grown in 5 years. Continue to learn and grow…even after you’re done with school.

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