The transition from school to the real world can be an exciting time, but it can present challenges filled with uncertainty and stress. As a recent law school graduate, school was the focal point of my life for many years. After being in school 20 years straight, I recently entered into the real world and began my journey as a working professional. Here are a few tips in making the big transition to the real world:
How you start your day sets the tone and has a tremendous impact on how the rest of your day will unfold. Start by unplugging at night and going to bed early. Put your phone far away from your bed that way you’re required to get up to turn off the alarm. My morning routine includes playing uplifting music and taking a hot shower.
Building a professional wardrobe can be expensive and time consuming. You don’t have to build a professional wardrobe overnight. Start by buying pieces slowly and steady. Start with the basics like one or two quality professional suits or dresses that will last for years.
As a working professional, you may find that you have more free time than you did in college. Plan to use that free time doing things you enjoy. Spend your free time doing activities that enrich your life like: traveling, cooking, spending more time with family and friends, or reading for fun.
Wellness is much more than just exercising. Personal wellness is important to your everyday success, and it encompasses a true balance of the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Be good to your body, mind, and soul. A solid foundation of personal wellness is paramount for professional success and growth. Some of my personal wellness activities include getting a massage once a month and taking daily walks along the Mississippi river.
College does not prepare you to take on the real world. There will be a learning curve, but you should not get discouraged. The exciting part about this new journey is that there is so much to learn, and you should look forward to this next chapter and all that it has to teach you. Each experience you encounter from here will be valuable in your professional growth.
Start by making a budget and setting financial goals. Ask yourself, where do you want to be financially 10 or 20 years down the road? Establish an emergency fund for a rainy day. Mostly importantly, pay your bills on time! Life can be very hectic, utilize autopay to ensure that your bills are paid on time. Prior to graduating, I started reading books on money basics and investing. I highly recommend The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke, by Suze Orman.
Life happens fast. I recently turned 26, and I began to feel old. It seems like just yesterday that I was turning 13. My recent birthday was a big wake up sign that life moves fast! Enjoy all the moments that life may bring. You don’t have to have everything figured out about life. Sometimes the beauty in life is figuring it out along the way. You will make mistakes, but learn from those mistakes and grow.