5 Ways to smoothly transition from college to career
The day you’ve been waiting for (or dreading) is finally here. You’re officially out in the real world and you’re very quickly realizing how different the college world is from the real world. You need to grocery shop and cook for yourself. You finally understand why grown ups are tired on Friday nights. And if you moved to a new city, you’re realizing how hard it can be to make friends outside of a school setting. While it may seem like you have just been thrown into an unknown world, it’s important to remember that by taking the right steps, you can make the transition smooth.
1. Meal Prep
One of the fastest lessons learned by recent graduates is that eating out every day is a bad idea for two reasons. 1. It gets very expensive fast and 2. It can lead to weight gain. The solution? Meal prep. You don’t have to be a great cook to prepare your meals ahead of time. Set aside time on Sunday to cook for the week. The Petite Professional is a great resource for healthy and tasty recipes that you can cook ahead of time. If you’re concerned about cooking for one, team up with a friend or your roommate and split your groceries and spend the afternoon cooking together. It’ll make the cooking easier and a lot more fun!
2. Have a standard weeknight bedtime
Going to bed at a decent hour is one of the hardest habits to get into when you transition into the real world. The sooner you do it though, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Over the first few weeks of your job, you’re going to feel more exhausted than you’ve felt in a long time. Your body is getting used to your new routine and you’re probably waking up earlier than usual. The best way to get through this is to get consistent sleep. Give yourself a bedtime so that you can aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. This should be a lights out time. No Netflix, no Facebook because the light from your screen will make it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep.
3. Reserve Sunday afternoons for yourself
As a recent graduate, you’re going to quickly learn just how valuable your weekends are. In just two short days, you have to rest up from the week, have fun, and prepare for the coming week ahead. It’s important to take care of yourself and make sure that you really are rested up for the coming week ahead. To do this, reserve your Sunday afternoons for yourself. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and be social on Sunday. Sunday Funday can be alive and well during brunch! Use your afternoon to relax, meal prep, and finish last minute errands.
4. Join an alumni club
If you moved to a new city, you may have quickly realized that making friends isn’t as easy as it was in college. Don’t be afraid to make friends with your co-workers because they can introduce you to their network of friends. Another way to expand your social circle is to join an alumni club. There are various alumni clubs you can join. You could join one for your college, your sorority or fraternity, or even your honor society. This year HonorSociety.org is beginning an initiative to bring alumni clubs to your city, so if there isn’t one there yet, you can start one yourself, of course with plenty of help from the National Office.
5. Set a workout routine
If you have been feeling tired lately, maybe even too tired to work out, the solution is to, well, work out. Getting into a regular fitness routine is a natural way to increase your energy. If it’s difficult for you to get in the habit of a workout, buddy up with a friend and create your workout schedules together to hold each other accountable. If you’re on a budget and can’t join a gym, there are alternatives as well with in-home fitness routines like the Nike Training App, Sweat with Kayla, and Tone it Up.