If You Want to Be Happy After Graduating, Don’t Do This

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If You Want to Be Happy After Graduating, Don’t Do This

According to a study from LinkedIn, 75% of 25-to-33-year-olds have experienced a quarter-life crisis, defined as “a period of insecurity and doubt that many people in their mid-20s to early 30s go through surrounding their career, relationships, and finances.”

This also tends to be the age range when people have graduated from college and are starting to settle down — figuring out exactly how they want to live their lives between work, relationships, and living scenarios.

The majority of the anxiety that induces the post-graduation quarter-life crisis comes from fear, anxiety, and expectations:

  • Fear that they won’t find a career they’re passionate about.
  • Anxiety stemming from their financial situations and comparing themselves to others.
  • Expectations around when they need to achieve certain life milestones.

If you don’t want to fall into the spiral of a quarter-life crisis yourself and seek to remain happy instead, here are some things to avoid doing after you graduate:

Never step out of your comfort zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Cheesy, but true.

If you’re afraid to step outside of your comfort zone after graduating, newsflash, honey! You’re going to have a really difficult time.

Whether it’s starting a side hustle business, applying for your dream job out of the country, or embarking on a solo travel adventure — there is so much opportunity to be found outside of your comfort zone. A lot of people dealing with quarter-life crises struggle because they continue on in their everyday routines, never challenging their limits.

When you make the choice to step out of your comfort zone and be courageous, a whole world opens up that you never thought was possible — even if you’re nervous at first.

Compare yourself to your colleagues & peers

Comparison syndrome is real after college, and it’s even worse now with social media. But, comparison is the #1 thief of joy. In fact, that same LinkedIn study found that 48% of 25-to-33-year-olds said that comparing themselves to their “more successful” friends causes them anxiety.

It might be getting jealous of all of the different job notifications you get from LinkedIn. Maybe it’s comparing yourself to others in regards to when you’ll get married, have kids, or buy a house. Whatever it is, the constant comparison game is keeping you in your miserable quarter-life crisis.

There is always going to be someone smarter, prettier, funnier, and better than you.

That’s okay. You’re not them, but they’re not you. True empowerment comes from recognizing the fact that we are all on our own unique journeys, and life is not a race to some finish line. You don’t get a medal for getting married the quickest, or having the coolest travel experiences before you turned 40.

Know what you bring to the table, and let others have their wins. Just because other people are happy and getting opportunities, doesn’t mean there’s not any on the horizon for you.

Expect one job to be your end-all-be-all

I had a job in my field set up for me to start working once I had graduated from college. I remember feeling like I had my whole life together, and couldn’t wait to start my first job with this company.

I quit working there after 2 months.

Oftentimes, getting your first “real” job within your field is extremely exciting, and you bite at the job offer with zero hesitation.

There’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, people end up realizing that they don’t really have an interest in that career field, or that they’re stuck in a toxic work environment. When we’ve been drilled through university about “climbing the corporate ladder”, it’s difficult to take a step back and recognize the fact that we do should not have to sell our soul to any company or job.

If something doesn’t feel right, it’s time to leave. There are so many unexpected opportunities out there waiting for you.

Think that you’ll have it all figured out by the time you’re a certain age

I think a lot of us grew up with the misconception that by the time you’re 25, you have your life together.

You’ve got a job, a partner, a house, maybe a kid on the way (or thinking about it). You cook 3 healthy meals a day, workout 5 times a week, and blah blah. You’re also enrolled in an MBA program. You know exactly what company you want to work for upon graduating, and your retirement fund is set up so that you can start traveling the world by the time you’re 50.

IF ONLY IT ACTUALLY WORKED LIKE THAT!

The truth is, people of all ages are still “figuring it out.” A part of us is always going to be “figuring it out” because we are constantly changing, growing, and evolving into better versions of ourselves. You may decide on a career, think you have it all figured out, and realize you hate that career — making a complete change.

That’s okay.

There is always enough time to “figure it out.” You’ve got this.

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