I get it. You’re in your last year of university, and finals are just around the corner. Right about now, I’m guessing that you’re curled up in the fetal position by the side of one of your local library’s 24-hour study desks.
There is probably drool dried to the side of your face, your hair is in a mess (parts removed from pulling it out due to stress), and you’ve found yourself waking up in a daze wondering who you are and if your education is even still worth it. I’ve been there.
Despite being so close, actual graduation seems like a fleeting goal. It’s as if it actually has feet and can run away from you.
But fear not you overworked and barely conscious Snapchat filter enthusiast, I’ve created a short and easy to follow guide on how to survive this transitional period of your life and start adulting like a regular person.
It will include pre-graduation tips, how to prepare for the upcoming future, getting a job, and even how to be a real live adult (if such a thing even exists). This post is the first in a four-part series that will ultimately cover the full extent of the guide. Enjoy!
Get Pre-Graduation Skills
That’s right. Nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, even computer hacking skills. Job hunters love students that have great skills (if that one didn’t make you chuckle, you need to watch this).
But on a serious note, most students don’t have a significant amount of experience either on the job or in their area of study prior to graduating. That will make it a little tough from a hiring manager’s perspective to give you that first job that you’re going to apply for.
A way around that lack of experience is to gain knowledge and specific skill sets within your field before you graduate. One way to accomplish this is by taking online courses to get certifications. Here are some of the major certs for a few different fields:
- Google Analytics – This is software that allows you to collect and track multiple types of data about a given website.
- Adobe – Any developer, graphic designer, digital photographer, or even social/web marketer should be very familiar with this suite of tools. They range from image editing to video recording, manipulation, and everything in between.
- Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a pretty fantastic social content management tool that allows you to schedule and post updates to your social accounts all from one central dashboard.
- Microsoft Office – This should be a no-brainer by now.
- Coding – CodeAcademy is easy to get signed up and started with, let’s you work at your own pace with real code, and best of all, it’s completely free.
- Project Management – Knowing how to manage people and projects can partially be an intrinsic skill, but there are also technical aspects that make a great project manager as well. These courses will help round you out.
- Fitness and Nutrition Instruction – While freelancing is an option, if you’re passionate about personal fitness and helping others in a corporate setting, most gyms do require some kind of certification. NASM is a quality and well-established brand that can help you reach your goals.
Taking these courses will help you prepare for your future occupation long before you ever actually get the job, and will look great on a resume. Check out some of these commonly sought out certifications if you’re not sure what direction to head in.
Try Hard At University
A huge part of being an adult is dealing with increased adversity.
This means learning how to continue to work hard through less than ideal situations and moments of difficulty. As you get older and acquire more responsibilities, having a hardworking attitude will become more and more of a necessary skill.
Getting a head start and developing it sooner rather than later will benefit you down the road.
This is especially important towards the end of your schooling. Grades aren’t the end all be all, but take away skills are. If you have some sort of senior project, use it as a low-risk platform to take chances and truly improve your skills.
Also if you have any electives left and you’re unsure about what class to take, try exploring an unfamiliar subject or two. It’s easier to switch focal areas of study than it is to switch jobs. Also, having a strong understanding of your course material out of college will help to ensure your skills are sharp when going out into the workforce.
Think About Your Future Job
Next up is that oh so daunting question that adults have been asking you since you learned how to color inside of the lines, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” When we were younger and filled with wonderment, we would answer with an enthusiastic “Doctor!”, “Astronaut!”, or “President of America!”.
But last I checked, the oval office wasn’t hiring anytime soon, and the wait list for most graduates would be a good 12 years give or take. So it’s time to get really real about your future career. Here are some helpful steps to get this done:
- FIGURE OUT WHAT THING YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO. My apologies for shouting, but I come across this all the time. It’s alright to not be 100% sure about what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. That’s normal. But when someone asks about your near future aspirations, you should have a better answer than a shoulder shrug.Sometime this week, take an hour away from binge watching Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, put your phone down, and really think through your career and life aspirations. Having some kind of idea of what you’d like to do with yourself will help you make better and more directed decisions about what industry to pursue, or even what’s possible for you in the future.
- Write down all of your superpowers (what you’re good at). Sometimes the reason why we feel lost about our career paths is because we’re not sure about what our particular skills and talents are. Jotting them down and making them tangible will help you sort through the noise and really boil down where your opportunities might be.
- Go visit future employers. Ask for an informational interview. This will give you a low-pressure situation to learn about what they do, what the industry/company is like, and what you might be required to do as a worker in that situation. It can be valuable in shaping your future career decision. Then go look at multiple different employer’s job applications within the industry. See what skills they require and what you are going to have to know in order to get the job.
Understanding Your Student Loans
Loan obliviousness. This is a problem that many college graduates find themselves in that puts a huge damper on their quality of life down the road. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of school, bills, and the excitement of our rapidly changing lives, but it’s imperative that you figure out your loan situation sooner rather than later. Here are some important questions to ask yourself to understand and ultimately get in control of your student loans:
- How much do you owe?
- What is your interest rate?
- How long do you have to pay it back?
- How are you planning on paying it back?
- When do you have to start paying it back?
After you’ve sat down and taken a moment to answer some of those questions for yourself, you might find that there is more to the whole loan situation than just magically getting free money. It’s common to not be completely sure about all aspects of your loan, and a simple way to get that information is by contacting your loan provider and asking them to guide you through your account summary and payment options. Or you can take a look at this easy to follow post on understanding college loans for a nice overview of the basics.
Personal Finances & The Cost Of Comfort
For most millennials, this step is the pinnacle of true Adulting.
The main step is figuring out what your typical cost of living is going to be without school or any dependence on your parents. Even if you have been in the workforce for awhile or are somewhat self-sufficient already. This information will be useful in finding the right job, negotiating a livable and appropriate salary, and will even impact your future living situation.
If you’re not sure about which potential costs are out there, or how much anything is, here’s a helpful life calculator to get you started.
Ask your parents how to live. Then listen, take notes, and clarify. Afterward, send them a summary for review and approval. Seriously, your parents are sages of the ancient art of life. They can help.
This is all about how to get that all too sought after first real job. I’ll go over why networking is imperative to getting your foot in the door, how to write a resume the will get you hired, what to do once you’ve gotten the interview, and how to utilize social networks (primarily LinkedIn) to make valuable connections as well.
YOU NEED TO NETWORK. I DON’T CARE IF YOU HATE IT. JUST DO IT. Networking is consistently cited as the way that people get hired and make valuable partners in the business world. It’s very true that getting a job is often about who you know, not what you know. Here are some resources to find local networking events in your area:
- Meetup – Meetup is one of the largest communities of group meetups and events that exists. The site is very intuitive and allows you to search for invents nearby with the ability to filter based on location, and distance.
- Eventbrite – As the name implies, this site is more geared toward events. These can be both recurring or only happening a single time.
- Linkedin – LinkedIn has groups for a variety of different topics, industries, and even events. If you find a group that interests you, you can communicate with other professionals about events that they might be aware of as well.
- Eventful – Very similar to Eventbrite. Just another resource to add to your arsenal.
Once you’ve worked up the courage to actually attend these events, there are ways to maximize the efficiency of the experience:
- Have some resumes handy – You might shake hands with a recruiter, who is looking to hire someone before the end of the event.
- Distribute/collect business cards – Remembering people is hard. Giving out a business card will help keep a good connection strong even after the experience. Getting one can remind you who to get a hold of in the future when the time is right.
- Set goals for the experience – Don’t be that awkward person swiping mindlessly through Tinder in the back. Tell yourself that you’re going to introduce yourself to five (YES five) new people, set up two meetings for later in the week, and hand your resume to at least one person. Giving yourself a specific direction prior to going will go a long way towards achieving more success.
- Talk about your desired profession/field of study – Small talk can be a pleasant way to glide through the initial moments of introduction, but be sure to talk about your desired profession and areas of interest. Ask others about theirs’ as well. That’s how real connection happens.
- Be genuine – Networking is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t expect to go to an event and get everything you’ve ever desired right away. Strive to really get to know others and offer real value to them. This will turn into legitimate relationships, which is where the magic really happens.
- Know your audience – Be sure that the kind of people you could benefit from (and be of benefit to) are the ones who are primarily going to be at the event. Unless you’re a little lonely and are craving some human contact, you’re most likely not going to find many valuable opportunities at a Dungeons and Dragons meet up.
Building The Perfect Resume
Go and send out twenty-five resumes and cover letters. All customized. Seriously. This is not a drill, do not pass go, and do not collect $200. Get them done. You are not the leading expert in your field yet, so getting that first job can be a bit of a numbers game. Also, tailoring your resume to the specific job, industry, and employer you’re applying for will help you to be seen as a better fit for what you’re applying for, instead of just some generalist with some unrelated skills.
Take time to build a great resume that reflects yourself and your field. Here is a great resource for building an online resume. In general, you’re going to want to:
- Keep it to one page. For most jobs, it’s been shown that recruiters spend only an average of 20 seconds looking at each resume. Does that sound like enough time to read through two pages of how you mowed your parent’s lawn for two summers? If you guessed no, you are correct.
- Make it concise. Hiring managers get hundreds of applications a week. They don’t have the patience to read your entire life story. Only describe the absolute most relevant information and utilize bullet points when possible.
- Highlight specific achievements and technical skills. In the end, these are going to get you the job. Or once you’ve got it, prove that you actually can do what you said.
- Do something to stand out. Use a bold color scheme, incorporate some dazzling typography, build it in Photoshop, etc. Give your future employer a reason to spend a few seconds extra on your resume. Just make sure that your resume’s style is appropriate for your chosen industry.
- You aren’t allowed to make any mistakes. Seriously, not even one. A resume is the only thing that your potential employer has to judge who you are and what you stand for. Not only is trying to read through typos and grammatical errors annoying, it’s also communicating to others that you are a little careless and don’t take things seriously. Always get a second or third pair of eyes to look over your resume, and keep on revising until it’s perfect. Even I’ve had three separate people edit this post to get it ready.
Ultimately, take the time to think about the culture, industry, and position requirements before diving into any job. Make sure that you could see yourself doing it for awhile. You’ll thank yourself later and won’t have to jump around jobs as much to find a home.
Interviewing For The Job
You’ve honed your skills, sent in a resume, and by some stroke of other worldly magic, you’ve been selected to go in for an interview. You’re in the clear now, right? Wrong. Now you’ve actually got to have a conversation with a complete stranger who’s job is to decide if you’re good enough to do what you said you could do, and all in about 30 minutes. But fear not, interviewing doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If done properly it can help land you a job that your resume alone couldn’t. Your success lies in doing the following:
- Dress appropriately – This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to show up in a three-piece suit, but you do need to understand the importance of making a good first impression. Although, different occupations do allow for more leniency than others. Observe what others are wearing that work in similar positions that you’d like to have. For a full breakdown, check out this guide for dressing like you’ve done this before.
- Practice – We’ve all heard the cliche “practice makes perfect”. You did it plenty with your clarinet, that speech that you had to give in English class, and even what you were going to say on your first date. Interviews are no different. Be prepared to answer all of the basic interview questions (if you don’t know what those are, here is a pretty accurate list for you to check out), and have a plan for keeping calm when asked the harder ones.
- Be honest – I shouldn’t even have to say this, but don’t lie. If you lie about your abilities or experience and your employer hires you, you will be expected to back up every word that you said. Fabricating your abilities can lead to you being fired very quickly if you can’t actually perform the job.
- Ask questions (about the position, hours, industry, company ethos, office environment, etc) – This one has two main benefits. First, it shows that you actually care about the job, and spent time and effort trying to show that you aren’t just jumping at every job opportunity you find. It’s also a great way for you to see if the position is truly something that will be a good fit for you.
- Take the water – When someone offers you a beverage prior to a meeting, like water or coffee, say yes. This brilliant article explains why it’s such a good idea in more depth, but basically, it builds a more positive rapport and smooths out the entire situation for everyone involved right away. Just do it.
I knew that would get your attention. I know you millennials so well. But I’m not talking about posting funny gifs of cats jumping into cereal boxes.
I’m talking about Linkedin. Get on there and make the most of it. Linkedin is an incredible tool to help navigate the professional world. It allows you to connect with potential employers, go into detail about your skill sets more so than you would be able to on a resume, and connect with influencers in your field that provide valuable information and insight. Here’s what to do once you get there:
- Completely fill out your profile. All of it. 100%. The more information you provide, the easier it is for potential recruiters to seek you out, and you will be able to more completely show what you’re capable of.
- Have a professional, friendly, and appropriate photo. First impressions are imperative. Stick to a photo from the shoulders up, smile, have as little background noise as possible, and make it current.
- Follow important people. Then read what they write. Staying up with industry trends will help with getting and keeping a job. Information can be a great form of mentorship.
- Post content. Whether it’s a helpful update to your network, a quote, or a full blown article, it’s a great way to get noticed. The more people you know, and more importantly that know about you, the better.
Getting that perfect job right after college is every graduate’s dream. But it’s becoming less and less of a reality in this day and age. However, following the advice that was given above will definitely give you a fighting chance towards making that dream come true. Also, try and keep in mind, that the path to reaching your goals isn’t always linear. Sometimes you take an uncomfortable (but necessary) detour that ends up giving you the right tools to succeed.
Adulting (I know, I cringed too)
Adulting is hard. That’s something that we all can agree on.
It’s the one thing I’m pretty sure no one in our generation can figure out how to do. We’ve all got a better chance of finding Carmen Sandiego or Waldo right? But despite not having it fully figured out myself, being a proper adult is possible. I promise.
Here is everything that you need to know to get on the right track.
How To Do Your Taxes
Again, I’m right there with you. They’re the worst.
But they are no longer something you can avoid, or have your parents file for you. Hopefully, you are earning some kind of steady income at a job right about now, and with that adult money, comes great adult responsibility. You will be required to file your taxes, and it’s in your best interest to do it correctly.
Taxes are portions of your income that are taken away by law. Or that you have to pay when you make certain purchases. They are used towards paying for things like local, state, and national law official’s salaries, funding social and community projects like parks or highways, and even resources like police and fire departments.
Now comes the important part. Paying.
Tax day, or most people’s least favorite day of the year, comes once per year. Although it has changed over time, the official filing date has been moved to April 15th. Before that day, there is a lot of information you will need to know, but here are the most important things:
- If you need to pay any taxes at all
- What you’re going to file as “married, single, dependent, etc)
- Your social security number (Seriously, learn it. You will need this a lot in life.)
- How much money you made for the year
Once you’ve gathered all of that, you have the option to file them yourself or use a service. This wonderful tax service article gives a thorough breakdown of some of the best options available. Overall there are three main services that I would recommend:
If your eyes are still pretty glossed over and you feel yourself losing consciousness, take a look at this amazing tax guide geared towards college aged students for assistance.
Make A Helpful Budget
Chalk this one up to the general life help category. Learning how to effectively manage and budget your money will ensure that you have financial stability. It will also greatly reduce the risk of being in unexpectedly bad situations down the road. Dealing with your loans and debt for the first 5-10 years after college will go a lot more smoothly as well.
The important parts of a budget to keep in mind are knowing exactly how much money you’re bringing in each month, where it’s going, and keeping that information handy to help plan for your life. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a very easy to use online budgeting tool.
Also keep in mind that it’s best to keep your budget somewhere that you will see it regularly such as on your refrigerator, or on your bedroom door. This will help keep the numbers freshly on your mind and keep you accountable for what you should and shouldn’t spend and how much money you have for the month.
Help Manage your Finances and Money Better
Learning about finances and efficient ways to manage, save, and grow your money will make you more financially prepared and secure in the present and future. It may not be your favorite subject in the world, but once you start seeing the benefits of having more money, or using them to get out of a bad situation unscathed, you will be very grateful that you did.
It can be tempting to spend all of your money on Chipotle, clothes, and your favorite local bar. But the reality is that the older you get, and the more adulting you start to do, life is typically going to throw more responsibilities your way.
Some day you’re going to want to move out of your apartment that you share with two other roommates. There is also a good chance that you might want to purchase a new car. Or even have children. Those cost money, a lot of money. You may not have a ton of expenses currently, but you will someday. Having a proper financial plan for you, your family or future expenses will ensure that once they come, you’ll be prepared.
Go spend some time on this young adult investment site to steer you in the right direction.
Start Being Healthy
But pizza and ice cream are things that exist. Plus exercise is hard….
I get it. I truly do.
Yet you’ll find that the happy feelings you get from your brain being flooded with serotonin after eating those yummy foods will soon be replaced by an increase of energy as a reward. There are many different parts to overall healthy lifestyle. It may not seem like it right now with your metabolisms being as optimal as they’ll ever be, and our bodies being able to seemingly magically heal themselves at will, but the older you get, the more your body slows down and the more valuable your health will become. Let’s find out how to get all of the health.
Exercise is important. It just is. You don’t have to join your local CrossFit gym, or sign up for an ironman tomorrow to improve your health. Even taking a 15-minute walk, some jumping jacks at the office or yoga in front of the tv can be a big help. Just doing something is the most important takeaway. Tell your butt to break up with your couch for awhile.
Meditation is for everyone. Taking time out of our busy and hectic days to reflect on our thoughts, feelings, futures, and life, in general, is very important. All too often as humans we form patterns and habits with our lives to make things a little easier on ourselves, but in doing so we also limit our ability to take an outside look at what we’re doing and see if there’s anything that we can do to improve. Every day, take 15 minutes to remove yourself from any outside stimulus and just reflect on your existence. You’ll surprise yourself with what comes to mind.
Mentality Shapes Reality. How we think about things truly does influence what eventually comes to pass. When you spend most of your time speaking negatively, treating others poorly, or generally being pessimistic, that starts to become what people perceive you as. As a result, they might treat you differently and return those negative emotions and actions back at you. When you start doing that enough, you will start to assume that negativity will be a part of your life as well. It will seep down into every other aspect of your life.
Not Being Invincible Anymore. As I said before, the older you get, the tougher it’s going to be to stay healthy. You’ve got to take certain considerations for your eating habits and overall health. Also, refer to the benefits of cooking that I’ve outlined above. Overall you need to start realizing how all of your habits affect your overall health. Go get regular dental visits so you don’t get all of the cavities, make sure you get your gentleman and lady exams, as well. (Something here about drinking…..but I don’t exactly know what yet… )
Use Your Kitchen and Make a Fire (Cooking)
This one has many benefits. First and foremost, cooking your own food is healthier for you overall. Cooking at home allows you to control what ingredients you are putting into your body. It also tends to be much easier on your wallet. Buying groceries in bulk and making many meals out of them works out to be less money than frequenting restaurants, tipping, and driving to get to each meal. If you’re not sure what groceries are, or how to round up the right ones, go take a look at this shopping checklist.
Cooking isn’t really that difficult once you get the hang of it. To get going, all you’ll really need is:
- Two frying pans
- Knives, silverware, and a cutting board
- Two pots
- A cooking sheet
- Measuring tools
Here are some great resources for meal ideas if you’re a little stuck on how to use your fancy new materials:
Get More Sleep, Stop Being A Zombie
There is no reason to meet your friend Stacy for happy hour on a Tuesday night at 10 pm. That’s going to equal a horrible Wednesday, and the rest of your workweek is going to be bad as well.
I had to learn this tip the hard way. After years of trying to fit in work, school, going out, and fitness, all with mixed results, I learned about the power of sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep each night, on a consistent schedule has plenty of health benefits.
Despite feeling like you are pretty invincible between the ages of 18-25, you’re really not. Staying up all night and then trying to fit in the rest of life doesn’t tend to work out too well. It will most likely just negatively affect your mood, strip you of your much-needed energy, and probably affect your productivity as well. Work towards giving yourself a set bedtime every day, and stick to it.
Maintaining The Perfect Work-Life Balance
I know what you’re thinking, and no, twitter and eating pizza don’t count. It has to be something productive.
You’re going to have a full-time job soon if you don’t already have one. After work, you don’t just want to sit around and watch TV all day. Or on the flip side, you don’t want to work all of the time and focus all of your energy on that. Work life balance is real. Take it seriously.
Here are some fulfilling and useful ways to spend your time outside of work:
- Reading – Smart people read. It’s a fact.
- Cross fit – Not only will you get in better shape, but you’ll also get to do lots of these (link to kip-ups)
- Photography – Taking up photography is great. You will learn to appreciate all of life’s details.
- Blogging – This can be a great way to get your thoughts out into the world!
- Extreme couponing – I don’t even have to justify this one.
- Gardening – Instead of going to the store, your groceries will be waiting for you in your backyard.
- Puzzling – If you’ve got many hours to spare, finishing a puzzle can be wildly rewarding.
- Hacky Sacking – BECAUSE THE 90s.
- Volunteer – Your community will thank you.
Staying at Your Peak Performance
Life is about improvement. In your career, health, and personal life. After you’ve graduated, and got a new sweet job lined up, it will be tempting to assume that you’ve made it and that you can coast for the rest of life. But in reality, the opposite is true. To truly become the best version of yourself, you’ve got to continuously strive for self-improvement.
This involves ongoing reading, learning, and even being uncomfortable at times. It’s understandable that after college you probably don’t want to continue learning in your spare time, but once you’ve found a career that you’re passionate about, it will only make you better. Also, finding ways to improve your mentality,
The Value of a Good Mentor
This is one of, if not the most important point on this list.
Almost every person that I’ve looked up to and that I consider to be fairly successful has stressed the importance of a mentor in their lives. I can also attest to the importance of mentorship. Ideally, find a person if you can. This person should be a Jedi Master in their respective field. They should be excellent at what they do, available to help nurture your talents/interests, and have put in their 10,000 hours.
Sometimes physical mentorships aren’t possible or readily available at every stage of life, however, so it’s up to you to seek it out. Go to meetups in your area where thought leaders are speaking. Reach out to influencers on online forums and social media for advice. Or, read and study material that they put out or books about topics that pertain to your job or industry. You can even watch webinars or videos if you’re more of a visual learner. The main point is that in the beginning, receiving guidance from people that are where you want to be will help correctly lay out your path.
Living A Happier and More Fulfilling Life
Just breathe. Really. Stop doing whatever thing you’re doing with your life and take a few deep breaths.
Literally, nobody has everything in their life completely figured out. Sure, you might have a lot going on, some of which you don’t know exactly how it’s going to go. But I say rest easy, the fact that you’re ambitious enough to take on so much, and then care enough about succeeding to get stressed out about it is a great sign.
As millennials sometimes you might get a bit of a bad reputation…..
This gentleman seems to be absolutely convinced that Millennials are going to extinct our species.
Or this person that has obviously never had their own safe space….they’re great.
But to be fair, Ray is pretty spot on. If there are one thing Millennials don’t do, it’s pay taxes. Or on the off chance that they do, they certainly don’t know where the money goes.
The point is that today’s society can put a bit of unnecessary stress on your mental and emotional well-being. You’ve been told that you’re entitled, lazy, juvenile, and unprofessional. So wanting to reverse those stigmas as you go out into the professional world and beyond is tempting. But here’s the truth…
None of that matters.
That’s right. It might be a tad counter-intuitive to think that you shouldn’t concern yourself with society’s views of you, your generation, or your faults. You might be thinking that if you don’t “fix” some of the negative qualities of yourself that it will hinder and impair your ability for future jobs, friendships, getting a loan, or whatever else. But that simply isn’t true. What is true is that you are ultimately defined by your attitude, convictions, and impact on the world around you.
Overcoming societal expectations is something that many struggle with. Even myself. But there are three main things to keep in mind that will help you stay true to yourself and be the best damn millennial anyone has ever seen.
Stop Believing Every Negative Thing You Read Or Hear
This is especially helpful for the current generation. Every day two million new blog articles are posted on the internet. Some are reasonable, factually based, and well thought out. Some are the complete opposite. You will read articles about how your personality type is nonideal, why your body shape isn’t right, how your degree won’t make you any money, etc. But if it’s not helping you grow, achieve your goals and aspirations, or directly impacting your life for the better then it’s not worth it.
Don’t. Read. It.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a benefit in understanding different points of view from your own and having a well-rounded mindset. There is. You should strive to know as much as possible, but not if the information is pointlessly biased, negative, or emotionally damaging.
This is a crucial time in your life. Your personality, convictions, and life views are still developing. As you grow into a full blown adult it’s extremely important to surround yourself with people and information that is going to shape your world into the one you’ve been dreaming about. So it makes sense to read material that will advance and encourage your goals. It also makes sense to surround yourself with people that believe in you or will be able to offer guidance to steering your path in the right direction.
Make sure to self-filter out any incoming stimulus into your life. You’ll find that most things either change you for the better, or bring you down with them. So choose wisely. #Truth.
Keep A Positive Mentality
When it comes to getting rid of negative incoming influences in your life, the flip side to that is regulating the potential biggest influence of them all…
The human mind is an extremely powerful tool. So powerful in fact, that it actually can change our overall health just by thinking about it. At the end of the day, everyone has a choice to influence their behavior and how they think. The process seems quick, and at some level, it is an unconscious one, but just like any other muscle, the brain can be trained.
Influence works two ways. If someone constantly tells themselves that they are doing horribly at something, then it will start to slowly permeate every aspect of their thought process. From that, it will discourage the amount of effort they put into that thing, their mentality about it, and eventually they will start to do worse and worse.
At that point, it will be a vicious cycle. Telling themselves that they were bad, helped make them feel bad, which made them worse, which will cause them to think they are bad again, which will ensure that they don’t get better….
See the pattern?
The alternative, however, is to speak positively about yourself and your life. Think realistically and optimistically about your strengths and believe in the situations that are hard to conceive of but are not out of reach completely. Speaking and thinking this way will create a pattern opposite of the one described above. Your mentality will actually lead to more good things happening. But the best part?
It’s all in your control. 100%. All you. Full on.
The Life You Really Want
So you’ve gotten rid of all of the nonsense buzzing in your ears, and you’ve shaped your brain into an optimism pumping machine. What next?
Get some dreams.
Or more realistically, START LETTING YOURSELF BELIEVE IN THE ONES YOU ALREADY HAVE.
“But I don’t have any dreams. I’m a realist” you might say. To which I reply, nonsense. Despite what society has conditioned us to believe, there is nothing wrong with wishing for things that don’t seem immediately plausible. A good amount of influential figures in history who revolutionized their respective fields got painfully rejected initially. Yet they believed in themselves and had the drive to stick with those ideas until they saw them come true.
The worst part about most people’s dreams is that they really aren’t even that wild. They are things like making money singing, writing a book, or starting a business. What those same people don’t realize is that this isn’t the caste based 14th-century feudal system, and they aren’t peasants. In most industrialized nations, but especially in the United States, if you want to get something done. There is a way.
What I’m getting at is that a lot of those people have an incredible amount of opportunity. This is a time where face to face interaction can be had with someone thousands of miles away in about ten seconds. There are now fully functioning real hoverboards. In most people’s pockets are devices that have the processing power of a computer that fifty years ago would have to have been housed in an entire room. You can even 3d print out a car for heaven’s sake.
Your dream doesn’t seem too insane now, does it? Nope. Didn’t think so.
So now that you’ve accepted the fact that you have these great dreams, it’s time to make them tangible. To do this you can start with one simple action.
Write. It. Down.
Write your most exciting dream down on a piece of paper, a whiteboard, in front of your mirror, the screensaver on your phone, whatever strikes your fancy. All that matters is that you do that in a place where you are most likely to see it. After you’ve done that you’ve made it real. You’ve taken it out of your own mind and put the idea into the physical world. Now, whether you act immediately on it or not, it will be there.
One very significant problem that we have created for ourselves in our “civilized society” is the invention of a schedule. People wake up, take a shower, work all day, come home, turn on a television or look at a screen, eat, and then do it all over again. Notice something missing? That’s right. There’s no passion in that, nothing to keep them going.
Humans were made to have a purpose. Something to keep us moving forward throughout all the hardships that life brings and that we create for ourselves. The pursuit of a dream or passion is what will get you through the all too prevalent monotony of the lives that we can choose to live.
The Key To A Happy Life (TLDR Takeaway)
In today’s society, you’re going to have more criticism, more standards, and more opposing viewpoints than ever before. All of them are going to be within a ten-second search at all times as well. The key to breaking through the noise and prospering is to be conscious of all of the input that you are exposed to each day. Then say F#$% it. You don’t have to adhere to any of the standards around you.
Criticism can be constructive, and understanding your own shortcomings is how genuine growth happens. But there is no victory in simply being negative towards yourself or insulting yourself to the point of not getting anything done.
You’ve got shape your mind into believing in and conceiving of everything you want to come true. After you’ve done that, it’s going to start to come true. Yet at the same time, it’s not going to be easy. Life is hard. Especially early on when nothing makes sense, anything is possible, and you haven’t done anything yet. There is a temptation to be overwhelmed, but rest assured knowing that it’s not going to stay as daunting. It does get a little easier as you go.
As long as you continue to work hard, keep your goals in front of you, and stay passionate, you will succeed
Adulting is hard. Even for full on adulty old people. The reality is, that’s life. There will always be new challenges. What really matters is learning how to deal with them effectively and adapt appropriately as you go. Keep calm and adult on you millennial you.
Well, that’s it for the Graduating Millennials Ultimate Guide To Adulting. You made it. It is my hope that you found something interesting or helpful in all of my ramblings. If so, please share this with your friends on the social media site of your choosing. It would mean a lot!