Adjusting to Full-Time Life
I am officially one week into working full-time after graduating college (I’m writing this blog post as of 1/8/2022), and ultimately I am feeling great and felt like I should share with others some things I learned and noticed. Graduating from college can be a really scary and sad time since you are uncertain how your after-college life will change, your friends may be moving, you’re suddenly working nonstop on a job you may ultimately love or hate, and so many new changes and experiences.
For me, I’ve been working over 50 hours a week since I started college between multiple part-time jobs, and side gigs – but now that I am graduated officially I am thankfully having no difficult time adjusting to the 9-5 life at the main job I have, and the same side gigs. There are a few things that literally within a week in of adjusting to a standard 9-5 that I absolutely love about being full-time – and honestly how I feel may change a few weeks in, but let’s hope the information I share helps you out if you are a soon-to-be graduate, or even maybe a younger student with years ahead of yourself.
Try to be strategic about work
I am so thankful that looking back on my college experience, I started an internship over 2 years ago (at the same company that I’m now full-time at!) where I worked 3 days a week, and that the next transition was a promotion to be 4 days a week, and then ultimately upon graduation being offered a full-time job to be 5 days a week. The reason I look back on this and I’m very thankful is because the working transition was honestly nothing for me to switch to full-time. A lot of my peers and friends explained how going from a college atmosphere of not working, and then bam you’re automatically expected to be 5 days a week (it’s a lot, and can be very stressful and draining). If you have even 6 months before officially going full-time, I 100% recommend seeing if you can increase your days or even hours slightly so it makes a smoother transition for you.
You have a lot of free-time
By not having classes, I literally have saved so much time for myself to pursue pastimes and hobbies I used to never have time for while in college. I love to read, paint, cook, and go to the gym, and for once in my life, I am actually able to do all these things every single day after work ends at 5 pm. Painting and reading make me feel so relaxed, and the gym helps me refocus or feel empowered for different parts of the week. You will learn how to use your new free time to better find yourself.
Maybe you don’t currently have a ton of hobbies and that’s totally fine! Going along with having more time is that you have time to finally do the things you always wanted to do. For me, I’m really excited to volunteer more since I used to do that in high school a lot on the weekends, so now I have the time to do more of that. I’m also looking forward to trying pilates classes which is something I have never done before, so it’s great to have time to actually do things I enjoy or want to try that I wasn’t able to before.
Make New Friends – You Have Time To See Them!
Already this week, I was able to go to a few happy hours with co-workers and with friends from high school. I feel like during college for me, it was definitely a different experience than most other people my age since I always worked a lot and lived at home as a commuter student – so this made things difficult to make friends. I’m really excited I have time now to focus on my New Year Goal to make at least two new friends this year. I started to use the Bumble “Friend” setting to talk to some cool potential friends to grab coffee with, along with talking to my boyfriend about meeting more couples for us to be friends with, or going to our church group to get more friends.
Care For Your Mental Health to Limit Burnout
Please please please, take this recommendation to heart – when you are full-time it can be SO EASY to get burnt out, stressed, frustrated, sad, depressed, you name it. I would know, I work as a consultant and work on challenging projects, tight deadlines, demanding clients, and more. Once you are full-time, unfortunately, most of us will be working for 30-40 years – so there aren’t many breaks during this time. It’s crucial to take care of yourself and find ways to create joy in your life to look forward to outside of work. This part goes back to having extra time to yourself to detox and unwind. Please consider taking a portion of each week or even an hour a day to refocus your mind once you are full-time. This is partly why I read and paint because it helps me relieve any stress I may have.
I’m so happy to be working full-time, and loving my new life I’m discovering and creating with that life event. It’s definitely an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to everything to come in the future!
Do you work full-time? What is your work-life balance like? When you first started working full-time, what was the transition like? For those who are still exploring their options for working after high school or college, what are some concerns you have about working full-time?