A Little Graduation Advice

My graduation day in 2006 with Josie & Megan
(I would have posted Abby, but she has no Facebook pics–smart girl!)
Happy Monday!!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  It was a big weekend for my family–our sweet Abby, the youngest of five, graduated from UVA.  I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of her!!  
Last week, I was asked to write some advice for another college graduate with a few tips on entering “the big girl world” so since I know there are quite a few graduates out there, I thought I’d share it here as well:  
Congratulations on graduating!  Wow…I can’t even believe it!  Not to be a Debbie Downer, but if you’re anything like me, I graduated dragging my heels, trying to stop time as much as possible.  I mean, college is an amazing gig—unlimited free time, fabulous friends and roommates, and still somewhat supported by your parents, without all of the responsibility of living at home.  I wanted to hold onto that as long as possible. 
I’m not going to sugarcoat it; my adjustment into the “real world” was a bit rough.  I mean, really, who wants to spend 40-hours a week working?!  BUT, I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to adjust and there are some fun perks along the way.  So, to try to help make the culture shock a bit easier on you, here are a few tips I picked up in DC during my first few years in the scary, but survivable “real world:”
  • It IS possible to spend all of your salary on rent and live off of popcorn—I didn’t have much food, but my apartment was amazing and I’ve never been skinnier!

  • Happy Hours at the end of a long workday are your friend—embrace them, have fun, but just don’t have TOO much fun, because you have to wake up and do it all over again the next day. 

  • And while we’re on the subject of drinking, be careful about drinking around co-workers and your boss—moderation is always key, but in this instance, it’s crucial.

  • A fabulous pair of black pumps will take you far—invest in a pair that make you feel confident and beautiful.  

  • Always keep a survival kit with a toothbrush, deodorant, Tylenol, perfume, lotion, and a little powder and concealer in your office—you will be glad you did!
  • Some offices can be filled with toxic gossip—don’t let it suck you in. 

  • Be sure never to tear down the other people your work with—no matter how much you may want to, it’s not becoming.
  • Kickball and softball teams are always a good idea!

  • When your friends start getting married, it can be expensive to try to make an appearance, but DO it!  I made lots of financial sacrifices to get to weddings, but never regretted a single one.  They’re like mini-reunions throughout the year!

  • After each wedding you attend, be sure you write a thank you note to the parents of the bride—they worked hard to provide that mini-reunion!

  • Get plugged into a church and a girls’ Bible study ASAP.  I kind of floundered around for a year like a fish out of water.  Had I made it a priority to get spiritually connected, I think my first year out of college would have been much easier.

  • There is ONE “Mr. Right” for you and he’s worth waiting for—don’t waste too much time on the “Mr. Right Nows.”

  • No matter what happens, hold tightly to the promise that “God will fulfill the purposes He has for you.”  (Psalm 138:8)  Not only does He love you, but He has a plan.  Stick with Him and He will reveal it to you.

Not only are you going to survive the “big girl world,” but you are going to THRIVE.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!  You might not believe it right now, but I promise, the best is yet to come!  And if you really can’t survive, don’t fret; there’s always grad school!



What advice do YOU have for our recent graduates?  Leave a comment to chime in!