Life After School: A survival guide for confused young adults
Now that I am finally graduating, I can share how I’ve made it thus far. With 3years experience, a tumultuous past and the fact that I will be turning 25 at the end of this month, I believe I have the moral authority to offer this advice that absolutely no one asked for.
By your final year of university, you may start to feel some anxiety if your next steps haven’t been mapped out for you by privilege, small small nepotism or common sense. Lucky for you, I ran so you could fly. Read along as I blindly guide you to survival after school without a degree and minimal privilege.
For context, that thing where Makerere doesn’t know who you are after attending 3years in their prestigious institute happened to me. So while my peers were graduating and starting families, I was crying in department offices and air fighting my relatives who incessantly asked “what happened this time?” If you want details, wait for the autobiography I am yet to write.
I was on the verge of completely loosing my shit and giving up when I stumbled upon clinical psychologist Jordan B Peterson’s book “12 Rules for life”. He mentioned a number of things that shifted my perspective and have since helped me calm down i.e, Life is inevitable suffering, our souls hunger for heroism, and that each of us have a primordial calculator that monitors our position in society.
With the knowledge that I can sense if I am at the bottom or top and that it’s all a game of survival, I stopped whining about my delayed degree and focused my energy on being the best version of myself while leading the most enjoyable life. Of course you have the option of doing nothing and going with the flow; but mediocrity has far bigger consequences in comparison to the pain of deliberate growth.
It is important for you to accept that suffering, occasional depression and crying are part of the emerging adult package. Yes, not everything has to be a struggle but the fact is, you are going to suffer! It is also going to take years for you to reach a point where you feel your experience is invaluable so learn patience.
Disclaimer: I have nothing figured out either. My yaka meter is giving bright red like your lover’s red flags and I scream for no reason sometimes but it gets better.
Without further ado, lets get into how you’re going to survive the first few months after they rip the band aid of idealism off the wound that is your reality.
- Know your non negotiables. As I said earlier, mediocrity has terrible consequences so you need to set some high standards. Do not let those “things I wish i new before 30” bog you down and force you to accept low quality experiences. Find what kind of lifestyle you want and confidently seek it with healthy compromise.
- Nurture a skill set. You know the things you can do best so capitalise on them. The more I wrote and shared, the better I got at it. With time, you will have to pay to drink from my fountain of wisdom. Skills pay bills. Skills offer a sense of purpose. Skills offer leverage. Learn something today — google!!
- Ask for help. “Sometimes the best solution is to ask for help” This will require vulnerability. You are not a hard guy, a lot of the things you are feeling and experiencing are probably new to you, so it is normal for you to need support. If your people are willing and open, maximise it before they start asking you for wedding contributions. You have not because you ask not.
- Believe in something aka pray. God’s grace and favor have gone before me in immeasurable ways. Prayer is very comforting, it offers a sense of calm and reassurance. God does not play about his kids. Find your way to the higher power however boring it may be. Ask him for guidance, ask for discernment, pray for those who hurt you and report your lazy guardian angle.
- Therapy. Btw, I used to think seeking professional help required me to find something that looked like what Lucifer had with Dr. Linda. Imagine my shock when I learnt that it was gradual and could be as simple as opening up to someone with an understanding of your situation. When you release these feelings, you create a vacuum for better experiences. Talk about it.
- Routine. This is very important if you’re not yet employed. Start waking up early and getting something to do before the enemy nests in your head. It’s weird at first but when you have a routine, you’re too tired to cry about how slow your life is. Wake up, shower, dress up, nurture a skill, house chores, take a walk later, entertain yourself…. etc
- Take action. None of these tips I’m giving you will matter if you do not implement them. Sometimes anxiety is caused by procrastination because your mind is on panic mode from the things you said you’d do and did not do. “Don’t just think about what you’re gonna do, Don’t just talk about what you’re gonna do — be about it!” -Beyoncé.
- Find like minded people. Follow people on social media who have something in common with your aspirations. Spend more time with friends who understand how important it is for you to work towards a certain lifestyle. Of course have room for other things but prioritize those who get you.
- Learn how to introduce yourself. That networking people rave about is easier when you have some personality to offer. Give your name some backing based off of the skill you’d have learnt, coupled with your interests, experiences and aspirations.
Like I said, I am still figuring it out too so I hope you picked what can apply to your life. Step by step, bit by bit, enjoy yourself, listen to Whitney Houston and Keep On Living🌻