By Melissa Hughes - For Weekender

Girl Talk: Welcome to the real world, class of 2016

Print This Page
Melissa Hughes

Graduation season is upon us. As area colleges release the next wave of adults into society, some of you might be asking what is next? Where do I go from here? What have I learned? How can I apply it in the real world and where is this chapter going to take me?

Welcome to adulthood.

The first thing we need to figure out is how to become a functioning member of society. You have your diploma in hand, a head full of ideas and aspirations. Soon you will learn that finding a job in your field will be difficult. Unfortunately, most adults I know don’t end up working in their fields of choice. Why is this? Why don’t we keep chasing that dream?

Sometimes it is circumstantial. We take the opportunities that are in front of us, not so much the ones we want, but the ones we need. Maybe your field only offers entry level, minimum wage or volunteer jobs (I might be a little bitter about my human services degree here) and you need something that is going to pay the bills. Don’t be afraid or too proud to take whatever work you can find. We all have to start somewhere and you may end up loving the job. You may also end up hating it, but at least you will be able to bring in a paycheck while you search for your next move.

Other times, we just can’t find that perfect fit. Perhaps you are lucky enough to be able to take the time to really find the job you want and won’t settle for anything less. Keep looking! Depending on your major, there just might not be a job out there.

I have a friend who has her masters in foreign cultures and dreams about working for the Department of Immigration. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any openings or opportunities available so she accepted work elsewhere. She still checks the site every day and won’t let go of her dreams. I love that about her.

What other adult things do you have to look forward to? Home ownership? Marriage? Travel? The inevitable decline in your metabolism?

The popular phrase is the only thing stopping you is you. Here is your reality check; unless you have a money tree in your backyard, a steady cash flow is going to be paramount to your success. Don’t be afraid to rent or even stay at your parent’s house until you can get some money saved up. Too often we run into the world with the clothes on our back and a bag of Taco Bell take out and assume life is good. Really though, life is hard.

Adulting is hard.

To quote my favorite book, “Oh the places you will go. And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed!” This is such an exciting time in your life. The world is in front of you. In time, we each find our own way. My best advice to you, the graduate, is throw your life plan out the window. Don’t give yourself a timeline; life is going to happen. Know what you want and take realistic goals to achieve it. Rarely do we walk off the graduation stage and into the CEO’s office. Pay your taxes, remember to call your mom and finally take each day one step at a time. You will get there.

Congratulations class of 2016!

Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.

By Melissa Hughes

For Weekender

Melissa Hughes
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_girltalk-1.jpgMelissa Hughes

Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.