Around this month, colleges around the country are holding graduation ceremonies, and a frightening transition is ahead – entering the ‘real world‘. I’ve been in this so-called ‘real world’ for two years now and I’m still on an emotional roller coaster. But don’t fear this transition. College and the real world are similar, yet different. To be honest, I’m having more fun now that I’m working than when I was studying in college. Either way, it is always about how you make the most of every day.
This is it. Time to choose a career path. One of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had was choosing between being a developer or a tester. To cut a long story short, I’m still working as a test automation engineer. And I’m glad I chose this path.
What is it like to live in the real world?
It is pretty much the same in college, the only difference now is you have more responsibilities and you are now in control.
When I was in college, I live by myself. My parents give me a monthly allowance and I’m in charge of paying the bills (electricity, water, association dues, etc.). Basically, I have to budget my expenses (my parents will not give me more money if I don’t). Aside from paying the bills, I have to prepare my food – breakfast, lunch, dinner. I do some grocery shopping every week as well.
Now, I don’t have to worry about the utility bills. My mom and dad are in charge of cooking (by the way, they love to compete. They cook, and we judge who cooks better). I started to live with my family for a few months after I started working.
A percentage of my salary goes to my family, and the remaining is mine. Bills, bills, and more bills. I get never-ending bills to pay thanks to my cellphone plan, and my etceteras in life.
You are responsible for your actions. You can mess up and get bad grades in college, but you cannot mess up at work or you’ll get fired.
In college, you can stay up all night and skip the morning class when you’re too tired and ask your friend to teach you what you missed in class. In the real world, you can’t just skip work. There will come a time when you will become a working zombie and that attitude won’t go over well at work.
Some of us choose to work with their friends in college, some don’t. In my case, I wanted to work in a company where I don’t know anyone. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.
It’s not really difficult to meet new people in college since you are surrounded by people of similar age. In the real world, you’re surrounded by people of all ages. Eventually, you’ll meet people and create new friendships.
What I like about in the real world is I’m enjoying my social life. Work is 8 hours a day, I could hang out with my friends after work, go to the mall, or just do whatever I want without worrying about my homework, projects, etc.
As you get older, you start to think about settling down and getting into a serious relationship. In the real world, you’ll find out more about yourself and you’ll be more prepared for dating.
I find it easier to travel now than in college. The weekends are always available. If weekends are not enough, then make sure to plan ahead then file a vacation leave at work then you’re okay.
When in college, there are instances when your schedule depends on your professor even though it is semestral break or summer break already (I’ve experienced this with my boyfriend, and I still hate that professor. Lol).
The real world isn’t scary at all. Some of you will have a hard time adjusting to a new environment but after a year or two, you’ll get used to it. Regardless, you’ll realize that you’re becoming a grown-up person and you get to choose better decisions.
To all the college graduates, good luck in your future career and make sure to have fun!