My First Year of Adulting
Adulting is just as hard as everyone says it is (maybe even harder)
“Your flight to New York has been delayed an hour” — the worst notification you can get once you have already reached the airport and the plane was supposed to board in 10 min. Lucky for me, I was still at a restaurant at the airport, enjoying a nice meal, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write my first blog in a while.
As many of you know, I graduated from Babson College in Boston last May and travelled 3,000+ miles to work in sunny San Francisco as a product marketer in tech. I didn’t expect to be back to the east coast much (even thought it’s my favorite, sorry West Coast!), but during the past year I’ve been able to come back many times. I have to admit, the first time was painful. I was reminded of the incredible times in college, from NY weekend trips, to eating hotpot at my go to place, it was hard to move on from a place that meant so much to me. But like with most things, time is a powerful healer. And I went back to the east coast, things become a little easier as I started to settle into my new life on the west coast.
In full honesty, my first year of adulting was hard. It’s a year full of many significant changes that can take some getting used to- resulting in many great life lessons. Life has a way of pushing you, beyond limits that you don’t believe you can handle. But you in turn have a way of rising up to the occasion, sometimes in more spectacular ways than you can imagine. And for this, I couldn’t be more grateful.
So here goes some of the lessons I learnt this year:
- Find what gives you energy and don’t let go: Earlier this year, I was talking to my best friend about how I was feeling like I needed inspiration. I wanted to get re-energized and find something I could throw myself into. In my mind, this meant something new and exciting. But she challenged me to think back in time to when I was doing something that really energized me. It was then I realized how mentoring people was one thing that was missing from my life now, that was giving me so much joy in college. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t let that go but I’m grateful that I have people in my life that never let me forget my true passions.
- Sacrificing your happiness for professional gain is never worth it: I have to say that this is one is really personal and may not hold true to everyone. I spent four years in college driving towards professional excellence. This meant starting a nonprofit, going to networking events, overloading in classes all while trying to have a social life. While to many it seemed like I had it all figured out, the truth was that I rarely ever ate lunch, I was constantly running from meeting to meeting, and I spent too many nights lying in bed feeling so exhausted but unable to sleep because I couldn’t turn my brain off. When I was searching for my role post college, I distinctly remember thinking “I’m 22, I don’t need work life balance, this is the time to grind”, and BOY was I wrong. Work life balance is the only thing that’s going to keep you going when things get rough. So take that vacation and turn off your phone — you NEED it.
- The first year of adulting is like freshman year: Especially if you’re moving to a new city. You’re kind of starting from square one again. You have to build new routines, find your people, learn how to cook, and did I mention go to work for most of the day? But if you compare your first year of adulting to your senior year of college, you’ll never be happy with yourself. There’s no way you can compare the progress and success you had in four years to that of only one year, in a completely different circumstance. But if you think back to your freshman year in college, then maybe in four years you’ll be feeling just as good as you did during senior year. It’s really all about perspective [Credit for this goes to Derek]
- Moving 3,000+ miles away shows you who your true friends are: It’s so easy to lose touch as an adult. People get busy, texts get ignored, hangouts are flaked on, and then it turns out four months have passed and you haven’t seen that person once. But, when you move far away and are in a different time zone, keeping in touch gets even harder. This one really goes out to all my amazing friends on the east coast who never let distance be a barrier. I’m so grateful these friendships have stood the test of distance and time zones. Moving away isn’t easy, but when you find people who you’re willing to put that extra effort into keeping in contact with and they meet you halfway, never let that go.
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog and I have to say it feels really good to be back. As always, please reach out if I can ever help. I’d love to hear your thoughts :)