College vs. The "Real" World

Where do you go from here?

Sabrina McPherson

January 26, 2015

College vs. The "Real" World College vs. The "Real" World

Here’s a question to get your brain turning: What happens after college?

Honestly, what happens when we graduate? When we are done with exams, finishing internships, and tossing that cap into the clear blue, college is over and the world opens up to us. And, there is a lot of world to explore.

So, where do we go? Apply for graduate school? Head back home to live with our parents? Find a job and live on our own? Start a family? Earn another degree? What are we supposed to do when there is so much we can do?

When you think about it, there’s a whole sea of possibilities and answers. In high school, they generally gave us two options: continue your education or dive straight into the workforce.

For those continuing education, some of us didn’t think past college and with every passing year comes closer to the fact that we might not know where to go once we are handed those diplomas.

It comes down to one simple question: Are you prepared for the real world?

Answer: You are – you may just not know it yet.

Whether you’ve realized it or not, college has given us more knowledge and experience than any textbook or lecture ever could. There are so many things we have unconsciously learned through interactions and moments spent on and off campus and the lessons don’t stop.

Here are just a few things to reconsider:

• Group projects and dealing with roommates OR a way of figuring out how to interact with different people?

• Ramen for a week vs. no new clothes OR a lesson in budgeting properly?

• Passing out after 10 hours of studying OR understanding your body’s limitations?

• Calling and making your own appointments OR being in charge of your own life decisions?

• Passing/failing classes and changing majors OR learning that there are things you can and can’t do?

Granted, not all lessons you learn from college are suitable, or even appropriate, for the real world. Eating three plates of Buffalo wings in a minute is not real world skill, partying hard the night before class won’t translate well at work, and “winky” faces and “LOL” shouldn’t be on a resume. These experiences and many more are just some of the things that won’t work once you graduate (But, I’ll leave it to you to trust your better judgment).

This list could go on and on but the point is this: there is no better teacher in life than experience. Granted, while the concept of the “real world” can be frightening, by taking the lessons and skills you’ve gained from the college experience and using them wisely after you graduate, you’ll see how capable you are at taking on the world.

When it comes down to it, you know what’s right for you, so choose wisely. Take advantage of the time you have now. Go for things or don’t, but definitely don’t wait around.

And, when all is said and done, you’ll realize just how far you’ve come.

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