Life After College: Mastering Your 20s & Being Your Best Self in 3 Easy Steps // Guest Post Series

Welcome to another guest post! I love this post and hope you do to! Don’t forget to check out Steph’s links below.

Hello, hello beautiful reader! You’re either a.) one of Maddie’s wonderful readers (and if so, hi!) or b.) you just so happened to come across this post because you’re a recent grad who thinks you’ve already “failed” adulthood. Let’s just get one thing straight, you’re not failing at adulthood. No matter how much it feels like you are.

After I graduated this past summer, I was kind of at a loss. Education had been a part of my life for the past sixteen years. My life revolved around school and not having it anymore was weird. The funniest thing is, while I was in school all I could do was think about graduating. My main reason for going to college was to just get it over with. Yet, there I was – a couple of months’ post-graduation, laying in a new mattress I just bought with a new credit card line I just opened in a new apartment I just leased in a completely different state wondering, Did I make the right decision?

Life after college is strange. That’s why I’m here to share with you what I’ve learned in the past six months since basically catapulting from living with my mom to moving across the country with my boyfriend to follow my dream job.

Step #1: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others Success

This is something that was really hard for me. When I say I grew up on YouTube and social media, I’m not joking. I think any of us who are in our early-twenties might just feel the same way, too.

The glitz and the glamour of being a Youtuber or content creator/social media influencer is so… pretty. When I moved, all I could think of was that I wasn’t my best self because I didn’t look a certain way, didn’t make a certain amount of money at the age of twenty-two, or didn’t have a nice LA apartment overlooking the city skyline (honestly, that just sounds straight up expensive).

I felt like this for a little while until I realized that I can’t assume that this random person’s life is glamorous just because that’s how they represent themselves on social media or in their videos. The amount of effort it takes to look how they do is beyond what we know as consumers.

Instead of comparing myself to others, I just stopped comparing myself completely. I stopped caring what other people thought of me and I started to do what I wanted.

I’m going to be straight with you guys and show you the quote that (in my best Chris Traeger impressive) literally saved my life.


Step #2: Follow Your Dreams. Seriously. Do it.

This step is incredibly important to me. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post (and quite often on my own blog) is the fact that my boyfriend and I drove from Miami to Washington State so that I can pursue my dreams of working in publishing.

I’ve always known I wanted to work with books. Have you ever seen the movie with Rachel McAdams where her boyfriend can travel through time, About Time? In case you didn’t notice, Mary was a reader. Her job was to read. When I saw that my jaw dropped and at that moment I knew that’s what I wanted in life. That and a mix with Alexis Bledel’s life in the movie Post-Grad.

I think you get my point.

Although I’ve always gravitated towards Seattle and talked about moving after college, I never thought I would move cross-country a few months after graduating. I am blessed to have such a supportive boyfriend and family to believe in my dreams and I’m also extremely grateful to have been in a position to make a move like this. I know it’s not possible for everyone, but baby steps. Like I said, I knew I wanted to move out of my home town since I was in high school so I was as prepared as one can be.

If you’re a freshman in college, a few years in, or about to graduate all you need to do is to start thinking about your goals and ambitions. I’m serious! That’s it. Put it out in the world, so to speak and you’ll begin that your dreams and goals can actually be made reality. Just takes a little bit of time and a lot of effort on your end.

Guys, we’re in our early twenties. If we have anything, it’s time. Seriously! If you don’t believe me, take Gary V’s word for it!


Now that you’re out of college, or about to be, it’s prime time to think about what you want out of life. By no means do you have to have it all figured out. Like, not even in the closest. But start thinking. If you’re at a dead-end job you hate or don’t want to fall into the footsteps of your parents/sibling/etc. figure out what you can do to change it and work towards that.

A lot of people don’t talk about what it took for them to succeed, we always end up seeing the final product: Their Success. And we want that success. So bad. But it takes time. Being in your early twenties, not only is time on our hands, but it’s also the moment to shed the dead skin that is adolescence and (slowly but surely) work your way up to adulthood. Whatever that means to you!

Now is the time to focus on you, so what are you going to do?

Step #3: Just relax. Keep doing you and create new ambitions. Everything else will fall into place.

A couple of months before graduating, I decided I wanted to start a blog. And I did. But once I moved, keeping up with creating content was really difficult for me. I hate doing anything half-assed so that fact that I wasn’t being consistent made me put a lot of pressure on myself. I have always been so used to putting pressure on myself to succeed in school or at work, but this is our life and we have to listen to the signs of our body telling us to slow down. Always put yourself and your health (especially mental health) first.

Now that you are done with school (or about to be) you finally have complete control of how you want to spend your day-to-day. If it makes you feel better, I spent three to four months after my move doing a lot of thinking and doing very minimal work. I’d blog when I could but I’d focus solely on my job, editorial assistantship, and the basic means to get through my day, which is different for all of us. For me, that would be yoga, mindlessly watching TV/Youtube, and of course, napping. Anything that required more work was just too much.

I stopped comparing myself to others and took a moment to realize that my body was desperately asking me to take a break. Of course, we still gotta pay bills and do our thing, but your girl needed to relax. And I’m sure you do, too.

Remind yourself what you want out of life and what you can do to get there, but never forget that you have time. There’s no need for you to feel pressured to succeed.

Most importantly, you are okay. You’re not failing at adulthood. Literally no adult knows what they’re doing. We’re all just doing the best we can. Once you stop putting other people on a pedestal and start realizing that we’re all human is when you’ll finally begin to notice how realistic your dreams and ambitions are.

It was lovely sharing a few tidbits of advice with you. I guess that makes us friends now!

But my friends, before I go, I will leave you with one last Gary V quote. ‘Cause we need these words of encouragement.

If you’re into blogging tips, book recommendations, or just want to follow me on my journey, let’s be friends on social media!


Instagram: sincerelystephco

Twitter: ssincerelysteph


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