Lessons Learned From First Year Out of College

It has almost been a year since graduating college. The first year after college proved to be a huge adjustment. Becoming an adult has turned out to be rather overrated.

But I have learned some important lessons.

1. Exercise is a must

I’m very lazy when it comes to exercising. Getting my butt up is such a hassle. But I have realized that I have to move my body or else I will get fat.

To avoid sitting all day, I take a walk outside. This allows me to breathe in fresh air and appreciate Mother Nature.

2. Care about what you’re putting in your body

Eating junk food was my favorite activity growing up. In college, I stuffed my face due to the stress.

After graduating, I began to feel rather sleepy and sick when I ate too much greasy food. Now, I only eat fast food to twice a week. I drink tea daily too.

3. Make time for others

In school, people are right there to hang out. Once you hit the real world, you classmates are not physically there. They become busy with their own jobs and lives.

That is why you have to put in the effort to reconnect with others or else your friendships will slowly fall apart.

4. Keep learning

It’s easy to let your brain rot after college. That is why you have to keep your learning up. However, learning doesn’t have to be in a classroom. You can take online courses for free or take part in a community based class. Traveling is another great option too.

5. Focus on your goals

You’ll probably face plenty of rejection. I’ve received so many no or things didn’t work out. Yet, you can’t quit. People who succeed are the ones who keep going.

 

Cooking Boxed Dirty Rice With A Fresh Twist

Out of everything my dad made growing up, Zatarain’s dirty rice mix was my favorite!

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Clearly unhealthy by it being processed. And consisting mainly of rice and meat. But I loved eating it!

Today, I was looking at what I had on the shelves and found a box of the dirty rice. So, I decided to cook it.

First, I browned some ground beef, but I added some green onion to give it some freshness.

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After browning the ground beef, I drained the excess fat oil. Don’t worry. I did not dispose the oil down the sink (that would cause problems).

After draining the fat oil, I tossed in bell peppers to give it something light.

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Then I added water, the mixture bag from the box, and some vegetable oil.

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Following the directions of the box, I covered the pot and turned the heat down.

Left the pot alone for 25 minutes while occasionally stirring it.

After the 25 minutes, I turned off the heat and left the rice alone  for 5 minutes.

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Finally, I ate it and it was so yummy!

Made Some Stir-fried Chicken

Yesterday, I had one whole raw chicken breast left after making my chicken noodle soup.

I decided to use the remaining chicken for stir-fried!

First, I sliced the chicken into strips.

Then, looking through my fridge, I found some Korean BBQ sauce and chili oil. I combined the sauce and oil to marinate the chicken overnight.

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After preparing the chicken, I cut some bell peppers into pieces.

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Today, I pan fried the chicken for seven minutes.

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At the seven minute mark, I poured in the bell peppers in the pan. I continued cooking for three more minutes.

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When I was done cooking, I served the stir-fried over rice!

I only ate half of the stir-fried for lunch. Saved the rest for dinner.

For dinner, I ate my stir-fried with toast.

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Finally Cooked Chicken Noodle Soup By Myself

Today, I finally began adulting, which is internet slang for doing adult things, by cooking chicken noodle soup by myself.

First step was to read the recipe. I checked what ingredients I had at home and which I had to buy.

Then, I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. I won’t deny that grocery shopping is daunting for me. I usually panic on knowing if the produce is good or bad quality.

Carrots were one of the ingredients I needed. In the carrot section, I saw a bag of raw carrots. But there was also a bag of peeled baby carrots. So, I was lazy by buying the baby carrots. No desire to peel anything.

Once I got home, I prepped first. Using knives scare me usually because I’m scared of getting cut. Well, I was very careful with cutting the celery and chicken.

Also, I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper.

I first cooked was the chicken. That did not take long since I cut the chicken into small pieces.

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Next, in a separate pot, I stirred some carrots, garlic, and onion.

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After a few minutes, I added the chicken, celery, and chicken stock.

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Then, I dumped raw pasta into the pot because I wanted the pasta to soak in the broth.

For twenty minutes, I boiled the pot while stirring occasionally.

The soup turned out to be yummy!

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Very proud of myself for cooking by myself.

Get Used To Not Knowing

There is no guide on how to live or even plan life after college.

As much as we want to control things, life won’t work the way we want it to. It is a hard lesson to swallow. I for one have been struggling with it the most. 

Not knowing is quite scary. Questions start popping on what will happen next. Most of the time, the answer won’t appear until it happens.

But, we should not stress out on not knowing. We should embrace the present. Whatever happens next, embrace it. 

You’re Getting Old When…

Two nights ago, I was talking with a friend on the phone. We were chatting until we expressed how tired we were. “What happened to us?” I asked. “We are old now! We can’t wait to sleep now.” My friend laughed so hard at my statement.

It hasn’t been a year since graduating, yet the signs of getting old are hitting me.

1. Eating greasy food grosses you out

I loved eating greasy food because it made me fell full and happy. In college, I regularly ordered takeout.

Now, I want to vomit if I eat too much junk food or takeout.

2. Watching Netflix over clubbing

In college, I barely cared to go to the club unless my friends dragged me. The club was fun since I was with my friends.

However, I now don’t care for clubbing. I can’t stand the idea of being in a crowded room with drunk people spilling their drinks on me. On top of that, listening to lousy music bores me.

I would rather be at home watching Netflix than be at the club.

3. Sleep is your favorite activity

Staying up late was no big deal in college. I’d run late night runs to Taco Bell with friends. We would eat in a lounge on campus and didn’t go to sleep till late in the morning. That would cause us to go to class with little sleep.

My bed now makes me excited at the end of the day.

4. Shopping for classy items

Forever21 was my go to shopping place. I found cheap items there and they worked for class.Trendy items were my fashion focus.

Since graduating, my friends and I have been adapting classy items in our wardrobe. Time is limited when you have to go from work to a dinner with friends. You simply don’t have time to change outfits.

5. Slang no longer makes sense

I still use plenty of slang in my daily talks, but I’m starting to not understand current slang. Teenagers now no longer making sense to me. I get confused on what they’re saying!

Naturally Drifting Apart

During my last year of college, I was having lunches and chatting with my friends. We laughed and panicked about what we were going to do after graduation. The fear of not knowing motivated us to hang out often before we went our separate way.

Months later, I have lost touched with a bunch of people. I barely have the desire to text them first. They did nothing wrong. We just drifted apart.

Since graduating, I have learned one life lesson: People aren’t meant to stay in your life forever. People come and go. The relationships you still have, treasure them deeply.

Not Running Away From Student Loans

For the last few months, I kept getting emails about paying back my loans. I chose to ignore them. The thought of paying my loans scared me to death.

I would rather hide under my blanket and pretend that my loans did not exist.

However, yesterday I got the email again about the due date approaching. I finally decided to set-up my repayment plan. The whole process of setting up everything wasn’t so bad.

Taking out these loans were my only way to attend college, even after getting scholarships and grants. My liberal arts college provided the best financial aid package out of the colleges I got accepted to; it gave me more money than my state school.

In college, the idea of paying back my loans was the last on my mind. I was focus on getting the most out of my education. College went by quickly and the loan repayment due date started appearing fast.

Paying back any debt is a part of growing up. It sucks, but we are obligated to do so. I’m grateful that I was able to go to college.

Change of Social LIfe

The one thing I miss about college is having my friends there. It was so easy to run into my pals on campus. We would make last minute plans to go out.

Now, my friends are no longer in one place. Most have moved to different places, especially to another country. Not only geographical differences, amount of free time varies with each person. A friend of mine now works long hours on Wall Street. Another friend is juggling grad school and work.

I am lucky that I can text my friends, but it doesn’t feel the same as physically hanging out with them. It is not uncommon for my friends to not respond since they are working. I completely understand their hectic schedules and don’t hold it against them.

Adjusting to the change of my social life has been a challenge. I have been forced to make new friends. As scary as that is, it’s a part of growing up. We have to learn to not be afraid to meet new people and letting them into our lives.

On a positive note, I’m grateful that my old friends and I still keep in touch. For my friends abroad, we still talk by WhatsApp. It’s important to try to stay connected with others.

Not being Perfect

Perfection is drilled in us at a young age. We are told that we have to get it right the first time. Making a mistake is not considered acceptable. 

Through out my whole life, I have always strived for perfection. That goal has made me successful, but it has made it hard for me to accept failure. I end up feeling deflated.

Now, I know that it is okay to not be perfect. We are human; making mistakes is normal. The most important thing is learning from our mistakes. That is how we learn and grow as people.

I am not saying that you should not strive to do better. You should always want to improve yourself. The most important thing: knowing how to handle rejection and failure gracefully.

It is okay to not be perfect. You should embrace your unique characteristics. Just remember to breathe and live life.