As another Summer is passing by (seriously, how is it August?), some will make the change back into school. It is clear to see the differences in lifestyle even between Kollin and I. As he orders his books for classes, my email goes off with client related matters. As he plans his classes, I plan my my marketing schedule.
Different stages of life come and go and it has been an interesting year seeing how things have changed after undergrad. From small things to big adjustments, it can be different for anyone, but here's a few that have stood out to me this past year!
The Real World Starts at About 7am:
In college I tried to make my earliest class 11am as often as possible. If there is one thing I am not, it is a morning person. Being in a city where it seems like there's the same level of energy no matter the time of day, it was an adjustment to change my schedule (sorry, Kollin 😘).
While I was waking up closer to noon, I was missing so much. I am thankful for the early wake up now, in a way, because I experience more of my day and fill it more with things I enjoy instead of sleeping it away. Plus, with girls running to Pure Barre at 7:30am right past you each morning, it gives you some motivation (still working on the motivation to actually go to Pure Barre 😁).
The Age Gap is Still There:
We've all experienced feeling too young or too old in college for certain things. 'I'm too young to be thinking about my job after college,' or 'I'm too old to be at this party.'
Well, that doesn't really change in 'the real world.' I'm constantly surrounded by people older than me and that was definitely an adjustment. I've always been told I seem older than I am, but to go from living with five girls the same age to constantly being around people 30+ was something I didn't think about prior to moving. This obviously depends on where you work, but let's just say there's a lack of young women in the investment banking world.
It's Hard Making Friends:
I'm embarrassed just writing this, but moving to any new place, it can be hard to make friends and this has been one of the hardest parts of the move. Coming from a place in Kentucky where people say hi on the street as you walk by, I expected to meet people in the same way in Chicago. Not being in school has really changed the way I've had to go about meeting people and making friends.
The introvert in me hates networking and business events are great, but I can only talk about certain subjects for so long before it becomes disingenuous. My best advice? Join groups or organizations and put yourself out there. As awkward as it can be, you'll meet so many different people in a short amount of time.
New City New You is Absolutely True:
The cliché idea that you can reinvent yourself when you move is something I was so excited about when moving to Chicago. It wasn't that I wanted to change myself, but to become myself even more so. I wear things I wouldn't at UK, met people who have no idea who I am and divulged the narrative I wanted - not the one they've heard.
Having the freedom to truly embrace yourself is one of the best feelings and has been my favorite part of moving to the city. I guess that is a part of growing up and choosing to be outside the status quo, which in college was harder to do for me, but feeling completely yourself is so rewarding.