Six things I learned from living in the “real world”

PARAMORE’s song “Ain’t it Fun” used to be my jam when I started living in this so-called “real world” as it blasts a weirdly comforting line in the chorus:  “Ain’t it fun living in the real world.”

I realized a lot of things after I graduated college-> started applying for a job -> getting the job -> moving out for the job -> and working, working, working and getting in different doors of opportunity in between.

Yeah…The “real world” really is where our expectations collide with reality. We discover that we are “not the big fish in the pond no more” and we get to face the truths brought by the real world where our parents have been living in.

To give you a short background about myself, I graduated in college back in March 2014. About three months after that, I started working in the company where I previously took my internship. Now, after a year and a half, I am now on my second job.

To celebrate my survival, I want to share six things that I have learned (so far) as a twenty-something during my first few months in this battlefield called “real world.”

1. Face it, you will have to start at the bottom.
After college, we tend to expect a lot from our first job. 

We have these goals of living in a posh apartment which looks like a spitting image of the ones photographed on Tumblr, or live the perfect life, or shopping with our own money and all that jazz. But those things don’t come overnight, a week, or even in several months; we will always start at the bottom and make our way to the top of our dreams. 

So just take it one step at a time, you’ll get there. We’ll get there.

2.It’s not about the money (money, money)
In connection to number one, by starting at the bottom it also means that the salary from our first job may not be what we have expected. I learned–thanks to my mom–that if you focus too much on the salary when you job hunt, it will definitely take you a long time to find one that fits your “expected salary.” 

As a newbie, we still have a lot of things to learn along the way and jobs which pay higher requires a couple of years of experience. Instead of concentrating on the salary, let’s try to focus on building our name through enhancing our skills and collecting work experiences for the first couple of years. All our hard work will soon be paid off. 

3.What you learn in school may not always apply at work
When we start working, we should always carry an open mind with us because there is really a HUGE difference between how things are done in the “real world” compared to what we were taught in school. 
Sometimes, you may even have to set aside the theories you have learned in the university to give way to the actual, existing, and incomparable lessons happening in real time. Every day is a new learning experience indeed.

4.Your time isn’t yours anymore 

Unless it’s your day-off, your time is not yours anymore. It’s now owned by the company that you are working with but you shouldn’t let your life revolve around it. 
When you do get to have a day all for yourself, live it (but after doing your laundry, maybe? Haha #realtalk).

5.Don’t dwell on negativity….LIVE YOUR LIFE
There will always be those people who will judge you because of the job that you have and the salary that you earn. One thing: IGNORE them. Why? They don’t pay your bills or pay your meals. 

It’s your life and you are the one living it. Pursue your passions and create the future that you are dreaming of!

6.It’s okay to be scared
“Real world” is a scary place and it’s totally normal to be afraid and to be lost. If there’s a day on your journey that you are feeling scared always think that you are not alone. Another lady or lad in the next town or next region is scared in his/her first job too. 

Each one of us, twenty-somethings, may be taking a different path but there is that indescribable commonness in all of us–probably, fear. But fear is good as it fuels us to do better and be stronger.

Seriously the list goes on…but that’s it for now and I am ending this by saying: Aim high and reach your dreams my fellow twenty-something friends!

-Kriztja :)
*This article is an updated version of what was originally published in, a blog/community of bisaya twentysomethings. Like us on Facebook and share your story as well! Photos are from Google and Tumblr.

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*This article was also published in Sun.Star Davao*



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