How to Adjust to the Real World

Well it’s official, I am a grown up. I think. Our whole lives we are prepared for the moment of adulthood. You go to school, go to more school and then pay to go to even more school, to end up in this spot: with a career. Now that all the preparing is done and you have reached the goal, how do you cope with the new life? What is the next step?

For my entire childhood, I was impatient. Impatient for the day when I would finally be done with school and be doing what I wanted, be who I wanted to be and start living. In hindsight, I should have been more focused on living in the moment rather than being focused on getting to the exact point where I could start living. But hey, kids will be kids.

For some, finally growing up and reaching the point where school is finally over and you are free to live your life is a cruel, rude awakening to what they took for granted. For the first four months out of college, that was definitely my situation. With each day that passed that I was still working a part-time, minimum wage job, I felt the walls of reality closing in on me as I desperately searched for a career that I would actually want to wake up every day and go to. But finally, the walls pushed back a bit and I found that career.

After 3 weeks at my new job, I have realized that it is hard to make the transition from a determined student to a desperate graduate to a woman with a career in a matter of months, but I’ve managed to come up with a couple of routines to help me get by.

 

 

01/Scheduling
It will come as no surprise to anybody who knows me that the first thing I did to keep myself on track as a new career-minded woman was to organize and schedule. Finally there is a use for 2 agendas, a phone calendar and a computer calendar again! Oh, and a cute new daily desk calendar. Some may say I am obsessed with dates and punctuality, but it works to keep me up to date and motivated.

02/Meal Prep
No, I do not mean I am preparing 5 containers of super healthy (and super bland) lunches for the week for my intense work out routine like you see online. But I do plan the week’s meals in advance to save time and energy worrying about what to make. I have made a habit of searching lunch and dinner recipes on Friday, grocery shopping on Saturday and preparing meals on Sunday. So far, my lunch prep has included pasta salad, tuna salad, mini meatloaves and green salads. For dinners, I don’t actually prep them ahead of time on Sunday, but I do create a menu for the week that stays on the fridge to remind Jake and I what we will be eating that night so that that morning we can take out the necessary ingredients. 

03/Early Bed Times
This may be my favourite new routine… Okay, planners always come first, but this is a close second! Since living with Jake in Kitchener, he has had to go to bed at 8 p.m. every night because of his 5 a.m. job starts. While I was working odd, late night hours at Chapters in the first few months, I hardly saw him because of this. Now that we are both home around 5:30 every night, I enjoy chatting about our days, eating dinner and then going to bed early. Sure, we sound like little old people, but we both kick ass at our jobs every day and it’s because we are well rested!

04/Coffee
I have never hated coffee, but I have never loved it either. Since starting my new job, I assumed coffee would be an appropriate adult beverage to start drinking. I can’t say that I am all of a sudden obsessed with drinking it and that it gives me a huge jolt of energy when I drink it, but I do enjoy one cup every morning. I refuse to let myself drink more than one cup a day though, because habits are a nasty thing to break and that is a slippery slope to caffeine addiction. But the bitter, warm, delicious cup every morning is like a comforting hug of a friend who wants to wake you up… Okay, maybe I am obsessed. 

05/Personal Goals
After 15+ years of having one goal: to get a career, you cannot expect me to all of a sudden start living life without goals. With the finish line of one goal, the start line of another follows. Although the race to finish my next goal won’t be as intense and (at times) complicated, I am still determined to reach it and so should you. Always look at ways you can better yourself, your community and your life when you find yourself without a next step.

Sure, it has been a hard couple of weeks getting used to working 8 hours Monday to Friday after working short 5 to 6 hour shifts for months and making myself get out of bed some mornings, but this is the moment I’ve prepared for all my life. The schooling is done, the papers have been graded and this is my moment. I’m not about to waste it.

Until next time,

Tiffany Nobes

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