I Miss College

11 Mar

On Saturday, my friend Julie and I presented on adjusting from college life to the “real world” at the Women’s Leadership Conference. Although it wasn’t well-attended, our presentation went smoothly.

The small crowd we had looked interested and laughed with us. Some of them even took notes!

I Miss College

Julie is hilarious and presenting with her was fun and laid back. Picking out GIFs for our powerpoint was out of control.

I thought I would share some of the highlights of our presentation in case you are getting ready to transition to your first real job. Or if you just want to remember that awkward time early in your career where you felt like you were doing everything wrong.

First off, college is awesome. We loved it. But having a job? It’s not so bad.


Ok, it’s not totally like Beyonce either, but you know what I mean.

Be realistic in your voluntary workload. Joining every committee and taking on every extra project that comes your way is hard sometimes. Be sure you can get your work done well, then take on new responsibilities.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to be a “yes” person when your supervisor asks you to do something. Establish a reputation as a person who can get things done. When tasks are added to your plate, don’t do this:


Make lists: list of what you have done, list of goals, list of career aspirations, list of things you like about your job and list of things you could change. Make all of these lists and more in Google Docs (they should really sponsor this blog).

Remember names. Then use them in conversation. Saying you’re not good with names is pathetic. Get good.

As for workplace behavior, become a morning person, get there on time, act like you love it (hopefully you actually love it and there is relatively no acting involved).

Perfect your stone face. Some people have the worst ideas (aka ones that are opposite of your genius ones). Those people might share them in a meeting. Whatever you do, do not do this:


Use your stone face and maybe add a little nod. Let them know you are listening and carefully considering it. It’s unprofesh to sigh, roll your eyes (my worst habit) or look upset when people are making suggestions. Save it for your Google Doc entitled “Feelings.”

Julie introduced me to PoGo, an abbrev for Positive Gossip. It’s chance to praise people when they do something awesome, especially when they aren’t around. Become know for your compliments, not snarky remarks. Be like this:


Making friends after college is awkward and sorta hard. We recommend becoming friends with your friend’s friends. Try new things, but please be alert for stranger danger.


One of our reoccurring themes was to read The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay. Julie recommend it to me, and it may have changed my life, or at least my view of my right now. She talks about giving purpose to your 20’s while planning for the rest of your life.

Dr. Jay stresses the importance of Individual Capital, the skills and experiences you have. Especially in your 20’s, you are constantly building and refining it. It opened my eyes to how I spend my time and what I want my future to look like. Everyone should really read it today.


We also touched on budgets, dressing professionally and getting involved in the community.  Here’s the full powerpoint, in case these GIFs aren’t enough for you.

What advice would you give grads?


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