“I did everything I was supposed to do. Why the hell am I here?” — many young people pissed off at their situations.
How did I end up here?
This is a very common question. Too common. The situation and the question are usually the same. You don’t know what went wrong. You did everything you were supposed to. Yet, you’re not happy.
I’ve covered what to do after college here in great detail because it’s a topic that I take seriously since I’m in that demographic!
Let’s look at some key insights for those of us in our 20s.
The old rules for success in life…
We’re taught to accept the following process from a young age:
- Be a good boy or girl in high school.
- Get into a reputable school.
- Study hard for four years.
- Earn a degree.
- Find a high paying job.
- Find someone you love and get married and live happily ever after.
Well, it turns out that not everything’s okay. Following this process won’t lead to happiness.
I take education very seriously and I’m always researching and digging up whatever I can. This article at Forbes about a college education once again opened my eyes.
There are two key stats that really stuck out to me:
Nearly half of grads from four-year colleges are working in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.
In 2011, 1.5 million, or 53.6% of college grads under age 25 were out of work or underemployed.
That’s really depressing. You go to school for four years, spend all of that time, money and energy, only to end up with a gig that didn’t require it.
This then leads to an interesting question…
Are we all screwed in our 20s?
Not at all. I’ve got amazing news for you.
I hope that we all get screwed often in a good way. We’re not screwed though when it comes to life.
I need to share something with you.
These are insights that nobody else will share with you because it’s not good for their bottom line.
Right now is the best time to ever be alive. Look at how easy everything is, how accessible things are, and what you can do (I’m learning Spanish on my phone for free!).
You don’t have to start an online business or use the Internet to make money. However, you can exploit the Internet for all of its free tools and resources.
- You might not get the job you want after college, but this doesn’t mean that college was a waste of time.
- College is a great opportunity to grow, party, learn, and figure things out.
- College is not a job making factory. You don’t get handed a job on the way out.
- You’re not owed anything.
- You can go back to school or upgrade your skills. If your degree sucks, well, you’ve got to do something about this.
- You don’t have to attend college. If you can find a high paying gig, work for your family, start a business, or do anything else after high school, you should.
- You might have to relocate to find work. Maybe you’re just in the wrong town?
- You can graduate debt free. I did it. If I can do it, anyone can.
If you never read Studenomics again, I hope that you remember these insights.
It’s common to be dead broke after college. This doesn’t mean that your life is over. You’ll get over this hump. You’ll make more money in the future and have a better life. If you stay broke forever, that’s on you. Nobody is stopping you from working.
I already notified you of the extreme work ethic alert. Get out there and work.
What you do to survive and thrive in your 20s?
I have three key tips here: take accountability, work on your own projects, and see the world.
You’ve seriously got to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
The world doesn’t owe you anything. You can’t expect to walk into Google, slap the owner across the face and take their seat. That won’t happen.
You have to do things differently. If whatever you’re doing right now isn’t landing you results, you need to try something else. Stop wasting time!
If you can’t find a job, you can create one.
Nobody is stopping you from working for yourself. What’s your excuse?
This doesn’t have to be full-time or the next Facebook. It can be a small blog, a service you do in your community, or music lessons in your living room.
You also really need to see more than just your hometown.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page.” — Saint Augustine.
You can be your own travel agent and plan a trip. There’s so much to see out there. There’s so much learning to do. You just can’t hang around the same crowd forever. You’ve got to switch it up and see what’s out there.
And before you even yell at me — I know, you’re broke.
That’s no excuse. I have an awesome piece on here about how you can land a teaching gig abroad. Travel doesn’t mean drinking beers on the beach. It can and should involve work. Visiting random churches is great for your grandparents.
If teaching isn’t your thing, there are tons of other jobs you can find abroad. That’s another topic for another day.
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill.
That’s what your college won’t tell you about life after college.
Are there any lessons that you had to learn the hard way? Anything you want to share with us?
2 thoughts on “What Your Parents Never Told You About Life in Your 20s”
Thank you for saying “the world doesn’t owe you anything”. I think that is one of the harder concepts for recent grads and Millennials to grasp. Sure the tech we’ve all become used to is blazing fast but real life success is not. It takes time to build a name for yourself in the real world and you’ve got to work hard and earn your money, it isn’t handed out.
Yup I totally agree. I was talking to a classmate recently and they were bashing the school we graduated from. They blamed the school for their current job. Well, I hate it break it to you, but your school doesn’t guarantee you anything. Sure it plays a role in what happens next, but you have to do things on your own.