- Find Time to Travel
The period between graduation and the start of work is a time of freedom. It is a period where you have very few obligations and things on your mind. Once you start your career, it will be very difficult to find multiple months of break. At the same time, it is the one time where most of your friends will also be free. My recommendation is to take this time to travel. In my case, I was able to travel solo to 11 cities in Europe in the span of 21 days. Many people use traveling just to have fun and relax, while others use it as an opportunity to soul search. Either case, traveling is an eye opening experience, and for some, it is a life changing one.
2. Cherish Your Friendships
College made it really easy to hang out and see your friends. Everyone lived closed to each other, and organizations on campus forced you to socialize. After college, maintaining friendships becomes a much more difficult task. Friends will live in different cities, and have different work and life schedules. It only becomes harder and harder to maintain those relationships as we grow older. My recommendation is that once work starts, make the effort to see your friends and to make new ones. You’ll always need them and they’ll need you.
3. Challenge Yourself
Once you start to get into the routine of work, it is really easy to be content with where you are. But the moment this happens, you might find yourself stuck in the same role for a long time. For some people that is fine, they enjoy routine and they enjoy where they are in life. However, I believe that if you want to grow as an individual, you must challenge yourself. Place yourself in situations where you need improvements on, because that is where you will learn the most.
4. Do Something You Enjoy
Since you don’t have tests to worry about or projects to turn in, you can focus on doing things you’ve always wanted to do for fun after work and on weekends. Some of the DTLPs I know have joined different sport leagues, while others have even joined the local concert band. I personally have decided to start picking up photography again. It does not matter what it is, but try to occupy yourself with things outside of work, because life is not just about work.
5. Be Happy
For most of your life, you’ve worked your way to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you’re older?” Now that you’ve graduated, and you’re a working adult, you must find out what will fill that void of what is next. This is different for everyone. Don’t be afraid if you don’t know what it is. Be patient, but mindful and it will all come to you. As long as you are patient, you will find happiness with where you are in life. If you know what will fill that void, then chase it, but still remain patient. Because life is short, but it isn’t a race. You aren’t competing with anyone but yourself.
About the author
Eric Quach is a first rotation DTLP working in San Ramon, California with GE Digital as a full stack developer. He graduated from UC Berkeley and his interests include traveling and photography.