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filling space and taking new shape: a post-graduation check in!

In the last month, I've realized how fast time flies.

I graduated exactly one month from today. It feels so crazy and insane to even say that because it feels like it just happened yesterday.

The excitement, the nerves (both good and bad), the bitter-sweet of finishing a chapter, and the joy of starting a new one.

Getting ready,

cap and gown on,

walking across the stage,

and now I can say that I have a Bachelor's degree in English.

Still waiting for the actual diploma though, what's that about?

Every moment leading up to it was beyond exciting and once it was over, I realized that moment was not only the last of my college experience, it was the first of the rest of my life.

Since then, I've gone to New Orleans, travelled overseas to half a dozen countries in two weeks, got ENGAGED in Amsterdam, enrolled in a new school for Esthetics, chosen a completely different career path, and somehow found a new place to live all while going with the flow and rolling with the waves that life is cruising my way.

All

within

a month.

Which, as busy as that all sounds, I'm inviting it all in.

If you've gone through this season in life, or are going through it right now, I feel like you understand how quickly the world floods your life the second you walk off your college campus for the last time as a student.

Like I've already said, it's INSANE. The best kind of insane, but it can be overwhelming at times, too.

And if you're not going through this season right now, I hope that by sharing my life, you can take something positive from it as well.

So, like everything else I write and share with you, I felt like this is something worth talking about because of how not talked about it is.


No one really talks about the post-grad life on a real level.

Like, the real, real.


From my experience, I always thought that once you graduate from college, you get a job, somehow find a new place to live somewhere else, make new friends, pick up new hobbies, learn some secret no one ever shares, and become an adult seemingly overnight.

That's how the world makes it out to be.

That's how society makes it out to be.

And if you don't,

you've got to be doing something wrong.

I'm here to tell you, whether you're reading this as someone who is currently in college, just graduated like me, or graduated some time ago, that's simply not the truth.


Right now,

it feels both vastly unknown and incredibly exciting working to fill all of these new spaces in my life.


With all of the change going on in my life and all around me, it kind of feels like a whirlwind of events and feelings and late night talks are all flying by me faster than I can take them in.

These new spaces are both physical and emotional, like growing pains that you just can't quite put your finger on even though you feel them from time to time.

Whether that be moving to a new city, into a new home, or growing into new spaces within myself emotionally. Becoming a real adult sometimes feels like I'm looking around and I don't even know what's the hell is going on.

And as scary as that sounds,


It's all starting to take shape.


For the majority of my life, I've been a student.

I put my identity in being a student,

getting good grades,

being in extracurriculars,

all that stuff.

Every single one of my friends, both before and during college, I met as student.

My best friends,

my sorority sisters,

my ✨ fiancé ✨ (shoutout Ian),

people that I call family, they've all come into my life throughout my academic career.

A lot of what makes me, me, are experiences that I had as a student.

Do you see where I'm going with this yet?

After I walked across that stage at graduation, I realized really quickly that my identity couldn't be rooted in being a student anymore, even though I'm going back to school for Esthetics very soon : ).

Now, I'm finding new ways to shape my identity and grow beyond what I've known before.

By growing into these new spaces in my life, I think that journey has already begun. New growth sparks new growth, and in this season of life, I'm convinced that's what it's all about.

That, and finding a career, job, home, purpose, etc.


Since graduating, I've actually been waking up feeling like I have more of a purpose in life than I ever have.


I will tell you, the scary dreams about missing a final or not turning in an assignment are REAL. I wish I was kidding, but even with those creepy little college nightmares, it feels SO good to feel that sense of purpose in life in such a new and fresh way.

There's something about the all of the changes, even though they can feel scary at times, that feel like coming up for air and feeling every single weight lift off of my shoulders.

It's the brand new feelings and exciting future that feels like


suddenly,

all of that work was worth it.


Because, now I'm here, getting to do life the way I want to.

Starting a new and true life the way I choose to build it with the people I choose to surround myself with.

It's powerful and beautiful and enriching.

When I tell you it's the best feeling ever, I mean it.

If you're here in a similar place, I hope you're feeling that, too. Even though there are moments of worry and fear of the unknown, the feeling of freedom and the joy that comes with everything new coming your way is unmatched.

If you're in college now, I hope these words resonate in some way or another. Whether that's giving a new perspective or insight on what life looks like or even unravelling the ridiculous stigma about post-grad life that I'm sure you've felt at some point, I hope this helps. I know it may feel like a million years away, but believe me, you blink and it's over. So, soak it up and let it all in while you're in this moment.


And, hey, if you need to, come back to this post whenever you need a reminder that it will all be okay.


Xx.


bella (beelo)



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