In the previous part of this series, I talked about how college is similar to the tutorial of a video game. If you have not read that part, feel free to check that out first. Now think back to that video game. Remember the excitement you get after having finished the tutorial and the eagerness you have to finally enter the open world. But now what? In this part of the series, I will continue the analogy about how post-grad life is similar to an open-world game. I will also provide several tips for navigating this stage of life.
An Open-World Game
Let me explain some reasons why post-grad life is like an open-world game.
1. There are no step-by-step instructions.
As soon as you enter into the open world, you will notice one thing. There are no longer any step-by-step instructions on what you need to do. There’s no tutorial to tell you exactly what you need to do or what buttons to press. You will notice the same about life as a post-grad. There is no longer a defined structure of college. You no longer have classes or assignments to tell you exactly what you need to get done, but it is completely open for you to decide.
2. The possibilities are endless.
Open-world games are called open for a reason. There are endless possibilities for ways that you can play the game. Whether you want to explore the world, do a quest, or fight some monsters, everything is fair game. The same once again applies to life after graduating. You are met with an open world and the freedom to choose whatever you want to do. You are no longer confined to the boundaries of college. This can be an exciting but also scary transition in your life that I will talk about later.
3. You define your own success
During the tutorial, you know exactly what the end goal is. To learn how to play the game and finish the tutorial. Once you transition to the open world, there is no longer a defined end goal. Hence you will need to define your own goals for success. Whether you want to level up to a certain level, achieve some kind of record, or complete different quests, those are goals that you define yourself. The same applies to life after college, you need to define your own success. You need to set your own goals because no one is going to tell you exactly what to do.
In the next part, I will share some tips to succeed in the open world.
How to succeed
Now that I’ve talked a little about how post-grad can be similar to open-world games, here are a couple of tips for navigating this season of your life.
1. Accept that you don’t know everything.
Finishing the tutorial can be a big transition. The tutorial only teaches you the very basics of the game, hence a lot of what it looks like to play the game is still unknown. This can be difficult and challenging at first, and with so many possibilities this can get very overwhelming. In the real world, whether you are starting a new job or just navigating post-grad life, the same can apply. You may feel lost, and it might be easy to compare yourself with those around you.
It is so important in these moments to remember that it’s okay to not know everything. At the end of the day, you only know what you know, and a part of navigating this season is accepting that and moving forward. This is all a part of the process of learning, and these things come with time and experience. Know that no one else is expecting you to know everything, so take your time to learn.
2. Learn everything you can.
Take your time to soak in the new world. There will be so many new things but also many new opportunities to learn and dig deeper. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn from others, especially those that have more experience than you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and receive feedback. This is all super important to growing, learning, and navigating this season of your life. Especially as a new grad, since no one is expecting you to know everything. This is the perfect time to learn everything that you can.
3. Define your goals.
When entering into the open world or post-grad life, it is important to define your goals. The open world can be overwhelming because there are so many things to do and so many things to learn. That means it’s helpful to define some goals that can create more tangible milestones of success. By defining these goals, you can navigate this season step by step instead of being overwhelmed by everything all at once. This will help keep you motivated and excited to learn and enjoy what you do.
Try to set goals that are not too easy. Easy goals quickly lose their appeal and satisfaction. If you didn’t have to work hard to achieve it, it’s not going to feel as rewarding. On the other hand, setting goals that are unreasonable, can be discouraging when you fail to be able to reach them. Try to set goals in the middle where they are not too easy but still challenging and meaningful to achieve. Set goals that you are proud of.
Open World: What’s Next?
What comes next is up to you! That’s the exciting part about the open world. Everyone has a different journey and a unique story. You get to pave the way yourself. As you have been following this two-part series, hopefully, you have learned some helpful tips for navigating this period of life. Even if not, I hope that this drawn-out analogy has been interesting and enjoyable to follow along with. Have any thoughts, additional tips, or an interesting story to share? Leave them down in the comments below!