Career: A Talk at Smith College: How to Adult in the Real World | March 2017

“For Smithies and 5-college students only! Please share with your fellow Smithies 🙂

HOW TO ADULT: Are you graduating this year and want some insight on the real world before you jump in head on? Or are you curious about what post-grad life could be like and would like to prepare for it? Either way, you should join us in the CDO on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017. 

We (Jessica Nguyen ’16 and Linh Le ’15) will be hosting an informal talk to share our post-Smith experiences and 10 things you can start doing right now to be more ready after graduation.”



How to Make Friends in the Real World

Fact: No one knows how to make friends in the real world.

I am at this point in life where I’m having all of these self-doubts in myself about my decision to move so far away from the familiar.

For these past few weeks, I have been forcing myself to deny the fact that I may be living in Boston longer than I expected myself to be. I think there’s still a small part of me that believes that my life will be what it’s like before graduation. I’d go back to my house, do some homework in the dining hall, and chill with my friends there and get some laughs until 5am in the morning. You know, no big deal. And then the day repeats.

But then reality hits me and I realize that I won’t be going back to hell school, which should be exciting for me, but it’s not. This is it. This is really it. I didn’t imagine postgrad life to be me being so… lonely.

Don’t get me wrong. I meet and spend time with people all the time, to the point that I don’t even have time for myself (i.e. no sleep). But it’s so weird not being with people who I have grown already comfortable with because they’re the ones who I really miss and want to be around and feel comfortable being a dork with (it’s a tough life not being a dork to everyone you meet).

I just really miss my friends. Yes, we Skype but it’s not the same, even if it’s for 6 hours (how people do long distance relationships, I don’t know). What I really imagined my postgrad life would be like was what you see on Sex and the City. You know, when Carrie and her crew would meet up at least once every week to catch up and share their sex stories during Sunday brunch (except for me, I’d be sharing more PG-rated ones). If not that, us being roommates together living it up in New York City. Sigh, what a life would that be? I think that the unrealistic side of me is hoping that that day would come near when in actuality, the future is so uncertain. What if we grow apart? What if they already found their future close friends? How does one make friends in the real world?

I’ve already started thinking about where my next chapter would be despite the fact that I just got here. The thought of staying in one place for one year is already making me panic. Like, what if I get bored? Or lonely? What if I fail? I honestly really wouldn’t know what I’d do if it wasn’t for my side projects during my free time (probably go on Bumble BFF to find friends. pft).

My problem with how our heteronormative society structures our schedule is that there is no time for us to invest in our time with that many people on a daily basis. Let’s just say that I am not attracted to the idea that we are supposed to invest the majority of our free time in one person in hopes that we end up on that traditional path towards getting married and having a family and claiming that that’s the only path to happiness (and I can go on about the flaws of living in a heteronormative society but that is for another day). Some people can, but I can’t see myself anywhere near that path now.

I can’t help but think that my time in Boston is more just me meeting new people and diving into new spaces before I return to more familiar ones (or at least I hope so).But what if that’s my life now? Constantly meeting new (amazing) people and never really going back to my old routine? Not knowing who I will meet next?

AND A MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION: who’s going to come to my birthday party when everyone’s all over the world? HUH? Because this girl goes all out on her day and she’s not drinking alone.

I guess… I’ll just have to wait and see.

(But, seriously, if you know the ways of making new friends in the real world, please send me those tips!)