I Just Found Out There's No Such Thing as the Real World

The further I get from college (sniff) the more I realize that reality is not actually a thing. What I mean by that is this: what works for me is completely different from what works for you. What makes me happy may be the total opposite of what makes you happy. Sure, we all want the same basic things out of life. Everyone wants to have friends and to find a good relationship and to have a job they like that makes them feel fulfilled. But there’s no formula for the way we go about achieving these things. For some people, staying in the city where they grew up is the secret to the success. Other people are all about graduating and dropping everything to move to L.A. Like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, there’s no wrong way to do it.

Sometimes it feels like you should take all the advice that’s thrown your way when it comes to making a choice. This is especially true if you’re uncertain about that particular decision. But while it feels like other people’s thoughts are helpful, many times it makes things more complicated because what works for someone else may be wrong for you.

I used to rely heavily on other people’s thoughts as I navigated my first job switch. I would ask my friends, “Would I like this job? Would I be good at this?” And I’ll admit, I still do this to a certain extent, but I’m realizing that a job my friend thinks would be torturous (writing all day) is something I love. While another friend would rather live in her parents’ basement forever than suffer through Chicago’s snowy winters, I’d like nothing more than to get to live in that city some day. Everyone has a different standard when it comes to defining a dream job, dream city, dream relationship, and dream life in general. If you let everyone’s opinion weigh too heavily on your own decisions, you might miss out on a great opportunity or make a choice that isn’t what you actually need.

Listen to friends’ and family members’ opinions, they know you well and may be able to offer insight that you don’t have, but don’t disregard your own intuition and desires. Just because it’s not what they would want, it doesn’t mean that it won’t make you completely happy.

How do you balance other people’s advice and knowledge of your personality with your own gut instincts?

Also! Check out my new piece for The College Crush called “The Important Differences Between Love and Attachment.” Many thanks.

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  1. Great post, I completely agree! My job search after college involved way too many thoughts of friends and family, and finally I realized friends who kept suggesting sales positions because they pay more didn’t really know me at all because I would hate it! I now have a job that I really like. 🙂

    • ljmlevine says:

      Thanks, Lynsee! I’m really glad you found a job you like. It’s so easy to quickly take other people’s advice, especially if you have no idea what to do and are desperate for a job. I can definitely relate to that. But, like you said, this can lead you to doing something that would ultimately make you unhappy. Sales jobs are definitely not for everyone, so it’s good you didn’t take those suggestions to heart even if the jobs do pay better. Glad to hear you found something that makes you happy. That’s awesome!

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