College is … over

College is … over

Oh, the dreadful transition from college to the real world. Is it really as daunting as some make it seem? My answer is: maybe. Sorry I cannot be more definitive, but it really depends on the person. I knew what to expect coming out of college and starting my career in the hospitality industry: the long hours, working weekends and holidays, and the fact that I wouldn’t be doing the most glorious of work. Like I said, though, I expected that because I had past experience. This transition could be a real shocker for someone coming straight out of the blissful ignorance of college.  

But, please, do not fret! The real world is very rewarding and, yes, it is still fun. It is all about how you choose to make the transition. 

Coming out of college with a negative attitude will translate into negative experiences. Personally, I was ready to get out of college once graduation came around because I did not waste those years. I had the best time of my life in college, and I have plenty of friends that can vouch for me on that subject. (I won’t go into details.) 

Please, if you’re still in college, live it up to its fullest potential. If you do this, when it is time to graduate, you will feel ready, prepared and excited for the next chapter of your life. So, right now if you’re feeling like you have missed out on something, there’s still time! Enjoy these years and the freedom that comes with them. 

Getting back to the transition into this wonderful industry: It is extremely important to not give up the things you love. Whether it’s reading, singing, dancing, drawing … please find time to keep these activities in your life. I was nervous that my gym regimen was going to take a serious blow when I started working. Luckily, this was not the case. I rely heavily on time-management skills (something I lacked in college) and determination to stay on a steady gym schedule. This usually means getting up earlier, which is not easy (especially for a 7 a.m. shift), but it is well worth it for my overall sanity. Keeping these hobbies in your life will help make the transition much easier. Continuity on some levels is key.  

Second, work and fun are not two separate realms. After all, this industry is all about fun! I can honestly say I do have a lot of fun at work. The back of the house can be a very entertaining place. And trust me, some of the things you will witness in the front of the house will make for some excellent stories. Remember, it is all what you make of it.

Another thing you will find is a larger appreciation for the little things in life. Sleeping in on your day off, getting a card or gift from a happy guest or going out to a great lunch with a coworker can be so uplifting. Don’t let the kid in you die when you start to be a “grown-up.” 

Finally, it is so easy to lose touch with friends from college, but I cannot stress enough how important these relationships are. A couple weekends ago I had the opportunity to go back to college for the first time since graduation for a home football game. All my good friends and I coordinated the outing, and we had a blast! It was so great to hear what everyone was doing with their lives and reminisce about old times. Plus, you have money now! Spend it (wisely) and enjoy the financial comfort of a career. 

You will spend a lot of time at your property, but there is still a world outside to be explored and experienced. Try to stay in the mindset that you are working to live, not living to work.