7 Things I’ve Noticed One Year After Graduation

One year ago, I finished college. After 20 years of formal education, I’ve now been a “real person” for a year. Here’s what I’ve noticed about this new life so far:

1. I have a lot more free time.

10301365_10101674211069569_1594739243520653753_nI’ve never had so many free evenings and weekends in my life. While I fundamentally don’t agree with an “8 to 5” job, it sure is nice clocking out in the afternoon and not thinking about work until the next morning. In college, homework and projects and studying were always on my mind. No clocking out.

2. I have more money than I’ve ever had in my life.

This one is a gimme. During college you can’t work much more than 15 hours a week, and your expenditures are always more than your income (unless you’re my little brother Braden and get paid a bajillion dollars per semester to go to school). Luckily, I still spend like a college student, but I make money like a boss. My bank account is happy.

3. Nobody cares about my GPA.

In middle school, high school, and college, I never once got a B. I worked for that. And I admit that the high school grades saved me a lot of money. But after getting into college, it hasn’t mattered a bit. Having interviewed people myself now, I 1004715_10101301345165829_947404012_nrealize how little I even care about a graduate’s GPA when I’m looking to hire them. Why would I? I care much more about their personality and their skills than I do about how much they worked their teachers’ systems. I’ll never regret getting straight A’s (since it fed my competitive cravings), but it has been interesting to realize that moving forward nobody cares about it and probably never will.

4. Nobody cares about my major.

In college, for whatever reason, everyone seemed to emphasize how important it was to choose the right major. It seemed like our major would determine the next 50 years of our lives. Not the case. Most of my co-workers majored in stuff completely unrelated to what they’re doing now. The fact of the matter is that in the workplace you need to learn and execute work-specific skills and tasks. And 90% of these things are things you don’t learn in school. So unless you’re a nurse or a highly-specified engineer, you can major in whatever you want and be just fine. After a year in the workplace, nobody asks what my major is, I rarely use things I learned in my major, and I find myself wishing I had majored in something cooler like acting or philosophy.

5. It’s much harder to stay in shape.

579688_10101068571007109_1046171410_nWhat do you get when you drive to work, sit all day, go out to lunch all the time, and get home and are too tired to do anything but relax? Fat. I didn’t realize how much being a student got me moving! Turns out that all of that walking and standing and stressing helps you lose weight. For the first time in my life, I have to consciously set aside time to exercise and stay in shape.

6. It’s much harder to stay involved in the things I love.

602213_497263963669483_464028096_nStudents have no idea how lucky they are to have things like theatre and intramurals and clubs and dances and social groups and friends just handed to them on a platter. This past year I haven’t really been involved in…anything? No singing groups or plays or frisbee teams. Sure, it’s mostly my fault. I know there’s stuff out there in the community. But it has sure as heck not been spoon-fed to me. Leaving college really makes you look in the mirror and ask yourself who you are and what activities you want to keep in your life (since now it takes a lot more effort). On the other hand, I have had a lot more time to travel and write and pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. That’s been nice.

7. I haven’t really changed as a person.

Sure, my identity of “student” is gone (along with the greatly-missed discounts); and I’m a little richer, a little pudgier, and a little more carefree, but I’m still Travis. I still have my same quirks and hobbies and habits. And thanks to facebook, I still have my friends and acquaintances. And of course, my family dynamics haven’t changed a bit.


Perhaps the biggest surprise after a year of being a graduate, is how little has actually changed, after all.




10 Responses

  1. Wade Anderson (@waderyan27)
    | Reply

    Haha I love this. Here’s a couple I would add: most professors are not as well known and respected outside of campus as they are inside of campus; few people care if you won business competitions; you don’t win a lot of money at business competitions; there are lots of ways to do things, especially outside of what you are taught in school; I still learn a ton when i’m done with school;

    • Travis Hancock
      | Reply

      Thanks Wade! Great additions, especially from a business perspective. I’m already sculpting out a future blog post in my mind about how a college education should change to more of an apprenticeship type of style. More practical application, less academia. There’s got to be a better way to help us realize what’s out there before jumping in!

  2. Dantley Frehner
    | Reply

    You are one awesome guy! Love the article Travis. I certainly can learn a lot from you and look forward in doing so. Keep on doing what you do!

  3. dbasinger
    | Reply

    Great post! It is so fascinating to reflect on the things that were really important during school (high GPA, major, getting the job offer with a slightly higher salary, getting a cool internship, winning the class competition)… and now are not. I am glad I worked hard in school, but I have a lot more fun focusing on the present and future than reliving the past.

    • Travis Hancock
      | Reply

      Amen to all of that. It’ll be interesting 5 years from now looking back and remembering what we thought was important now. Funny how priorities and focus is always shifting. Shall it shift to England next?? 🙂

  4. Shayne Clarke
    | Reply

    Nice to see you still writing–and writing well!

    • Travis Hancock
      | Reply

      Thanks Shayne! I owe it all to M Com 320! 🙂 And actually, now that I think about it, your class was one of the most “real-life” of my college career. I appreciate that!

  5. Jacob Hilton
    | Reply

    Interesting insights, thanks for sharing! I’m just curious what you mean by saying you ‘fundamentally don’t agree with an “8 to 5″ job’—care to elaborate your thoughts a bit more?

    • Travis Hancock
      | Reply

      Oh don’t worry, there will be plenty of blog articles coming up about my philosophy’s about day jobs and careers. More to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *