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The 8 Most Important Lessons from My First Year Out of College

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1. Don't Maintain Relationships That Don't Serve You
Seriously, don't. That guy you always thought was annoying? That "friend" that was always a total bitch to you? You literally never have to talk to them again if you don't want to. Choose to put energy into the relationships that make you feel strong, positive, and help you grow into the person you want to (and are meant to) become.

2. Experiences are Worth More Than Things
If you're choosing between spending your money on things or experiences, always choose the experience. A $300 dress will only get so much wear, whereas Coachella, a girls weekend, or a trip home to see mom and dad will provide positive memories for the rest of your life.

3. Make New Friends, But Keep the Old
Whereas it's sure to feel like you will never possibly find new friends that come anywhere close to your besties from college, you're likely to be surprised. Yes, there are really, really cool people that went to other schools (even your rival school -- I know, sounds impossible). One of the best surprised of post-grad life is how you still manage to meet new people in the real world, and how you actually manage to become friends without the aid of binge drinking or forced group projects.

4. Find Hobbies
During college, your hobbies are limited to drinking, eating, and maybe a small quotient of attending class. After college, you have time to actually have real hobbies, like reading or painting or yoga. Although you'll be tempted to glue your butt to the couch and watch marathons of Law and Order: SVU, take advantage of your free time and actually do something with it. Not to say maintaining a good relationship with Netflix isn't a respectable way to spend your time ... just maybe not all of it.

5. Evolve Your Wardrobe
Are you the same person you were freshman year of college? Probably not, so you should stop dressing like it. Take chances on the clothes you buy and take advantage of the excuse to stock your closet with work-appropriate attire. If you're going to spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer, you might as well look good doing it.

6. Try New Things
Whether it be a new type of food, a new exercise class, a new after-work activity or just a new bar, push yourself to get out of your typical routine. So many people complain about post-grad life being boring or uneventful, but this is easily avoidable by changing up your go-tos (or at least intermixing some new material).

7. Let Yourself Feel
College is basically four years of nonstop activity -- parties, class, extracurricular activities, gym workouts, eating, studying, fraternity/sorority activities, etc. A lot of emotions build up that you simply don't have time to address and, frankly, it's easier to keep it that way. But with more time on your hands and, more importantly, more time on your own, you're bound to have some repressed (consciously or unconsciously) emotions rise to the surface. Take the time to face these, and be okay with feeling them -- an important part of growing up is learning to acknowledge and sit with your emotions before moving past them.

8. The Fun Isn't Over
Yes, the reckless partying is over (or at least relegated to weekend nights) -- but the fun is not. Apart from the fact that you still have opportunities to go out with your friends, you also discover all sorts of new definitions of "fun" -- going on Groupers, hiking with your best friend, hosting a Saturday pool party. The fun isn't over, it's just slightly different.