Three Realizations I Made When Starting Out On My Own

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It is 8 p.m. the night before my 24th birthday. I am sitting in the living room trying to recover from a brutal CrossFit workout when I realize my emotions are running extra high. Out of nowhere, the realization that Peter Pan's "Neverland" doesn’t actually exist brings chills to my spine. I am actually growing up, and there is nothing I can do to slow down time.    

When I graduated from college last May, I had no clue what the future held. I know lots of college graduates go through the same post-college blues, and like many, I moved back home the week after I graduated. However, I realized within days of my return to Oklahoma that if I didn’t leave immediately, I never would.

I understood at that point in my life that Oklahoma was not my happy place, and I would never forgive myself if I stayed. So, I packed my car and moved to Atlanta without planning a thing. In the first year in my new town, there have been many unexpected life lessons, but there are a few important lessons that stand out:

First, friends make everything easier. I have made amazing friends over the last year, and some were found in the most unexpected places. So join a local gym, get involved in the community, and let old friends set you up with people they know. If there is one thing I know to be true, it’s that good friends are hard to come by. If you have them, hold them tight!

Second, set personal goals. Moving to a big city with no job was terrifying. After graduation, I gave myself the goal of finding a job within a month. Whether that was a part-time barista gig at Starbucks or a full-time corporate job, I needed to get a paycheck.

Third, whenever possible, don’t settle. I didn’t accept the first job I was offered when I moved to Atlanta. I had this feeling I could find something I really enjoyed doing. A few interviews later, I found just the right job with an amazing company.  

The last year has gone by in a blink, and all of a sudden I am not the girl I was a year ago. I never knew it was possible to be this happy. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to let yourself get a little bit lost in order to find your way.

I am just an Oklahoma girl trying to make it in a big city, and I am loving every second of this adventure.

CareerBrittany White