By Rilind Elezaj

You finally got yourself a college degree. For the past few years, your college campus has been your entire universe. Your life revolves around this educational sanctuary and now the time has come to close this chapter in your life and move on to the next one. The moment college ends, your life will officially change.

But whether you’re attending graduate school or planning to become a life coach, a lot of fresh college grads tend to forget that they have certain habits that may be cool in college but aren’t exactly great for them in the real world. Now that your college years have come and gone, it’s time to grow up and take these college habits out into the curb.

Procrastinating

The first thing that every fresh grad should do is to stop procrastinating. Yeah, it seemed like a good idea in your senior year when you put studying for the finals on hold to attend some raging party, but procrastination in the real world can be more harmful than good. The workplace has no room for any form of procrastination and no, your boss won’t be as considerate as your professor when you explain to them why you haven’t finished your reports. To get rid of procrastination, build the habit of creating a daily or weekly to-do list and reward yourself as you complete each task. Associating something good with completing a task can do wonders for breaking up your procrastination habit.

Partying Too Much, Getting Little Sleep

Partying and getting little sleep may look cool in college, but as you get older, you’ll find that alcohol on a daily basis and getting less sleep is detrimental for your physical and mental well-being. It’s okay to have a social agenda once in a while. The key here is to practice the habit of moderation. Instead of going out for drinks every night after work, lessen the frequency to 1 to 2 nights a week. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Playing Hookie

In college, I was notorious for skipping classes for a number of reasons. But when the real world came, skipping work is not exactly as rewarding or as cool as you think it is. Remember, you’re no longer taking classes but you’re now actually becoming a productive member of society. Your workplace is a community that thrives off on helping one another. You ditching work to watch the Avengers Endgame premiere is not going to be something your boss and your workmates will appreciate.

Friends Come First, Not You

I remember my dad telling me that college friends will be your friends for life. And it’s important to have them in tough times and good times, but nowadays, they’re their own persons and you’re your own person. It’s time for you to put your needs first before others.
And friends can sometimes be too distracting when there’s work to be done, so now you have to practice saying NO whenever they ask you out for drinks. Keep your friends to the weekend and give yourself the entire week to focus, rest, and work.

Eating Unhealthy Food

You probably survived 4 years of college on Monster Energy Drinks, Ramen noodles, and Pizza, unless you’re one of the lucky few who knows how to cook and prepare meals.
Your unhealthy eating tendencies in college, just like drinking, will never work once you start to work. As your body gets older and as you do more complicated tasks, you’ll find that you’ll need every ounce of sustenance that you need to survive. Stop binge-ordering Chinese takeout and start reading food labels to know what you’re actually putting in your mouth.

Being Batman

Batman was notorious for not being a team player. While it may have been cool to always be the lone wolf in college, I’m sorry to tell you that the workplace doesn’t appreciate non-team players. As I mentioned earlier, your workplace is a community and you only succeed if you help one another. It’s time to put aside your sense of independence and start to get involved in activities that require you to work as a group.

Taking On A Lot Of Responsibilities!

In college, you may have been the president of two organizations in one semester and your list of extracurricular activities may have been longer than your courses’ syllabi.
And this may be fine in college, but if you bite off more than you can chew in the workplace, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Having too much on your plate drastically lessens the quality of work you put into these tasks because you’ll drive yourself into overworking and exhausting yourself for no reason. In the workplace, quality always beats quantity. Whenever your boss asks anyone if there’s someone available to do something, think twice before raising your hand.
It never hurts to turn down anything especially if you have a lot on your plate. You’ll thank yourself for that.

Half-Assing Your Way Through Work!

You may have half-assed your way through college by just passing through the cracks, but in the real world, half-assed work will get you nowhere and out fast. And your boss, just like your professors, will know that you provided lackluster quality of work. So try to spend a little more time in whatever it is that your boss or colleagues ask of you. This is a total reflection of who you are as a professional and as a person.

Putting Yourself On Top Of The Pedestal

You may be the top of your class in college, but let me tell you right now that you’re not the smartest person in your office. The sooner you realize that, the better your life will be.
When you realize that you’re not the smartest in the room, you’ll actually find the motivation to be better than them. And there’s no better way to do that than to take failures and criticisms head-on. So if your supervisor tells you that your work was anything but good, take it like a champ, use that failure as stepping stone, and start from experience.

Too Involved In Social Media

There’s no denying that when you were in college, you probably spent a lot of time being too involved in social media. Posting statuses here, uploading photos and memes there.
But now that you’re going to be a professional, it’s time to reduce your social media involvement. No matter how private your profile might be, your potential employers will always find a way to trace your footprints online. I’m not saying that you should deactivate your social media accounts, but you should just keep your social media involvement at a bare minimum or at the very least professional. But the biggest and worst habit that you should break is to be afraid of the real world.

Leaving school behind is a huge change in your life and it can be filled with anxiety. But I guarantee you that your best years have yet to come.

  Rilind Elezaj is a career specialist who trained at Animas Coaching. He helps people make career choices that feel genuinely right for them. When he is not helping others, you can find him exploring the deepness of nature.