The learning is just beginning when college life ends

10/5/2013

Growing up can be a little scary.

Growing up can be a little scary.

My daughter and her boyfriend are seniors in college, and in a few short months will move onto the next stage in their lives.

For Claire, graduating from one college means heading to another.

For Trevor, it means finding a job.

It takes me back to that time in my life.

After being insulated from the real world my entire life, it was time to find a job, pay my bills and be responsible for every aspect of my life.

That was scary.

While looking for a job, I wondered where I'd end up. Would I make enough money to pay my bills, and was I ready for the real world?

As much as youth is worshipped in this country, there's a lot to be said for getting older and being more comfortable in your own skin.

Many college graduates have the same concerns, and each spring the marketplace is inundated with thousands of these young people looking for work.

We all face it, and we all have to find our way in the world.

It's a big transition going from college life, learning to be on your own, to being pushed out of the campus nest where you have to grow up quickly.

While in college, I mistakenly thought I was in the real world.

I thought being responsible for myself without the help and prodding of my parents equated being on my own.

College is so different from working for a living.

College is still school, and school is something we have been going to since we were 4 or 5 years old.

There's a big difference between having a teacher get on you and having your boss upset with you.

College prepares you as much as it can for the work world, but you learn the first day on the job that things are different.

As scary as it is, as much of an adjustment as it is, you quickly learn that you can adapt and adjust from the classroom to work.

You get to use the skills you learned in college.

You get to test yourself and prove to yourself that you are ready for adulthood.

Whenever I started a new job, whether it was my first or latest job, I couldn't wait for a year to go by because by then I would feel more comfortable in my new surroundings.

That year goes by quickly.

My first year in Humphrey, Neb., flew by. When our one-year anniversary came up, I couldn't believe it.

There was so much to learn and so much to do, the pages on the calendar kept flipping without me realizing a year had come and gone.

My wife and I talk about how we've settled into the business, our new house and new community.

It'll be that way for Claire and Trevor.

While Claire still will be in school, she'll have to adjust to a new school, new town and learning new skills.

Trevor will find a job and make the adjustments from college student to working stiff.

They'll be nervous and out of their comfort zone, and they'll find they are capable of great things.

That's what it is all about: growing up and pushing yourself to new heights.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.

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