Why Your Life Feels So Ungratifying After College

You’ll be mesmerized by how it rises with a single touch.

There’s this idea that we have when going through school that we just can’t shake even after we graduate. We get success in school by studying hard, doing reports, taking tests. In other words, we get credit for knowing in school. In the real world, on the other hand, we get success by building, creating, and collaborating. In the real world, we get credit for doing.

That gap between knowing and doing is never bridged in school. We leave a world where knowing the right answer matters to a world where doing the right thing matters and we’re lost. Sometimes, I honestly long for the days of seeing a big A on the top of my paper and feeling the satisfaction that comes from getting the right answers. Oh how I dread networking, projects and… performance reviews.

The reason so many of us millennials feel unsatisfied with adult life is that we literally were not prepared for it. Take a look at these soft skills that employers desire and think of how many of them you actually learned in school.



      Problem Solving

     Emotional Intelligene

     Adaptability & Flexibility





Managing Up / Schmoozing

What percentage of what you learned in school actually matters now? Did you learn grit, tenacity, mental toughness? There is so much about work that is not learned in school. The idea that millennials should somehow adapt to an environment that is totally different from what they learned over 12-16 years of schooling is unrealistic.  Kids leave an environment where they spend a week learning something and an hour being tested on what they learned. Then, they enter a workforce that is results-oriented. Knowing no longer matters, the results that you bring to the table is what is important. In the workforce, you must apply everything you’ve learned in school and then some. Add office politics into the mix and we’re completely ill-prepared.

Let’s be real, the stuff we need in the real world isn’t on the test in college, it isn’t on the SATs. Being adaptable, developing thick skin, learning how to deal with “difficult people” isn’t the type of stuff we learn in school, but it is everything to life. So the next time you realize how much you hate your job, just realize that you spent at least 12 years sitting in a seat listening to an adult who was supposed to be preparing you for life, but didn’t. So if you learn nothing from this post, learn this: Life starts when school ends.

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Alison the Writer
Alison is an avid book reader and great writer for CA. Her favorite thing to do is watch Youtube videos and spend time with her family.