The Korean's Advice for Recent College Graduates

Dear Korean,

Do you have any good life lessons for a recent college grad?


Dear Michael,

First of all, big congratulations on your graduation and everyone's.

The Korean was hoping that he is too young to give "life lessons" to anyone, particularly to those who just graduated college. (The Korean is a class of 2004.) But looking back the last seven years since the Korean's graduation out of college, there definitely is one life lesson that he wishes someone had told him.

The lesson is: don't be in a hurry.

At around age 21-23, the majority of the years in a fresh college graduate's life was spent getting ready for college (to varying degrees, of course.) As a college graduate, one cannot help but feel like having done everything there is to be done, and the only thing that remains is to enjoy the spoils. There will be jobs, money and boy/girlfriends galore at the end of the rainbow.

But of course, that is not true -- especially not in this economy. So the time after college graduation feels like a strange letdown. Everything that was supposed to be waiting for you is not just not there -- you have to go out and earn them, and that process is not any easier than any part of your life you have already experienced. Unless you are among the lucky few, you will find that the huge dreams you once had for yourself will probably not happen in reality. (This is usually the point in life at which going to law/business/medical school in a vain attempt to recapture the college experience becomes increasingly attractive.)

The same type of thing also happens in the dating life. This will usually be the period in your life in which you have a torrid love affair with someone. Being with that person will bring you supreme ecstasy, and getting rejected by or breaking up with that person (which, let me tell you right now, will most likely happen) will feel like death. The time spent being between significant others will feel like trudging in a vast, unending desert.

This is the moment to remember the Korean's advice: don't be in a hurry. Don't despair over the feeling that you are not going anywhere. Things always work themselves out as long as you have a clear goal in mind. If you do not have a clear goal in mind, it is not a waste of time to spend one or two or five years figuring that out. The goal does not have to be anything grandiose -- unless grandiosity is what makes you happy. And when you do figure that out, never let it go. The right boy/girl usually comes along when you finally have a good idea who that right boy/girl is. Same goes with the right career and the right lifestyle.

Once those things are figured out, life just gets really easy. Not easy like not having to try hard, but easy like not having to feel lost all the time. As long as you keep moving toward the goals you set for yourself, life gets better and better every day.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

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