How to live life when you don’t know what to do
So you’re about to graduate, or you’ve just graduated, you don’t have a job, and you haven’t prepped yourself for post-graduate studies.
Uncertainty. Inconsistency. What the f*** should you do?
You don’t have to stress too much because many people go through this. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Since graduating, I’ve spent my time applying for jobs that never materialised to regretting what I decided to study at university. We’ve all been through this at one point in our lives.
What I realised was that after university, all consistency in my life had vanished and I needed something to keep me motivated. That’s when I tried to get the consistency back into my life; and you can too, with five simple habits.
Stay fit and healthy
The best way to kickstart your post-university life is to stay fit and healthy. Fitness has always been an essential part of my life, and I’ve always enjoyed sports and working out. From a very young age, I’ve participated in loads of individual and team sports, and that passion continues to this day.
If you’re into going to the gym or doing yoga, then sweet! You’re doing great! But if you have a tough time being active, I suggest starting an activity with a solid community. Climbing, Crossfit and Running are all great sports, with great active communities that will support and push you to your goals. Additionally, you will also develop skills that are easily transferable to your professional or personal life.
Try to stay away from fast food and excessive drinking — you’re not getting any younger, and hangovers get worse.
Not only will you become stronger and more fit, but you will also be adding a lot of much-needed consistency back into your life. Furthermore, adding mini achievable goals can boost your confidence and increase brain function.
But health isn’t all about fitness. It’s about how you fuel your body too. Having a daily eating routine of well-balanced meals is super important. Regardless of your diet, whether it be vegan, keto, vegetarian, or whatever else you prefer — MAKE SURE YOU’RE EATING RIGHT!
Try to stay away from fast food and excessive drinking — you’re not getting any younger, and hangovers get worse. On top of that, we all know how hard it is when you drink all night and grab 20 McNuggets on the way home.
Also eat as many natural foods, like fruit and vegetables, as possible. They’re low in calories and high in all the good stuff our body needs to survive. If you can, try and eat as sustainably as possible too. We must stay healthy and keep our planet healthy too.
Learn a new skill
Since graduating from university, one of the things that kept me going was continuing to learn new skills. Trying to learn new skills helped me understand what I enjoyed doing and what I hated doing. It helped me explore new hobbies, personal development exercises and job opportunities.
You’re in your 20’s. This is the time to experiment!
New skills can range from learning how to code or cook to learning how to play the piano. Mastering a new skill can bring out something in you that you never knew.
You could find out that the meaning of life is carpentry, and that you love to build craft furniture. You’re in your 20’s. This is the time to experiment! No matter what you decide to attempt, acquiring a new skill or building on old ones can lead to benefits in life. Like with a consistent fitness and health regime, learning a new skill can boost your confidence and challenge your mind to work in more creative ways.
There are loads of online platforms where you can learn new things like Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera. So do some research and try to find the best platform for you.
If you can, freelance.
Freelancing. Remote work. Side hustling.
How do you get into it?
Well, the first step is to figure out if you have something to offer. If you’ve learned a new skill (like I said in the section above), or have something you think you can get paid for, then try and find that out.
Do you like writing? Try writing for online publications. Do you love graffiti in your city? Be a graffiti tour guide. Do you enjoy arts & crafts? Maybe start a store on Shopify.
Always remember, people, pay you for what you’re good at. You never know, maybe this can turn into your primary source of income one day.
During university, I taught myself how to use and make music on Logic X Pro (a popular music production program). So I knew that I had some skills with audio.
So I made a list of ways I can make money by using the skills I had learned from producing music: Video game music production, jingle production, or being a specialist audio editor for filmmakers.
Then it hit me, podcasts.
The skills were easily transferable, and all I had to do was learn more about podcasts and how they worked — which was super easy to find online.
Now I’m lucky enough to be working on a fantastic podcast called Curious Humans by Jonny Miller!
The best way to get your name out there is to create a website/online portfolio to showcase your work. There are also websites like Fiverr and UpWork where you can post gigs, and people can hire you.
Practising mindfulness or meditating can have an excellent effect on day-to-day life. You can reduce stress and anxiety while at the same time, exploring yourself and keeping your mind healthy.
Tips for practising mindfulness:
- Set a time limit — Setting a time limit is an excellent way to bring you back from the depths of your mind, while also serving as a useful training tool for newbies in meditation. To start, try some 1–5-minute breathing exercises!
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down — one of the essential aspects of meditation is the environment you choose to practice. Sure, you could practice on a busy train ride to the city, but having a specific space to meditate is heaps better. The quieter, the better.
- Begin to notice your body — First of all, you do not have to sit cross-legged or be in the buddha pose. Try to sit or lay comfortably in a position that you can hold for the entirety of your mindfulness practice. Be in a position that you feel is best.
- Breathe deeply — Bring attention to the feeling of the air you breathe in and out. What helps me is bringing my attention to the flow of air, in and out of my nostrils.
- Noticing a wandering mind and making it come back — Don’t worry too much if your mind decides to wander. It’s entirely reasonable for you to drift away. What’s important is that you remember to come back to yourself and recenter.
There are loads of videos online that can guide you through the process, while you also have various apps available as well. I like using Calm for short practices, while an app like rain rain rain can help set the mood with background sounds and white noise. If you’re an Apple Watch user, you’ll probably know how useful and straightforward the Breathe app can be.
Additionally, you could use an app like Habitica or Productive to keep track of a daily habit you want to start — or want to get rid of.
Journal, Journal, Journal
Something that I wish I had during university was a journaling habit. You could say I was… pretty relaxed with deadlines, and a journal would have helped a lot.
A Journalling habit can have an incredibly positive impact on your life. Firstly, it allows you to keep track of your day to day tasks which can further help you accomplish your long term goals. Secondly, it’s an excellent form of self-expression and self-release, especially with a daily habit.
There are many different types of journaling techniques, like freewriting and bullet journaling. You’ll need to experiment with a few before you finally settle on a style. The bullet journal format has been my favourite so far because of how easy it is to use and how customisable it can be — loads of people get very creative with it on Instagram. It’s also such a simple concept that a 7-year-old could use it.
Another option you could go for is to buy a journal that has already been set up for distinct purposes. Mind journal is an excellent alternative to bullet journalling, while moleskin makes a multitude of journals, from travelling to cooking. There are loads of options available online, so do some research, and you’ll be able to find the perfect one for you!
To sum up:
- Try to stay fit and healthy! Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can benefit other parts of your life!
- Learn a new skill! It could be a skill that could benefit you personally or professionally; it’s all good!
- If you can, try and freelance! Having a little side hustle or freelance job could help you figure out how you like to work, an experience of how to run a business and a little cash on the side — a win-win-win situation.
- Practice mindfulness. Reduce stress and keep your anxiety at bay.
- Keep a journal. See how far you’ve come while letting your ideas flow.
Thanks for reading this article! If you’ve enjoyed it, let me know in the comments below! I might expand on each of these five tips and delve deeper into the subject, so let me know if you want more of that!