3 Ways To Stay Sane When Living The Entry-Level Life

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Hand squeezing stress ball that looks like it's in pain.

Which do you identify with in this image: the stress ball or the person squeezing it?

Remember the first few months of college?

Those first few glorious months of college?

Ah, they seem so sweet. But if you’re new to the work force like me, they seem to be long ago. So long ago.


In college, the largest adjustment for most is dealing with their newfound oodles of free time. You go from the long drag of the high school day and extracurricular activities to sparsely spread classes and a glut of disposable time.

The switch from the college life to the professional world is much different. A new, much more demanding schedule populates your time, and you need to figure out a work-life balance and ways to decompress. If you don’t, over time, all work and no play can get monotonous (and that’s the best-case scenario).

To help you keep your sanity, check out three things I’ve started to do outside my entry-level life.

1. Parks And Recreation

Staying fit and healthy can go a long way to keeping you happy. Dedicating time to this is important, and even more than that, it can be fun.

After work and weekends are great times to return to old workout favorites or learn new tricks. Always heard good things about CrossFit or yoga or Pilates but never tried them? Now is the time! You’re already embracing change with a new job anyway, right?

Personally, I’m playing in an adult basketball league with some old friends. It’s filled me with nostalgia for the high school glory days and given me a solid weekly workout to look forward to.

2. The Office

Yes, you fill your days with work. And while the idea of more work seems like it would drive you crazier, earning more cash surely wouldn’t. So, why not put some of your free time to that? This could be especially beneficial if you’re working 9 to 5 on something you’re not so passionate about.

It’s always very meta when I talk about part-time jobs here at the SALT™ Blog, because this is my part-time job. I’m lucky enough to have such a great opportunity, but there is always something out there. Check out sites like Guru.com to find yours.

No matter your skillset or your amount of free time, you can find an employer out there who could use you.

3. Friends

Working more and working out—these don’t sound like much fun, right?

Well, here’s where that comes in. After a long week of work, it’s great to see some friends. Whether they are friends from childhood, high school, or college, nothing feels better than a good time with good buds. You may be tired after 40 hours of hard work, but make the time to interact with people outside of the office.

And if you’re friends from college have become scattered across the country since graduation, take a weekend. Go see everyone. A couple nights of laughs are the perfect cure to the entry level blues.

(Oh, and if these subheadings didn’t make it clear, watching TV and movies can be a good stress reliever too. Actually, I’m going to go re-watch Game of Thrones to check on a theory I had right now …)

How are you spending your nights and weekends while living the entry level life? Share with us!

(Photo: MBijen)

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