Stability After College: How Long Does it Take?

During college, I had always assumed that the process of finding stability was a fairly straightforward formula: get a real job after college = make money = feel stable Simple, right? As it turned out, becoming a graduate and getting a job didn't make me feel like a stable adult. Shocking. So how long does it take to achieve stability, exactly? For me, I had to find balance in a few areas: Financial It's hard to feel stable when you're living paycheck to paycheck—it takes time to build up an emergency fund and learn how to manage your money. Social I moved to Chicago knowing next to no one. It helped to start out by meeting others in the same position as me through Young PRSA events, but it took at least six months to a year before I felt like I had a really close group of friends that I could call up at any time. Work Life Balance It takes time to adjust to a working environment and schedule after college. This is probably the most difficult transition, especially given the unpredictable nature of agency life. Not to mention emotional stability, relationship stability and finding a comfortable place to live. And since this is clearly different for everyone, I thought I'd ask a few others for their thoughts on how long it took them to feel "stable" after graduating college.
"Not until my mid-20s after I got some good corporate experience and knew what I wanted" —Kristen
"Haven't gotten there yet..." —Dan
"For some reason, I associate stability with complacency and try to avoid even after 4 years in the "real" world that is Angelosland" —Andy
"It took me another eight years after undergrad to decide on grad school. now I'm two years out and I'm still not there yet" —Siobhan
"Not until we moved to Chicago from New York, paid off credit cards and built an emergency fund. Salary < financial intelligence" —Sean
"I felt pretty stable a year or 2 after I did, but since I moved [to Chicago] things changed a bit" —Maggie
"Haha I'll get back to you on that one! Still working on it :)" —Emily
"This is going to make me sound old fashioned, but I didn't feel financial stability until I got married. My jobs have been shaky" —Erin
"It's weird. I feel settled in the fact that I love Chicago, but I still feel v. unsettled b/c I want a FT job and a place of my own" —Molly
If you've graduated, how long did it take you to find stability (if ever)? If you're still in college, what are your expectations about finding stability after graduation?


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