Well, it’s official. I have just experienced the fastest year of my life. I cannot even begin to fathom that I actually graduated college a year ago already. Like, WHAT?! See, the lapse of time works a little differently when you are working than when you are in school. There are not quarters or semesters to use as a way to keep track of the passing of time. Which leaves you with this strange feeling that time is going both at the speed of light as well as at a snail’s pace. Confusing, I know. But trust me, you’ll get it soon enough!
Bare with me here while I try to attempt to describe a little bit about the past year of my life because I guarantee that much of what I say will seem to contradict itself. This might be because when I look back on the last 12 months, I feel as if I have done so much and so little at the same time. Days at work have often seemed to drag on while the weeks then just fly by. In many ways I am just the same daydreaming and silly girl I was a year ago while in others I couldn’t be more different. See what I mean, contradictions everywhere!
I mean, I feel as if some people would say that I’ve done things “right” during my first year in the real world, but that also really depends on who you’re talking to. I fell into a paid internship straight out of school that turned into a fulltime position, which has allowed me to meet a ton of great people and learn many new skills. I have become financially independent and been able to support myself without having to go beg Mommy and Daddy for money. I even picked out and bought my first brand new car, or well technically it’s leased but it’s mine and it’s blue! I have taken some really fun trips to visit friends and experienced things that I never expected to. And I have made some wonderful and surprising close friends. So all in all, when you lay things out like that, I guess I have had a pretty good year. Huh, cool. I think I’m just realizing that now as I write this.
I think I am just now seeing this because as a post grad, most of us tend to focus on what we are losing and cannot do anymore as college ends, rather than all the things you gain. I know that I have spent a great deal of this year mourning over not being able to sleep in anymore, having a lot of my friends move away, not having guaranteed vacation breaks, not being able to go out most any night of the week, and the list goes on. You get the point. College was amazing, but when it’s over, it’s over. I mean, yeah, you can go to Grad school but come on, it’s not the same. Focus on the important things that you can keep from college, like your close friendships, your thousands of tagged Facebook photos (but make sure you have good privacy settings!), and memories that will make you smile and laugh for the rest of your life. I know that I will never stop missing the carefree and ridiculous years in spent in college, but I also know now that I still have a lot to look forward to.
So I have a little challenge for you! Whenever you are really missing college and feeling like post grad life is the worst, make a list, either mental or on paper, about all the things that are actually pretty cool about having a degree and not being in school anymore. I’ll even start you off with one of mine. When I get home from work at night, I have nothing that I have to do. I can just watch all of the Netflix that I want to and not have to feel bad about procrastinating on anything. Pretty nice, eh? Yeah, I know.
So cry because college is over, I know I sure did, but know that you will be okay. There will be a lot of little bumps and hiccups in life and things will rarely go as you thought they would. That’s why the best advice that I can pass on to any new graduates is to just go with the flow, because sometimes things not going according to your plan could actually be a blessing in disguise.