The year after you graduate college is one of the most confusing times of your life- you’re technically a “real adult” now, but you’re probably living in your childhood bedroom. You’ll find yourself so happy to be beyond the drama and all-nighters, but you’ll also long for the comfort of living among friends and drinking cheap beer nightly. Don’t fear- you’re not alone! These are the ten universal happenings of that first dreadful year of #postgradlife.
1. You block every undergrad on your newsfeed. This one happens in your first September out of college. You see one picture of a younger friend at your favorite Friday night place, and you collapse into a ball of nostalgia and self-pity. Instead of driving down for the party, like you seriously consider, you decide to rid your newsfeed of anyone who might post something earth-shattering on Facebook. Of course a few pictures and statuses will trickle through your filter, and you’ll find yourself longing for those ancient days when your biggest struggle was creating a class schedule with no Friday classes.
2. You question your major. As you stare at your framed English degree hanging next to an All-American Rejects poster on your childhood bedroom wall, you begin to question your decision-making skills. All the Business majors found jobs before graduating and here you are, dressing for the night shift at Target. Is it really too late to change your major for the third time? Regret sits heavy as every search on Career Builder and Monster yields zero results.
3. You regret everything (because student loans). Did you really need to go to a private out-of-state school? What did you have against community college? Was it really worth it? In ten years when you’re still paying hundreds of dollars a month, will it still feel worth it?
4. You lose a friend…or two, or five. The saddest reality of post-grad life is that your friends are now scattered across the country (and maybe across the world). Your best friend is an eight hour plane ride away now, rather than just down the hall. Some friendships will stand the test of time, but some will really strain with the physical distance. You may lose track of the person you ate lunch with everyday, or the friend you drunk snuggled with. The people you once knew so well may now just be the strangers whose lives you watch unfold on Facebook.
5. You cry. It will happen at least once. You’ll be having a fine day, then you’ll remember that you’re never going back to that simpler time surrounded by friends. You’ll be set off by a song you used to always sing at parties, or a food that the cafeteria served every Tuesday, or a #tbt picture your friend posted to torture everyone, and you’ll break down. Hard.
6. You memorize every picture from college. On a weekly basis, you binge on nostalgia by looking through every picture of you and your friends in college. You regularly start conversations with everyone tagged in a photo by commenting “ugh I miss this!” You will all commiserate about the “real world” and talk about the good ol’ days together for a few minutes, then move on with your own lives.
7. You create a list of things college didn’t teach you. How do you balance a check book? How do you buy a car? How do you pay taxes? What’s a 401k and where do you get one? Whenever you feel unprepared for adulthood, you will blame your college for leaving its students in the dark on these very important life skills.
8. You realize all the things college did teach you. Outside of classes, you learned a lot. You learned to live with a roommate, to funnel beer, to do basic cleaning when your parents were coming to visit. You learned that friendships are worth more than textbooks (and textbooks are worth a LOT). You learned to be self-sufficient and independent. You learned about friendship, love, sex, and life. While none of this will help you land a job, it did help mold you into the adult version of yourself.
9. You watch peers grow up and settle down. People you graduated with will start getting engaged, married, and pregnant (on purpose!). Your Facebook newsfeed will blow up with congratulations and pictures of bellies and ring fingers. You will judge them for a hot second for “settling down” so young, before realizing that you’re really not so young and their decision is completely valid. This is a legitimate thing everyone is going to start doing now, and your time is quickly approaching.
10. You feel old. You will hear a “new” party song…5 months after it hit popularity. You will learn of new fads through the Internet, not by experiencing them. You will find yourself getting annoyed whenever you see “youths” being loud and obnoxious in public places. You will realize that people trust you with a real person job and real responsibility. You say “oh my god…we’re old” every single time you reminisce with a friend. Your high school prom was five years ago, and you are now a completely different person- a real adult (to some extent, anyway).