The realities of life after graduation [or #postgradproblems] just kind of hit you like a big semi-truck. You know, the kind that sits inside an office building all day realizing why they call it “work.”
Buzzfeed [every post grad’s favorite pass time] offers some prime examples of things that college grads will never, ever do again.
- Nap during the day
- Go to the gym whenever you want
- Wear sweatpants to class
- Watch daytime TV [Maury anyone? The Tyra show?]
- Ignore student loans
- Live right next door to all your best friends
Early in the week, right after lunch, is when it hits you the most. Your thoughts drift off to memories of the good old days when you had internships to give your life meaning and a month-long winter break to recuperate from one week of finals. Work finals? They call those annual reviews, and you better make sure you pass – without the make up exam.
Just like that terrible college roommate who presses the snooze button 6 times before getting up [sorry guys, that was me], #postgradproblems get in the way of that restful, blissful, dreamlike state of being [or planning] you had as an undergrad.
I am officially one year out of college and I find myself sulking under the monotony of working an 8 to 5 job, the financial pressure of making student loan payments, a car payment, rent, utilities, the toll tag [a serious waste of money!], a cell phone bill, internet and the list goes on. Sometimes I find myself wondering, “why was I so excited to graduate?”
I always force myself to remember.
I was excited to graduate for a million and one reasons. I was ready to move on. I wanted to finish what I set out to do. I was OVER studying. I was ready to stop working multiple part-time jobs and taking classes three nights a week. I was ready for just ONE job, a real job.
That financial pressure I was talking about? It comes hand in hand with financial independence. I graduated with a job that not only pays the bills, but also allows for complete autonomy. I may have a terrible commute. On the tollway. In rush hour traffic. Every day. But I have a job, and I’m thankful for that.
I’m lucky. In fact, all of us post grads are lucky. We graduated. A college education is a just distant dream for millions of people in this world. As graduates, we have achieved that dream.
Maybe the post grad stage is so difficult because we no longer have professors and classmates dreaming our dreams with us. There is no longer a “participation” or “improvement” grade. Success is no longer measured by our best effort. It’s measured by the product we produce, the end result. There’s no more hand holding. College was the preparation. Life is the test.
So on Monday at 2 o’clock, just remember that we got what we were asking for and it’s up to us to make it count. There are no more professors. No more syllabi. No more multiple choice tests. Now we have to motivate ourselves to do better. To grow further. To climb higher.
The post grad phase symbolizes the end of a journey, but it’s not the end of the journey.
And if all else fails just check out Buzzfeed for a little comic relief and remember, If Britney Spears Can Make It Through 2007 Then You Can Make It Through This Day.