Today is the one-year anniversary of my graduating college. Yesterday the people who were juniors when I was a senior graduated, and in addition to a flurry of “congratulations!” posts and heartwarming pictures of people with their friends and family in their gowns, there were also a few posts from people in my year along the lines of “Wow, it’s been a year already?”
Just goes to show how quickly time speeds up when you get older. I’ve been out of elementary school for thirteen years and I still feel like it was an eternity to get out of there. So, new grads, I wish you the best of luck in your post-college endeavors. This time is scary and exciting but mostly scary. People trust you now! As an adult! It’s weird!
For what it’s worth, here are some life truths I, personally, have learned. They may apply to you, they may not–I just write in the second person because I like to.
1.) The job search sucks all the body parts one doesn’t want to suck. Getting rejected from jobs hurts worse than getting rejected from potential romantic partners. But you will get through it. You will! You’ll feel like a towel that has been wrung every which way to get all the water out, but you will get through it. See my previous post for more job-searching tips.
2.) Don’t settle, for anything. You’re probably heard this romantically, but I mean don’t settle for anything in life that you just feel “okay” about. If what you’re really in the mood for is a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich and they’re still serving breakfast, wait until after 10:30 and get what you really want, even if it inconveniences you more.
3.) You will run out of opportunities to wear casual clothes. You’ll still like them and buy them. But on weeknights you’ll just feel like changing into pajamas and on weekends you will just feel like being in your pajamas. You’ll only put on jeans to go somewhere fancy, like Target or Whole Foods.
4.) There is so much judgment, from every direction. People will be both worried that you’re not adjusting to adulthood quickly enough for their tastes but also that you’re wasting your youth by being too serious. If you have a career plan, and a career plan only, that seems to shut people up.
5.) Don’t stick to your career plan. To a “T,” anyway.
6.) People your age are getting engaged and married, myself included. Just deal with it. This is not a reflection of your supposed romantic inadequacy.
7.) Cooking is a Catch-22: You’re tired of spending so much money to go out to eat, so you decide to learn how to cook. You buy ingredients and follow a recipe. It blows up in your face . . . literally. You stew (ha) because you have wasted money buying the ingredients and time following the recipe. So you go out to eat.
8.) The reason why all the people in your life are doing cool things that they can post on Facebook is because they get off Facebook and do cool things.
9.) People will like to harp on you for the “immature” things you “still” like (Disney, video games, YA novels, etc.), but it’s better to like Disney and be employed than to be “too cool” in your parent’s basement.
10.) Yes, no one taught you this stuff. Yes, you still have to do it, and figure out a way to do it by yourself. Even if you’re frantically Googling it as we speak.
11.) Your friends will leave your college or home town to go do cool things, look down on you if you stay there, AND complain that you’re hard to visit, because people are picky and weird.
12.) At first it will seem like people don’t take you seriously. But if you take yourself seriously and you take your time and other people’s time seriously, then people will start taking you seriously.