It’s the Monday after Graduation Weekend!! A ton of my friends and former students are graduating from all kinds of programs, high schools, colleges, and graduate programs.
I am so proud.
I am very lucky to have graduated college, uh, a while ago and before going back to graduate school, I got to experience the real world for awhile. And no, I don’t mean the “I’m just working a part time while I study for [insert entrance exam to graduate program here] test so I can go to graduate school.”
When I finished undergrad I had ZERO intention of ever going back. So I jumped into the real world and was like, “HI! HERE I AM!”
Here are valuable things I learned after college:
1. You might not have a job in your field when you graduate. And if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world.
2. Even though you have a degree, you might have to work 2 (or more) jobs to make ends meet. This is also not the end of the world, but it can be really tiring.
3. You canNOT go 1:1 on bud lights and shots of fireball anymore. YOU. JUST. CAN’T.
4. Your bosses don’t care about how bad traffic was, how you’re having a bad hair day, or how your quads just could not fit in any of your slacks this morning. They only care about the money you’re wasting them by being late to work today. Leave the house early. Like, early, early.
5. Graduating from college makes you realize that, in real life, your friends are going to understand your need to take a damn nap on a Friday night instead of going to free drinks at Fred’s. Your very best friends will take a nap with you.
Most Some Friday nights are better spent on the couch with a book and a cup of coffee (the cheapest books come from goodwill. $0.25 for a best seller?! Best. News. Ever.).
7. Speaking of coffee, drink it. All the time. For the sake of everyone around you.
8. DO NOT pay your 6 month auto insurance all at one time on your credit card. Don’t. You’re not rich enough for that.
9. Guys suck. But you can also be really irritable and irascible. And wildly infuriating. Cut them some slack.
10. That being said: don’t put up with people’s bullshit either. They can’t bullshit a bullshitter. That’s not how things work around here.
11. Just like in college, Ramen is totally acceptable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now that you have a real job, drain the water out and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it and eat it as a side next to chicken or something. You’re fancy now. (Also, dry ramen all crumbled up in scrambled eggs is incredible. Don’t think about it, just do it.)
12. I can almost guarantee that despite having a real job, you’re still broke. Sorry.
13. It’s okay to change what you wanna be when you grow up. Change it every 5 years. Change it every year. Or don’t change it at all.
14. Making questionable decisions about your love life happens. Learn from it and let it go.
15. You don’t know what you’re actually doing with your life. That’s okay. Welcome to the club. No one else does, either.
And there you have it. Go out. Get drunk. Do stupid things. Do smart things. Learn to wake up at 7 am with a hangover to go your ass to work. Change your mind. Change your whole world.