Well, it's only appropriate to start off with a *sigh*
Man, I'll tell ya...You think four years of grueling school work, internships, and exams is hard? Try meeting lifelong friends and having to tell them goodbye. After the all-nighters, beer bonging, Taco Bell runs, and studying comes to an end, here are the top three things you need to know regarding post grad life:
+Why post grad life sucks+
1. Saying Goodbye
They never tell you as a student that the hardest part of post grad life is leaving things behind. Society tells you that bills, car insurance, jobs, and "adult life" is the future we should fear and prepare for. But honestly, I'm struggling so much with leaving structure, faculty, friends, and loved ones behind.
Leaving a yearly, academic schedule behind is slightly sad, but I know learning doesn't have to end- I get that. Leaving professors that have seen you sweat, succeed, and probably cry, is honestly bitter. Leaving behind dirty, crappy dorm rooms and campus houses is sadder than you could ever imagine (although, I don't miss shower shoes). But worst of all? Leaving behind your friends. The friends who've see you at your highest and lowest, your happiest and saddest- is a feeling like no other.
To be honest, I don't have any words to help you prepare for saying goodbye- but just know the day will come. Just remember, you're luckier to have met and have them in your life, so don't take any time with them for granted.
2. Job Searching
For some, you will work your ass off with summer internships, part-time jobs and extracurriculars, just to guarantee a job before graduation. Believe me, I was one of those people. But I'm here to tell you right now, things don't go as planned and it's okay.
This has been really hard for me to overcome. I thought I did everything right in preparing for post grad life: good grades, outside experience, involvement, Greek life, internships, community service, job experience...I could go on and on. But guess what? No matter how little or hard you work, things happen- businesses close, others are more qualified, timing sucks, job markets fluctuate, etc.
Finding the perfect job is rare, and honestly, congrats to those who do. But finding something you genuinely want to do, that makes you happy, makes a difference in the world- TAKES TIME! And my goodness, it's taken me so long to convince myself to not stress over needing some time to figure things out.
Instead of pitying yourself and stressing, make slow steps towards the goal of employment. Take time to research jobs that align with your skills, reach out to those you know who currently are living your dream, conduct informational interviews, and apply, apply apply. Applying to jobs takes time and dedication, college doesn't always prepare you for it- but don't let it bring you down or intimidate you. You can do this.
3. Adult Stuff
I refuse to use the verb "adulting," because frankly it's annoying and ignorant. As college students, you are adults- you're in charge of your own lives and success whether you want to accept that or not. But what you should know is, that adult daily life is a lot.
Working 9am-5pm, paying bills, moving out of your parents house, finding car insurance, setting up doctors/ eye/ dental appointments can be overwhelming...which is why you shouldn't procrastinate. Granted, it's okay to take some time and ride out your parents health insurance and see how long you can mooch the unlimited data of their Verizon plan, but at some point it's time to move on.
By all means, save some money and time after you move out, but sooner or later you'll want to get a new car, apartment, or get a credit card. To do these things- surprisingly, it takes more than a degree. Start planning ahead now so you can relax and enjoy life longer, without a mental breakdown when you realize bills don't pay themselves and that to get that new Jeep, you need some credit (unless you want to ask your parents to cosign, which I don't recommend).
Make goals before or after graduation to start preparing for these adult responsibilities so that this doesn't consume and overwhelm you. I promise you can do it! Just don't be blindsided when it all begins to happen.
+Making the most of post grad life+
Overall, I'm not going to lie, post grad life seems dull, sad, and boring. But with some time, effort, and optimism, you will see the possibilities and good that come with it. Being able to say you have a degree is priceless (with about 40k of loans of course), getting your first apartment is awesome, and when you finally find the 'dream job', you'll realize post grad life isn't that bad after all.