We count down to the days when we no longer have 10 page papers to write, when our bank accounts will have more than $10 in them, and when we finally leave our college campus for the last time and say goodbye to school once and for all after 15+ years. As exciting and wonderful as graduation is, sometimes post-grad life can come as quite a shock to some.
It may take a while for graduation to actually sink in, but graduating really means…
1. Looking For A Job
This should really start even before your graduation day because believe me, you won’t find a job overnight. It can take months to even find a suitable job, and then can take another month just go to through the hiring process of applications, interviews, and paperwork. Be hopeful when applying for jobs, but keep in mind that you will likely not hear back from a majority of the places you apply to. Don’t get discouraged!
2. Working 9 to 5
Once you finally land a job, get ready for what most adults call “the 9 to 5” schedule. Your once underappreciated student schedule of 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. is now long gone. No more mid-day naps and suddenly you realize you spend most of your waking life at work.
3. Working In A Field Different Than Your Major
You may graduate with a major in Anthropology, but that doesn’t mean you will get a job pertaining to what you maybe had hoped. That is okay. You may find that after a long job search, it may be wise to say yes to the next job that comes your way, because face it – being an adult now means you have responsibilities, such as bills. Who knows, you may even really like a job you never would have before considered.
4. Waking Up Early
Morning classes were always a last pick, but now waking up early may not be an option anymore. Once you have a full-time job, you won’t be able to roll out of bed at 9:55 a.m. every morning for your 10:00 a.m. class. You will have to actually make sure you have time to dress appropriately and get to your destination on time.
5. Going To Bed By 10:00 P.M. Every Night
Once you’re waking up every day at 6:00 a.m., going to sleep early is no longer an option but a necessity in order to function. Trust me. Nights that you force yourself to stay awake like the good old days, will only have you suffering the next day.
6. Still Not Having Any Time For Anything
Even though you’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn, you’ll still find yourself with absolutely no time for anything other than work and sleep. It’s a sad reality. Even if you had time to do things, by the time you get home from work, it is very likely that you are exhausted and will have zero motivation to continue to be a productive member of society.
7. Losing Contact With Your Friends
Those people you promised to be friends with forever as you departed Graduation will probably be forgotten by December. Sorry, but it’s true. You’ll jump into your busy work lives and the lack of free time and the distance makes it a whole lot harder to stay social. If you are lucky, you will have a few friends you will keep in contact with, but daily hangouts will be reduced significantly. Just remember, this is normal for everyone.
8. Paying Off Loans
Yup, those pesky loans will now finally catch up to you. There should be a six month grace period from the moment you graduate until the first payment is due, but remember that a college education was an investment towards your future. Pay off what you can by the due dates, and everything should be alright. Don’t freak out over the total number, but think of it as monthly payments instead to make it a lot easier to handle.
9. No More Student Discounts
The next discount you’ll be eligible for is the senior discount, unless you go into the military. Being a college student really did have some perks; every penny counts!
10. Limited Napping Opportunities
Creating your own class schedule in college meant that you could perfectly arrange time in your day to nap between classes. Working full time not only changes your schedule, but in the chance that you nap when you get home from work, you likely will then have trouble falling asleep that night and then be tired the next day. There is no winning here.
11. Living At Home Again
For those of us who cannot afford to live on our own just yet, this means moving back home with Mom and Dad. Except now, it’s harder because they think everything will revert back to how it used to be before college, and you consider yourself an adult that shouldn’t be told what to do. It’s a complete struggle of power. Who wins? No one. Just take one day at a time and remember that when the day comes to move out, you will miss being at home.
12. No More Partying
You’ll be tucking yourself into bed at the same hour of the night that you used to be pre-gaming for parties in college. It may be a sad thought, but it shows maturity and responsibility. The world will not end, I promise.
13. More Consequences For Skipping A Day
We all have those days where we are tired, grumpy, or not feeling well. Deciding not to go to class wasn’t a big deal because you could always borrow someone else’s notes, but skipping work now has more serious consequences than skipping class. Skipping work, or even being late, reflects poorly on you and could even cost you your job. Thankfully, some work places offer you enough sick days or annual days that hopefully you will be able to re-group if necessary. Still, do not use them after at least being an employee for several months.
14. The End Of Summer, Winter, and Spring Breaks
This is by far the biggest disadvantage of no longer being in school. We were truly spoiled with two month-long breaks in the summer. If and when you are lucky enough to put in for some vacation time at work, it will not be for as long.
For the Class of 2015, please take heed! Your life is about to change drastically over the next year, and it may seem overwhelming – at times you might have a full-blown panic attack. Keep cool. No one ever said life was easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these changes. Yes, more responsibility is coming your way, but just remember that there is no better feeling than to achieve goals you have had set for so long. Do not get discouraged if everything doesn’t fall into place as originally thought; just keep working towards your desires and everything will be just fine.
Congratulations graduates! You’ve worked hard, don’t stop now!