You finished all your credits, you marched to “Pomp and Circumstance,” and you tossed your mortarboard to the sky. Now you’re listening to Asher Roth’s “I Love College” on repeat and you dread the day your treasured .edu email address expires.
Here’s what happens next:
1. A quarter-life crisis in which you question everything you have ever accomplished and contemplate your life purpose
This will probably accompany a weeklong Netflix binge that starts with a socially relevant TV show like Orange Is The New Black and ends with a re-run of Special Victims Unit at 3 a.m.
2. Extreme FOMO
Suddenly your entire class is gallivanting around exotic locales and taking Instas with elephants and coconut trees in the background. Your SnapChat is filled with not-so-humble brags of your friends having more fun than you. Resist the urge to drop all your graduation cash monies on an impromptu Eurotrip.
3. The dreaded, cruel, anxiety-ridden job search
You’ll diligently prepare your cover letters by copy-pasting the same sentences and adding adjectives like “extensive” and “strategic.” You’ll feel cursed to a life of coffee-fetching internships instead of full-time employment.
4. Window shopping for adult clothes
There’s nothing quite like buying business casual attire for a job you don’t even have yet.
5. And (finally!) landing a job that is kinda sorta tangentially related to your major or interests
Unfortunately it’s not acceptable to snooze through work the way you literally snoozed through that last semester of econ.
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6. Being that awkward person with no friends
OK, not really. Your friends will still exist, but they’ll no longer live five minutes away from you. If you’re in a new city, you may even need to—*gasp*—make new friends. How does one go about making friends, anyway? Is there a Making Friends for Dummies guide?
7. Intense nostalgia for your freshmen dorm, late night pizza, the one really comfy chair in the library that was perfect for afternoon naps…
You’ll try to impart your years of experience and profound wisdom upon clueless underclassmen: “Enjoy it while you can” / “Double count your general education requirements” / “Don’t drink wine and tequila in the same night” / etc.
8. The daily struggle to do adult things
Like actually doing your laundry instead of just buying new underwear. Like eating three regular meals per day instead of nomming on Cinnamon Toast Crunch straight out of the box. By the way, when was the last time you ate something green?
9. A reevaluation of your college relationship
Graduation may or may not mean an imminent breakup with your S.O., but it’ll definitely merit a serious conversation about what comes next. UGH.
10. Drinks, but the good kind
Say goodbye to shots on shots and hello to casual happy hours. Your craft beer or Pinot will go down much smoother than Bankers ever did.
11. An uncontrollable excitement for what’s to come
The future is a scary place, but it’s thrilling to think about what the next stage of your life could be. Don’t freak out! You’ve got this.