As of the end of finals week, I will only have one more year here at Seattle University. And, let me tell you, it’s a little bit terrifying.
Sure, I’m excited to graduate, go out in the “real world,” get some experience in the job industry, get into graduate school, etc. But, there are still many factors that can’t be completely planned out, like the fact that I will most likely work as a summer camp counselor once more before actually working as a barista/plumber/intern in journalism (at least, that’s what I hope).
So, for all of those who are about to graduate, and are freaking out about life both internally and externally, look at the list below of how I think we can all feel better about our status as “college graduates.” Fair well, my friends.
1) Start waking up at a “reasonable” time.
In the “real world,” adults wake up for work usually between 6 and 7 a.m. to catch that bus to be in the office by 8 or 9. Blasphemous, right? Well, while we may not be morning birds, as we’ve become accustomed to being night owls with Netflix and coffee for the past four years, this time switch is going to bit us in the ass. Start practicing now by setting your alarm for 8 and going back to 6:30 or 7 slowly and steadily so you can be ready for work (once you have it, at least).
2) Exercise. Seriously.
You thought that you could do fine in college without hitting up Connolly once, and, aside from some ups and downs, you came out intact. Now what? Now, you need to realize that your 21/22-year-old body is not invincible, and should be treated like a temple. To achieve its temple status, you’re going to need to exercise, regardless of how much you hate the elliptical. Hell, you don’t even have to go to the gym for exercise—ride your bike, roller blade, dance, play soccer with friends…the possibilities are endless. Find something that makes you happy and keeps you fit.
3) Stop spending all of your money on booze or concert tickets.
It’s time to start saving your money rather than dropping half or more of your paycheck on Jack Daniels and Neumos tickets weekly. Sure, you don’t have to cut these happinesses completely out of your life, but you shouldn’t be worrying about how you’re going to make rent as you throw out your trash bags full of beer cans. Talk to your bank TODAY about setting up a savings account if you don’t already have one. Remember, don’t give in to all of your temptations, as you may not have money in the future to achieve further temptations (like a trip to Hawaii, for example).
4) Add a fruit or veggie to your day.
You may think that your diet of ramen and Ben and Jerry’s has been satisfactory for the last four years, but, news alert: your metabolism is slowing down. Your body can’t process that food daily anymore, and will soon reflect it in your waist line. Try to hit up Trader Joe’s for some cheapish produce to add to your day: trust me, bananas, blueberries, papaya, avocado and carrots are awesome to eat, and will help you in the long run.
5) Don’t cry over living with your parents.
Yeah, you didn’t want your life to come to this: coming back to your hometown and staying in your old room with All Time Low posters fading off the walls and a twin bed that you’ve outgrown. Do any of us want this? Not likely. BUT, by living with your parents, you will be able to fully appreciate these awesome individuals who raised and nourished you, who allowed you to fly away from the nest and have now accepted their broken bird back. You can drink with your parents now, cook dinner with them, relate with them about how shitty the work force is, etc. Plus, you can probably live for free or at least very cheap in your childhood home, which isn’t too shabby in this economy.
6) Don’t come down too hard on yourself.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article stating that the Class of 2014 deserves congratulations for being the most indebted class of all time (if only Kanye had announced this). The publication determined that the average Class of 2014 graduate with student loan debt will have to pay back $33,000, which nearly doubles the amount borrowers had to pay back two decades ago. On top of this, a lot of jobs in this already dire economy do not pay well, and those that do are few and far between. So, don’t berate yourself—you have a college degree and a lifetime to figure out what that degree amounts to. Just because you aren’t killing it in a $100K position immediately after graduation doesn’t mean that you’re a loser. You’re awesome, so be gentle and be the best person you can be.
Hope this helps! Good luck my lovelies!