The first few years of post-grad life have been chaotic. If you are lucky enough to have been able to go to college, you may find yourself experiencing some of the realities of ‘the real world.’ After 4 years of a scheduled, predictable life- it’s now time to make life changing decisions. Where should I work? Where should I live? Should I try to keep up my long distance friendships? Should I go back to school? Is this worth spending the money? Do I even HAVE money? Am I going to get food poisoning if I eat this?
It’s easy to get caught up in ‘adulting’ and long for your years in college. College was your own little customized social bubble full of friends and activities. Your only worry was Comm class in the morning. If you actually made it to class, you only had to roll out of bed, throw on a fresh pair of sweatpants, run the 5 minutes to class and half pay attention for 2 hours. Then you could come back home, pick out a meal from the dining hall that is already waiting for you, and go back to sleep. Ah, the memories.
What you may not think about is your life is becoming more and more of what you want it to be. Instead of being tied to a monotonous schedule of classes and a specific major in a specific place, you can choose how you spend your time. You can experiment with jobs, people, and locations to see how they suit you.
If you follow what interests you, you will see things begin to fall into place. Unbeneficial and unsatisfying relationships will naturally fall away and stronger ones will replace them as you meet people who are involved in your unique lifestyle. You are like an onion shedding layers as you grow! Your high school BFF or your college boyfriend may have suited you at the time, but the post-college you has learned and realized more about herself than ever before. She will find people and connect on an even deeper level.
It seems like many people feel depressed around their birthdays, but perhaps birthdays are just looked at through the wrong lens. Instead of lamenting how OLD you are, think of how much you’ve accomplished thus far. You are 21 and have already moved into your own apartment across the country? 22 and you have found a field that interests and excites you? 23 and you have developed what would become the leading social media network in the entire world?
Ok so not everyone can be Mark Zuckerberg—point is, why not celebrate age instead of dreading it? With so much focus on snake people being ‘caught up’, ‘lost, or ‘just figuring things out’ in their late twenties/early thirties, it is easy to get caught in the feeling that a situation will be the same way forever. But the great thing is, nothing is permanent.
I don’t think it’s wrong to feel nostalgic from time to time, but always remember that the future is bright. While you probably can’t wear sweatpants to work, there is such a thing as dry shampoo and let me tell you, it is glorious.