When you’re in the middle of a busy school year, it’s easy to drift away into daydreams about post-graduate life. Life will be so wonderful without term papers and having to wake up for that 7AM required chemistry course, right? All of those things are essentially true. But there are some things about life after college that no one warns you about, and they can be really hard to handle if you’re not semi-prepared for them.
So please, allow us to guide you.
As exciting as it is to move onto the next chapter, life after college presents a whole new host of problems and scenarios to navigate. They’re not all bad! In fact, not having to worry about passing a class and keeping everything together for the school year is liberating AF. But the transition into official adulthood is an experience, to say the very least.
Here are some things about life after college that you might not have considered.
1No one will tell you what to do.
That sounds like a good thing, and it really is. But whereas in college you were told basically what classes to take and things to do to make it to the finish line of graduation and eventual job search, outside of the campus gates, it’s all up to you. Your life decisions are yours to make, without any guidance counselors or professors to nudge you alone.
2You have to be your own cheerleader.
College is literally the last time you will get outside validation for some time. External validation is important, but after college you’re going to have to validate yourself. Even when you get a job, no one is going to return your work with a big “A+, great job!” on it. So you’re going to have to work on your feelings of self-worth and be alright with being your own cheerleader. Yeah, being a grownup is sort of a thankless job.
3It’s harder to make friends.
This is the biggest one to get used to. In college, you had this pool of potential friends and dates to pick from. If you were bored with your clique, you could make friends with that really interesting woman in your lit class or something. It is not the same after college. Making and maintaining friends takes a lot more effort. It’s worth it, but it’s a cultural shift you have to adapt to.
4You have to make time for chores.
There’s a lot of forgiveness from the outside world in college. Like, the bursar wasn’t going to expel you if you were a few days late with a payment or something. You could plead a case to a professor and switch classes on the fly if you knew how to work the system. The same cannot be said of post-graduate life. No one is going to remind you to pay your bills, go grocery shopping (which is something you have to do now), or generally take care of yourself. You’re going to have to take a lot more initiative, which can be overwhelming at first. Eventually, having your sh*t together feels super empowering and badass. You’ll get there.
5Finding an apartment is terrible.
Depending on where you went to college, this might be the first time you’re finding housing on your own. Being moved from dorm to dorm was a pain, sure, because you had to live in a school setting and sign some papers across campus. Finding an apartment after college is about 10,000 times more difficult than that. Don’t be fooled, either, if you just read that and said to yourself, “Yeah, but I had a college apartment with friends for two years, so I know all about that life.” No, you don’t. Landlords renting in college towns are a lot nicer about your credit score and source of income before giving you a lease to sign. Rooms and apartments might be expensive, but they’re readily available and an easy commute to school. Apartment hunting after college is nothing like apartment hunting in college.
Life after college can be tough, but it’s also super fun. Finally, you get to put all of your hard work to use and live your best life. Enjoy it. Even the apartment hunting.