YAY! You did it! You graduated! You have the degree! You can frame it and put it on your wall! Your parents are so proud! No more study groups! No more unsaved and lost essays! No more annoying project partners who don’t pull their own weight! No more over-caffeinated freak-out cram sessions!
Now that no one is telling you how, when, and what to do all the time, I’m sure you have a lot of extra time on your hands. And if you’re anything like me, extra time means extra. . .anxiety. Yay? Don’t worry, friend. We’re all freaking out for various reasons. It’s likely the post-grad blues are making their ugly appearance right about now, but don’t forget about all the new amazing things you can take advantage of now that you’ve gotten your degree. Here are some things you’re entitled to do now that you’ve completed that major college hurdle:
1. You can finally relax for a second
College leaves little room for relaxing. For the past few years, you’ve been moving, moving, moving. Use this time to take a deep breath and absorb the world around you. You don’t have to find the perfect career-track job this second. If anything, now is a good time to take stock of some of the perks of post-grad life. If you want to stay up until six in the morning watching New Girl—you can! If you want to pursue something you never had time for before—go ahead! Don’t be afraid to take a little extra time for yourself now that you have the opportunity to do so.
2. You don’t have to use Power Point for class projects anymore
While I have to admit the Power Point sound effects and clip art are awesome, those slideshows are a gross death-box of boredom. Just think: now you can use Power Point for fun stuff, like presenting to your friends the reasons why you can’t wait for the next season of Broad City or why GIFs should be supported by Facebook, or maybe you’ll be creating mega cool slideshows for your new job.
3. You finally get to apply the knowledge you gained in more practical ways
The things we learn in college aren’t bound to our degrees. They are applicable to so many aspects of life and will be a useful tool in all the different adventures you embark on. Be proud of what you’ve learned and rest assured you’ve absorbed a lot more than just how to write a paper in the four years you spent in school. You may not realize it right away, but the books you read, the discussions you had, the people you met, and the problems you inadvertently solved, have all helped fill your brain with cool skills you’ll use way beyond the confines of campus.
4. You don’t have to eat anymore weird cafeteria food
Unfortunately, most of us were forced to eat weird campus food. Now that you’ve turned in your student ID, you can take time to make food you genuinely like and makes you feel better. If that’s not a reason to celebrate. . .
5. You’re really, truly an adult and that’s amazing
While some of you have been adults long before getting that degree, a lot of you are just now beginning your adult life. This is an amazing time for you to really focus on what type of person you want to be in the world and how you want to make life meaningful and exciting. Take your time in deciding these things. Although you may feel pressure to move quickly, taking some time to really focus on your goals after graduation will give you a sturdy foundation to start pursuing your career.
6. You can FINALLY just read for fun
While you were in school, you were reading all the time. But you were reading things you had to read. Now you can read what you want to read. Things that make your heart feel like a balloon in the sky in April. Reading is once again enjoyable and imaginative. (Have you read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss? Ohhhhh! Stop what you’re doing right now and go read it.)
Earning a college degree is something to feel very proud of and you most certainly should take in the sense of accomplishment you feel right now. Just keep in mind that a degree does not define you, it’s simply a vehicle to get you moving in the right direction. You have the rest of your life to figure out your career and passions, so for now just take in the small pleasures. Did we mention you’re done with cafeteria food?