From Our Readers
July 29, 2015 10:43 am

Education is in the air! It’s back to the land of papers, pencils, and overpriced textbooks that you probably won’t read. Back to late nights finishing projects that you should have started a few weeks ago. Back to all-nighters, football games, and best friends. But wait… you graduated.

Back-to-School season is a bittersweet time for those of us who don’t actually have anything to go back to. Four years of college go by in a flash—and even if we didn’t always love school, it’s hard to deal with the fact that we’re done.

Here are all the stages of realizing that you’re not heading back to school.

You buy school supplies that you don’t need

Your Amazon shopping cart mysteriously becomes full with books that you (still!) can’t afford. You refresh your email, waiting for syllabi that will never arrive. You hum your school fight song as you make ramen for lunch. You binge watch House of Cards on Netflix, just like you did in your glory days. Student loan bills start overflowing out of the drawer you’re hiding them in.

You aggressively “like” photos on your Facebook timeline of freshly decorated apartments and friends at Welcome Back events

You yell at your framed diploma in between each cover letter you write. You hide your cap and gown behind your new work slacks, which are shoved behind the sweatpants you used to be able to wear to class.

You seriously contemplate going back to school for another degree

If only you had made time to study abroad! If only you’d stuck with that creative writing minor! Maybe if you had failed that French Lit exam, you would have been “forced” to stay for another semester.

You spend a lot of time looking at your graduation photos

You listlessly scroll through Snapchat stories of friends at college parties and library study sessions. You watch football games on tv and long for the days of being elbowed in the student section. You go to bed at a respectable time, and wake up in a pile of college sweatshirts with no idea how you got there.

You realize that there are parts of being a grown-up that rock

You don’t have to drink bottom-shelf liquor anymore. Your job ends at 5 PM, and nobody assigns you homework. You can travel places you went to for Spring Break, and you can go there on the off-season. You don’t have to subsist entirely on pizza rolls (but you can if you want to!)

You waited over twenty years to toss that cap on graduation day, so don’t let the (I’m-Not-Going)-Back-to-School blues keep you down for too long. Happy Back-to-School season, Grads!

Laura Simis is a writer and social media marketer in Raleigh. Once, she accidentally snapchatted a picture of herself as Jabba the Hutt to Kylie Jenner. She writes funny things on Twitter @laurasimis and

[Image via Dazed & Confused]