There really is no worse time for a human being than the first year out of college.
One minute you’re not taking life seriously, with no responsibilities, staying out late and going to class hung over, living with all of your buddies and doing whatever the heck you want, and in the blink of an eye, you’re back living with your parents, having to find a job during an economic recession, getting scolded by your parents for not being able to find a job, and spending every second wishing you were back in college.
It’s impossible to not take your undergrad experience for granted. You don’t know any better. None of us realize the cold, hard truth: After college, your life is pretty much over.
Yeah, this started out a little depressing. But don’t worry, it gets better.
So, in the first couple months out of college, you’re pretty much in denial. You don’t want to believe that it’s over, and that you need to start your life, so you just continue to act as if you still were in college. You go out as much as you can, you keep getting drunk, playing beerpong, and not even thinking about applying for a jobs. But, heck, after four years of college, you deserve it!
The one cool thing about the immediate aftermath of graduation is that all of your friends are finally home at the same time. During college, every school has different time periods for their breaks, and everyone isn’t always back home while you are.
But when we all graduate, suddenly, everybody’s home, and the whole gang is back together. So for a couple of months, during the summer, you live blissfully.
And then August hits, and September. Suddenly, you come to the horrible realization: you are not going back to college.
The first year out of college was probably the worst year of my life. I had so much fun my senior year, and then reality sets in and it’s over. Over that year, I found myself clicking on my Facebook and revisiting all my college pictures on almost a daily basis. It was really depressing. I missed college more than anything.
It has now been a full two years (and two months) since I graduated college, and recently I realized that I don’t even miss it anymore. I barely ever think about it, it seems like a different lifetime ago, and I no longer stare off into space in the middle of the day while thinking, “Man, I wish I was still in college.”
On one hand it’s depressing as hell. Because it means it means I’m getting old. I rarely can stay up past midnight anymore [on weeknights.] I can’t sleep past 10 a.m. if I tried to. I suck at beer pong now even though I used to be awesome. It’s sad.
But on the other hand, it’s also kind of satisfying. I’m still proud of my college days, no doubt. I lived it up, I partied and I made a shitload of friendships that will last forever. But that time is done. I now have a stable job, I have money in my bank account, and I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want. That certainly was not the case a year ago.
So I guess what I would preach to the youngsters who are going to graduate college soon, is that going through some type of “identity crisis” post-graduation is only normal. It’s a shitty period, having to find a job and get your shit together and what not. But when you finally do, life becomes awesome again. There’s nothing better than finally having your own money, and being able to do what you want with it. It takes a while, but you’ll get there.
I can’t really say for sure when my mind finally put college behind me, and like I said it’s only something I realized recently, but I think it comes when you reach a certain piece of mind. It occurs when you finally feel a certain comfort level at your job, and when you feel like you have healthy social life, and lastly, that you’ve finally become confident that “you can do this.” And by “you can do this,” I mean succeed at life.
Because, let’s face it, we all have our doubts. A’s and B’s in college only mean so much. When you finally enter the real world, there’s a lot of things you need to figure out that aren’t listed in a textbook. To say that it is intimidating is a bit of an understatment.
For some, it may take longer, but as long as you stay determined, and don’t doubt yourself too much, the day will finally come when you realize that life can become awesome again long after college has ended. That is certainly the case for me now.
Okay, enough of that. So I was running today, and whenever I run I always listen to music, which blocks out all sound around me. Also, whenever I run, and particularly at the end when I’m out of breath, I’ll get a little bit phlegmy.
So as I was running down the last stretch on a side road near my house, completely exhausted, and I had to spit. Without thinking, I released a huge wad of spit from my mouth onto the sidewalk, not caring if anybody saw me. I was right near the curb when I did it, and as soon as it happened, I glance over to my right, and see a family of about eight people just sitting on their doorstep staring at me.
I simply just smiled awkwardly, did some sort of weird laugh, and sped up a little more. Normally, I would have stopped at the corner, but I made sure to turn the corner and kept going until I was well out of distance.
I don’t think I could run down that way anymore.
Oh and one more thing. So I haven’t said this yet, but on Friday, I will be embarking on my third bachelor party in the last year-and-a-half. This time in Canada. It’s going to pretty unbelievable, especially considering that the form of transportation we are taking to get there is not a plane, not a car, but a party bus. Where we can drink the entire way there. (Did I just talk about how I’m not trying to relive my college days? So much for that.)
As a result, tomorrow, in preparation, I will be writing a bachelor party oriented blog. Tune in tomorrow to see what the fuck that means.