Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time browsing my Facebook and Twitter feeds and was overwhelmed by the amount of “Last undergrad class…EVER!” posts and tweets I saw. And I had a few reactions:
1) Congrats on making it to your last class! I slept through mine.
2) I’m not old enough to NOT be the youngest person in the workforce.
3) Where the hell did this year go?
I started this blog almost a full year ago to track my journey through my first post-graduate year and I’m in disbelief that I’m almost at Day 365. (*Note – I clearly did some math wrong along the way because on May 12th, the day after graduation, it will not be day 365. But don’t worry. Those of us in PR don’t really need to know numbers. Or counting.) But I guess I better start believing it, because I’m going to have to stop telling people I “just graduated college” and switched to “I graduated last year” when they ask what I’ve been doing with my life.
Anyways, now that I’m an expert in city life post-college (LOL), I’m gonna share with you youngin’s some fun facts and can’t-miss tips on how to get through year one of post-grad life. This is a compilation of my best advice in one list, SO LISTEN UP!!
10. Never underestimate the importance of Happy Hour.
Because it’s amazing. It’s cheap drinks, it’s handsome business-boys in shirts and ties, it’s like day-drinking sort of cause the sun is sometimes still out – essentially it’s everything I want in one place. Happy Hour becomes the go-to for dates, mini-reunions and hang outs. Because what you’ll come to realize is the “Come over and pregame before we go out on Thursday!” just won’t really excite people anymore, but “Wanna grab a few drinks after work on Thursday?” rolls off the tongue much more nicely.
9. Realize that you’re probably going to gain weight. Get a gym membership.
It starts slow. You start meeting up with friends for “a few drinks after work” a few times a week. You browse Yelp and find some cute new dinner spots. The weather gets cold, and Seamless comes into your life. You start ordering your lunch to the office – delivery. You sit at a desk from 9-5. Since it’s cold, you’re wearing layers. So no one’s noticing those extra pounds. All of a sudden, spring hits and your shorts are quiteeeee a bit tighter than they were last year. Yeah, it happens. Counteract it best you can by joining a gym or at the very least, going for a run once and a while. No matter how much it hurts.
8. Learn how to budget your money.
Seriously. While my waistline was getting wider because of the above reasons, my wallet was getting thinner. If I had $5 for every time I wished I had taught myself the importance of saving money I wouldn’t have to worry about saving money. Maybe people are just generally better at this than me, but I would’ve loved to, before graduation, have taken like two seconds to remember that a penny earned doesn’t have to immediately become a penny spent.
7. Visit your Alma Mater at least once (and try not to die while you’re there).
Homecoming. Go to it. Or any other random weekend. Visiting your college in the year following your graduation is like Christmas but better because it’s not cold and everyone actually really excited to see each other! It’s a mini-vacation, the closest thing you’ll get to Spring Break in your post-college career. The sub-point of advice within this point of advice – when drinking, don’t try to keep up with the college kids. Why? See my next point…
6. Drinking is harder. Learn how to adapt.
You’ll need to come to the conclusion on your own that you can’t drink nearly as much as you could in college after a few months at home. Between waking up early to get to work and just getting generally out of drinking shape, your 4-nights-a-week college rage-fests just don’t fit into a post-grads schedule. Instead, embrace new drinking activities, like Brunch, to fill the void left from giving up Tuesday night ladies nights or Thursday night binges. Believe me, being hungover at work is not a condition you want to be in often.
5. Know that G-Chat is the new Facebook chat.
Yes, being in almost-constant communication with your besties remains important following college. So where group-texts fail (who can deal with their iPhone vibrating on their desk all day long?) and where Facebook reads ‘unprofessional,’ G-Chat becomes convenient and perfectly work-place acceptable. It was the most valuable secret of post-grad life. Inconspicuous chat windows can be disguised as e-mail drafts, all those super-important messages you’re about to send out to clients and colleagues. No one needs to know that it’s really links to your favorite BuzzFeed articles and other NSFW things. It’s a gem. A diamond in the rough. So necessary.
4. Enjoy being single.
Because as much as we all just wanted to settle down with a boyfriend after graduation and through most of the winter months (Oh, that was just me? Okay..), people still generally suck at being in relationships. And that’s okay. There are so many YoPros to meet, so many dates to be gone on, and so many fun things like Grouper to experiment with. It’s the most fun time in our lives to be on our own, going out with our friends, having cocktails with bankers and playing beer pong with fratty guys in “Murray Chill.”
3. Invest in a good set of wine glasses.
You’re going to need them. “Wine nights” become your Sunday-Wednesday nights after college. You don’t need to schedule them like you used to with the roomies. Instead of, “Hey, anyone want to stay in and just have a few glasses of wine tonight?” the question is, “WHERE IS MY WINE OPENER?!” Wine. Always. Wine.
2a. Go out a lot.
Explore the city, meet new people, try new drinks. There is more to see…than can ever be seen…more to do…than can ever be done…
2b. Stay in a lot.
It’s okay to stay in more, too. And it’s definitely okay to enjoy staying in. Because after a long day of work, sometimes all you want is to cuddle on the couch with your pup and a glass of wine and watch Game of Thrones reruns on Netflix. Which sounds like an ideal Friday night to me.
1. Enjoy every minute.
While this year was a change, it was truly a great year. The first year out of college is a journey. You meet a ton of new people, have some incredible experiences, some ups, more downs. You’ll gain weight, you’ll lose weight. You’ll get screwed over by some douche you swore you’d never fall for again and refuse to date a nice guy who’d probably be nothing but amazing to you. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be late to work a few times. But overall, you’ll have a blast. Yes, college was the time of my life, and probably the time of yours too, but the fun doesn’t stop once you move the tassel, I promise. So take advantage of these last few weeks in school, and then feel free to take FULL advantage of the year that lies ahead of you.
Oh, and by the way, CONGRATULATIONS!
Can’t believe this was a year ago. I miss and love you guys to pieces.
So where does that leave me? A blogger dedicated to exploring one year in post-grad life. I’ve got some ideas….Stay with me and you’ll see how I continue my journey through the blogosphere. ;) I’m not going anywhere.