Graduating from college is probably the most bittersweet experience of your young life. The best four years of your life are now behind you and if you’re anything like me, you have just about nothing lying in front of you. Graduating with a job is not all it’s cracked up to be, and is not even remotely easy for that matter. But funemployment here I come right? Wrong.
So what is actually next? The DREADED move home. That’s right, back with mom and dad into a room filled with double the furniture and half the fun. And after about one week of new rules, family bickering, and a serious hit to your social life, the post-grad blues are in full swing. No job, no true responsibilities, no one to party with… just real boring life. The depressing rut hits you like mac truck and for once you’re praying for the return of a two-day hangover (just so you know you at least had fun last night).
Your day slowly starts consisting of sleeping till noon, watching daytime television marathons (thanks for the reminders, USA), realizing you’re still in your pajamas at 4pm, and applying to maybe a few jobs a day (and even that’s generous). The closest thing to work you actually do is thinking about going to the gym. And just wait until people start going back to school. Instagram and Snapchat become minefields of emotions and a lovely reminder of how you’ll never experience syllabus week again (RIP).
Now, as miserable as this all sounds, it is actually completely okay. Let me repeat, COMPLETELY OKAY. What is not okay is to let this continue for weeks. So grab your Starbucks at 2pm, watch daytime television with Ben & Jerry’s, talk to your dog like a human, make fun of all the undergrads’ outfits back at the bars on Instagram, and let yourself mope a little. But after about a week when your ass and couch become one, it’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
So once your sufficient sulking period is over, it’s time to act like the adult you are. Granted all your problems won’t be magically solved and you’ll probably still be jobless and getting hangovers after three drinks, things will get better. And here’s how:
1. Get in a routine.
Yup, that’s right, a routine. Now I’m not talking anything crazy like waking up at 5am for a sunrise jog. I mean a simple routine. Wakeup at a decent time (aim for before noon), eat some breakfast (or at least grab coffee), and do at least one activity. This activity could be spending time on the computer job searching, going to the gym, cleaning your room (or maybe the house since moms LOVE that), etc.
2. Get out of the house.
I’m serious with this one. Get the f*ck out of the house at least once a day. Do not sit around your house all day just basking in cabin fever. Take a walk, go for a swim, get coffee, run an errand, SOMETHING that requires leaving the house. Human interaction and some daylight will brighten your day and at least leave you feeling semi-productive. Being jobless is not an excuse to be anti-social.
3. Work on a skill.
This doesn’t mean work on some abstract skill and become a carpenter twiddling beach wood in your basement. This means work on improving some skill you already have. Ideally, this could be a skill that you could use in your future career. If you enjoy writing, start writing more or create a blog. But don’t be afraid to work on yourself either. If you enjoy an occasional jog, maybe pick up a new workout routine or sweat your ass off with Shaun T. Picking at least one skill to improve will give you something to focus on and will give you a sense of accomplishment as you improve.
4. Keep in touch.
I cannot stress how important this one is: keep in touch with your friends. You know those people you spent every waking second with in college? Yeah, don’t lose touch with them. Whether your move back home takes you 30 minutes or 3 hours from them, keep. in. touch.
And when all else fails, take a deep breath because sooner or later you will be in the real world with a real job wishing you had these problems again.