1. You can’t live life solely as a festival-hopping, free spirited wild child anymore
Or as a skateboard junkie. Or as a fashion enthusiast. Or whatever identity it may be. It feels like the first time in your life when you can’t only focus on what you have fun doing. You are no longer defined by your passions and interests—people are going to ask you what you’re doing and where you’re working, and you want to have an answer. And hey, you did spend four years trying to figure this the fuck out. Words like “digital marketing specialist” or “information technology assistant” become apart of your vocabulary. It feels like there’s a small child-like part of you that is eternally lost. You’re not a kid anymore and people don’t consider you one.
2. You may be able to address some actions or interests of your past as a part of a phase
Remember that one time you started hanging out with all the sorority girls and hoarding brand names like they were your life’s only salvation? Or maybe when you dated that English major because you were trying to appear as an intellectual? Your more mature, college-graduated self can now see those issues for what they are, and understand why you acted in such a way. You can only hope that you’re now somewhat stable and mature enough to at least stay on a similar beaten path on your road to self-discovery.
3. The path to making your dreams a reality becomes real
And difficult. And complicated. Gone are the days of “yeah I’m just this really cool alternative writer/designer/fill-in-the-blank who smokes weed and fucks around with all of these creative pursuits, while sometimes attending class.” Now, if you want to make your dream an actual part of your life, you have to log the hours, have a means to provide the funding and find the time. That’s when you find out if your “passion” is a passion after all.
4. The friendships induced by a cheap Burnett’s buzz and a mutual love of stuffing your face with Taco Bell after the bar are abruptly separated from the ones worth pursuing
People who you once considered the coolest, most elitist people on campus now don’t seem to do much for you. For the first time, you may realize that keeping people around that make you happy is more important than keeping people around to fit in with a certain social group.
5. You actually want a job
What you once considered dooms day is now an actual desire. You’re so sick of relying on your parents for money and for what you want that you’re dying for one. The thought of being able to spend your money on whatever you want is enough to shove you out the door and into a life of working—at least for now. Once the novelty wears off then you’re fucked.