Pull it together, recent graduates. These past few weeks, it is safe to assume most of us have gone on an “unfollowing frenzy” upon seeing our peers recent twitter and instagram posts. The most common ones contain our younger sorority/fraternity members, cradling beers in scantily clad and outrageous attire, with the caption, “We’reeee baacckkk!” Talk about a shot to the heart. These images are a painful reminder that our lives will never be as carefree or downright ridiculous as they were the prior four years; and that truth hurts. However if we all get a grip, we can all see that there are in fact benefits to post-graduate life. And it is our duty to embrace them! Our sanity depends on it.
1. Better Bar Scene
Most of us experienced our first taste of the bar scene during our time in college. Girls disregarded the obvious “casual” nature of the bar and wore mini-skirts and heels; while guys chugged sugary blue drinks out of fish bowls – mainly because it cost $5 and got them all “turnt up.” If you were lucky enough, there may have even been a local campus DJ present to play the latest EDM music. However once you step outside the college realm, you quickly discover that these shanties are poor excuses for a bar. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city post-grad, you’ll quickly discover the exciting and insane nature of a REAL bar – all unique and crazy fun in their own way. The adventure begins.
2. Get Your Body Back
Ever see the movie Spring Breakers? The actresses in the film (Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, etc.) were literally advised by directors to gain weight to play the role of college students. This is because more often than not, both girls and guys in college are typically “pudgier” versions of themselves. Maybe it’s the sedentary lifestyle, or the late night binge eating, or the daily alcohol consumption. Either way, at one point or another we become heavier versions of ourselves, with a special little pouch in our tummies were we hide our extra cookies. However once you graduate, start a job, get into a routine etc., it is almost insane how quickly you can get back that body you so desperately desire. There is no reason to keep on that freshman 15 now that college is done, so use it an excuse to get your shit right and tight!
3. You No Longer Have To Be Fake
Remember that backstabbing hoe that hooked up with your boyfriend? Or the guy you had an extremely awkward one night stand with? Or the guy you got into a bar fight with the night you got arrested? The list goes on and on. Well I have great news for you, YOU DON’T EVER HAVE TO SEE THESE PEOPLE AGAIN. No matter the size of your school, it is almost inevitable you will run into people you don’t really want to. It’s the college bubble. But now that all of that is behind you; you have the liberty to go out, worry-free, and let loose without seeing these people give you stink eye in the corner. Instead, when you walk around your neighborhood or hit up your favorite bar, you can meet new people and enjoy a drama free environment.
4. Return of chivalry (sort of)
Modern day fairytale: You meet him drunk at a party, exchange numbers. He texts you two nights later, “Hey. Bring sum friends over 2 pregame. We got a few bottles.” You have sex. Text every so often. *Swoon* This is type of scenario that most girls have come to expect and accept in the college dating scene. Super casual, super lazy, and super disappointing. In college, guys don’t really have to try all that hard to get in your pants, because let’s face it; girls make it really easy. Good luck finding a guy to buy you a drink at the bar, let alone wine and dine you prior to sleeping with you. They know if you’re not going to give it up, Betty Sue down the hall probably will. While I don’t think the dating scene in your 20’s is ideally chivalrous, it does get better after college. One-on-one drinks date are the norm (where he pays) and most guys will at least pretend to have a genuine interest in getting to know you- it’s harder for them now too to find girls to fornicate with. It’s not ideal, but it is a huge step up from a guy using his fraternity’s jungle juice to lure you into having mediocre sex for 6 minutes.
I don’t know about you, but there were many times in college when I felt like a real piece of shit for hitting up my parents for money; which basically only went towards my partying needs for that upcoming weekend. Not everyone in college has a job, so unless you have extremely generous parents, there were times when you felt like a single mother on welfare, using her last dollars to buy a cheap handle of vodka just to feel something. Well a perk about graduating and hopefully getting a job is being able to have your own funds. You want to go out to dinner? Do it. You want to buy those killer pair of heels that make your legs look like giraffes? Go for it. Even though having a job and providing for yourself comes with a lot of responsibility, it also gives you the liberty to indulge every once in a while and essentially TREAT YO SELF.
6. Better Booze
This kind of bulks together the improvement of bar scene and your monetary funds after college, however it’s still completely necessary to note the difference in the type of alcohol you consume during and after college. In college I basically drank 1 of 4 beverages: Busch Light (or some other version of cheap beer), boxed wine (slap the bag, DUH), Burnetts vodka (cranberry juice for chaser), or whatever was being served in the cauldron at some fraternity’s basement party (mmm with a hint of urine). I think back now on taking a shot of luke-warm vodka and it makes me want to hurl. Post college, if you have a plastic bottle of cheap vodka in your apartment, you’ll not only look a total wiener to your friends, but you’ll also probably wake up with a massive hangover. Now-a-days, you can enjoy a GOOD beer, maybe even hit up a local brewery. Your gin and tonic at the bar will contain Bombay or Tanqueray, and will actually go down smooth. You don’t need to binge drink cheap alcohol through a funnel to have a good time. Your stomach is going to than you after college, I promise.
Semisonic nailed it when they sang, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end..” Truer words have never been spoken now that college is over. I know college was fun; your friends and you tore it up and by the time you graduated you basically felt like you ran the town. But just because college is over, doesn’t mean you are now incapable of having fun. College can be repetitive, which could be why you spent many nights blacking out in the same bar or party house with the same people- the blurred memories kept things new and exciting! The fact is in college there are limitations. By senior year it’s hard to meet new and intriguing people and you’re probably itching for a change of scenery after going to the same bar every Thursday night. College is temporary, so embrace all of the awesome changes in your life that come after graduating. Whether it’s a new city, new romance, new job, or new friends, there is nothing wrong with NEW. Jump in.
You Accomplished Something
This one sounds a little cliché, but it’s true. A little over 33% of Americans in their twenties have at least a bachelor’s degree, so if you’re in that percentage, congratulations! Think back to the nerve-stricken application process, the late nights cramming for finals, and the anxiety of ensuring all of your credits were in order for graduation. This wasn’t exactly an easy process but you did it. You may have tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt (with payments beginning very soon), and you may still be unemployed, but the fact is you have a leg up on almost 70% of people your age. You have proof that are actually knowledgeable, and are worthy of employment. You crushed it in college and now you should be ready to crush it in the “real world.”
So forget about those Instagram and twitter posts, and have a little chuckle to yourself, because those idiots are going to be in your shoes sooner than they realize. And by that point you’ll already be embracing all of the perks of life after college.