I graduated from college in May and am just now breaking free from the shell of semesters. It’s weird to think that my time is no longer segmented by 4-month periods of intense work followed by a month or two of playtime (or internships or part time jobs or whatever if you’re more motivated than me). Now the choices I make have to last for my whole life. What?! I think a lot about the word sustainability, not like Save the Whales (though let’s do that too!!), but in my life and in my choices. The choices I make now will add up to my life. I can no longer justify my eating terribly and spending all my money by telling myself I just have to make it til’ the end of the semester. Now I have to survive my whole life. Now I have to be an Adult (yes, capital-A). And I want to! I want to be more reliable and less disgusting!
1. Clean ya damn room!!!
Do your laundry more frequently than you did in college. Wipe down the counters in your bathroom; vacuum your room a little. It’s no longer cute to be a messy gross college kid. Your room shouldn’t look like those frat houses you studied at in the good old days.
2. Buy cheap clothes because you’re broke, but get an iron.
We can’t get away with looking like a rumpled napkin anymore. This devastates me because I’m bad at ironing and also lazy. When I do shop (which isn’t often because I’m nearly broke), I shop at stores like Forever 21. They have some fun flirty clothes for people our age; however, they like to turn into nubby dishrags once you wash them. Continue to buy cheap clothes if that’s where you’re at right now, but take care of them so you can pretend you’re all fierce and put together.
I love old people. I think they’re the coolest and I love hanging out with them, just ask my grandpa! He’s probably annoyed with how much I visit him! Because of this, I have made it my mission to volunteer at an old folks’ home. Volunteering is just good for the soul. It makes you a better human, and being a better human is what Adulting is all about. Find an area of the world that needs help and go help.
4. Learn new things.
Just because you’re out of school doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Your formal education is finished, but your life education is just getting started! My favorite way to learn new things is by reading books and writing down the definitions of unfamiliar words. I post them around my desk to remind myself of these new words and hopefully so people see them and think I’m super smart and awesome! I’ve also gotten into watching YouTube videos about things such as how heart attacks work (I worry!!) and what happened to Pangaea. Ted Talks and podcasts are fun ways to expand your knowledge without crawling back to college.
5. Read the news.
Don’t be a doofus. Know what’s going on in the world.
6. Take care of your body.
Floss! Run! Sleep! Eat real food! Once again, now you have to survive your whole life, not just one semester. My little sister is back from her first semester of college and her voice has dropped 3 octaves and she sleeps all day because she is wiped out from 4 months of studying hard (lol get it?) I love her. It works for her. She’s young and has 3 and a half more years to be that way. It’s not so cute when I live like that; it’s also not as fun to be sick for months at a time.
7. Go out and explore!
I moved to a new city after college and have really enjoyed simply walking around and getting a feel for this place (also because I’m unemployed and have the time!) Life can feel isolating after college, because you no longer have a group of people to call your own. It’s important to go out and find your people. I’ve been going to a lot of improv shows to do this. I haven’t made any friends from that yet (if you see me at UCB Franklin and recognize me from the pic here, please talk to me!!!), but it’s a start. Learn your city; learn what you want to be a part of.
I’m excited to be an Adult because I love organization and plans and lists. I also still love napping all day and eating McDonald’s and puking from drinking. I guess I don’t like the puking but I do love drinking enough to get to that point. This is a time of transitions, and like every new step in life, change happens in waves. Some days you’re fucking rocking an ironed shirt and a well-balanced breakfast. Other days you’re running off of Red Bull and lies. That said, my final piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. Let yourself grow and let yourself fall flat on your face. Either way, you’ll learn. I just had the urge to finish this with a: “love you guys, you rock.” I guess that’s my message to all those post-grads out there trying they’re best. We’re all in this together! You got this! I believe in you!!