1. Snow days do exist in the real world.
Contrary to common belief, snow days do exist in the real world. Blessed with the winter of all winters for my first winter in the working world, my boss quickly told me prior to the first snow storm that “snow days don’t exist once you graduate.” My hopes were quickly shattered, until the next morning when I was two subway stops away from work and got just enough of a signal to receive an email. From my boss. Saying that the office was closed and not to come in. “Sorry, I would have texted you earlier if I had your number.” Well, at least I got to go home and lounge all day, but I blame my inability to go back to sleep once I’ve showered and gotten dressed for my fatigue. And despite that being the least of the snow storms to come, that was the only one thus far that caused the office to close. As small and unlikely as it is, at least there’s still a sliver of glimmering hope for snow days in the post-grad world.
2. You learn who your real friends are.
Graduating college and getting thrust from that social bubble of partying and care-free days with zero responsibilities (or at least ones which really matter), really throws your world as you once knew it into complete disarray. When the dust finally settles, so do your friendships. Whether it be those from high school or college, once everyone has started some kind of foundation for the beginning of the rest of their lives, knowledge of who is there to stay—and also who is temporarily there only to eventually cease to exist as a friend—rises to the surface. The first few weeks, or even months, after graduating, are filled with futile attempts to make those friendships we thought were “forever” ones last. However, there is a direct negative correlation between the time and the frequency and sincerity of those attempts. In other words, the more time that goes on, the less frequent and sincere those efforts become to save those inevitably fading friendships. On a positive note, though, those friendships that were made to last only become stronger and more prominent. It’s a fact of life, and while difficult to accept, is necessary for individual progress in the long run.
3. You appreciate your family.
This may be of special circumstance for me, as I went to college ten minutes away from my hometown and was spoiled with the ability to go home whenever I so pleased. After graduating, however, I moved to a new city, and while still only two hours away from home, it’s further than anything I’ve ever experienced. Thus, I appreciate my family (and dogs, of course!) that much more when I do have the opportunity to go home—which mind you, isn’t so easy with a 9 to 5 job and a social life to attempt to keep alive on the weekends. And if you have any siblings, post-grad life is when you really become best friends with them. Growing up, I was always told by everyone, “Appreciate your sister and brother. They’re the only ones you’ll ever have.” (Unless, of course, Mom and Dad have an oops baby. But that possibility is long gone.) In my younger years, those words were in one ear and out the other. That is no longer the case, and I truly value my siblings not only as my brother and sister (which I had no say in the matter), but as my friends (which I do have a say in).
I’m sure there are many more lessons to come in this weird in-between chapter of life, still one nostalgic foot refusing to leave my youth behind; the other stepping inch by inch into my future, with caution. And I’m as ready as I can be to learn them.