1. Leaving your college dorm will not be the movie moment you expected.
There will be no sepia toned edges as you stare around your empty room and remember everything that has happened to you over the past three years. In reality you will be too busy packing boxes and cleaning stains off the walls to really grasp the weight of the change that is about to take place
2. The reality that the best three years of your life are now over
…will not hit you until some random Tuesday three weeks after you’ve left and you’re walking past a shop and hear a song that you and your friends danced to one night when you were hammered on tequila in some sleazy club.
This once harmless memory will now have you fighting back tears as you blindly stumble through crowds trying to find a safe place to fall apart.
3. Returning to your parents house,
…no matter how temporary, will now feel like a once favourite sweater which has inexplicably shrunk and been ripped in odd places and now irritates your skin.
4. You will spend nights going through your contacts looking for some old friends to hang out with,
…and no one will be available because whilst you were off getting a degree they were moving on with their lives and the sad truth is that everyone moves on and moves apart.
5. Your family will fail to realise that in your time at college you managed to be a fully functioning human being
…who was capable of living their own life and making their own decisions, no matter how you try to show them this, they will persist in treating you like a 16-year old once again.
6. You will be devastated by the realisation that lying in bed eating cheetos and watching Gilmore Girls is not an acceptable way to spend your day.
7. Despite your ardent determination to not settle for any job that isn’t related to your degree in some way,
…you will inevitably end up waiting tables in a local restaurant after you realise getting a job in your degree field is akin to catching a leprechaun.
8. You will be baffled by the fact that most people only go out once a week, and instead prefer to sit in at night and watch Newsnight.
Where the hell did all the two-for-one shot offers go? And why is no one up for “Just one drink”?
9. You will gain five pounds due to comfort eating because it’s the only way you can deal with all these crazy changes.
You will then lose three pounds after setting yourself a crazy ambitious exercise regime to fill all your free time not spent studying (read: partying).
10. You will quickly lose touch with those people from college that you swore blind one drunken night that you would keep in touch with.
It’s not that you don’t have the time to contact them; it’s just that you don’t know what to say to them now that the common ground you shared is no longer there.
11. When people ask you what you do,
…your safety net will soon become, “Well I’m in between jobs right now because I’ve just finished my degree.”
12. You will also quickly learn that people in the working world don’t really care what you studied or where you went to college,
…what they hear when you talk about tough exams is that you were getting drunk on watered down vodka and living off baked beans for the last three years whilst they have been holding down a full time job and trying to cope with their mortgage payments.
13. Your priorities will change.
You will sacrifice a night out to be able to afford the train fare to that promising job interview. An apartment in the right area will take precedence over an apartment with a table big enough for beer pong.
14. You will make different friends, ones who have real life worries instead of “OMG, Donna kissed Gerry last night and Tina totally lost it!”
And you will find yourself grateful for this.
15. You will invest in business suits and pencil skirts
…and you will feel majorly out of your comfort zone wearing them, until one day you wake up and put on your office clothes, catch yourself in the mirror and think: “Hey, I look good!”
16. Now that you no longer carry the status of student,
…which seemed oh so cool at the time, you will find people treat you with more respect.
17. Eventually, after three months of viewing the kind of apartments that belong in a horror movie, you will find the perfect place for you.
Moving into your own place will give you back the freedom you lost when you left college and you will spend your first night in your new place just wandering around touching thing thinking ‘This is mine now.’
18. Having your own place again
…means days spent in your underwear watching a Mad Men marathon is now achievable, but somehow you will never quite find the time to do this, you will be too busy doing productive things like meeting new friends for coffee or redecorating your bedroom.
19. Your parents stop dropping around food parcels and commenting that you need to find a better job,
…instead you actually overhear them describing you to one of their colleagues with a definite hint of pride in their voice.
20. One day, whilst filling out your tax returns or watering your herb garden
…or some other twenty-something activity, you will hear the same bad pop song that you and your friends danced to whilst hammered on tequila in a sleazy club way back when, and you will smile at the memory, and realise how much you’ve changed for the better.