The following is a reflection after Brianna Wiest’s article, “Dear New Post Grad.” Read it.
Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here.
Dear Post Grad Me,
Hi. How are you? No, how are you really?
I sit here in a borrowed thrift store sweater daydreaming about what lays ahead in the murky waters of adulthood. I’m trying to walk the line between optimistic forward thinking and downright expectation. As I’ve learned from derailed plans and subpar parties, expectations are kind of the worst. Yet, teetering on this distinction, I think about my aspirations for everyday life, hoping you’re doing – or at least trying — the following.
1. Taking your contacts out at night. This goes for flossing, washing your face, and all the other rituals that you may have previously skipped once or twice or seven times a week. If neglected, your body will revolt. It won’t be pretty, physically or psychologically.
2. Nourishing friendships. Remember freshman year when you and everyone you met constantly hugged each other, best friend bracelets tattooed on your hearts? Remember sophomore year when you were like, “Who the f are these people?” Yeah, don’t let that happen to the gems you found in undergrad. Friendships take work.
3. Learning about your body. Then, acting, cooking, and exercising accordingly. I hope you’re fueling your body and don’t spew the excuse of being busy. You made time for Facebook, you can make time for this. And for the love of God: STOP. EATING. DAIRY.
4. Driving. Your New Yorker fear of driving has held you back in the past. Get in the literal and figurative driver’s seat. Take this mentality to other fears, too. Even snakes. Okay, maybe not snakes.
5. Smiling at strangers. College in the Midwest taught you to smile at people passing by. Acknowledge life around you.
6. Calling your mom. Remember that your parentals are getting older and struggle with life, too. They need phone calls and visits to catch up and just be. Also, they know how bills work and how long you need to preheat the oven.
7. Dancing a la Flashdance. No, not like that. Catchy pop songs akin to a six-year-old’s sugar rush can solve many a problem, even if temporarily. Apply this rule to clubs, weddings, and dance parties for one. Looking for a favorite? You always have this.
8. Doing your laundry. Going from no clothes to clean clothes is like shopping fo’ free. And everything’s in your size. Maybe.
9. Using social media as a medium, not a marker. Essentially, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the like are tools – tools to connect, to learn, to peek inside someone else’s world. The second it becomes mindless or the thought, “How did he get (insert impressive thing here)?” rears its menacing head, unplug. The jealousy and comparison exacerbated in social media has no purpose. This goes for offline, too.
10. Reading the newspaper. Did you ever figure out what’s happening in Iraq? Keep up-to-date. Ask questions. Lots and lots and lots of questions.
11. Treating others – including yourself – kindly. No matter what trendy HBO show is on, remember that kindness is always cool.
Other aims include: finding out what a 401(k) actually is, discerning what makes your heart swoop and sing, and pondering what to seriously buy Dad for his birthday. Hopefully, that will all come in time.
I hope you’re nostalgic enough for good memories but not enough where it’s harmful and deceitful. Remember bad stuff happened in college, too. Don’t worry about stumbling. Be adaptive, not malleable.
Your bed-headed friend with a paper to write,