1. Alcohol withdrawal! Those last few weeks of school? Pretty much a step-by-step guide for someone looking to acquire liver cirrhosis in the shortest time possible.
2. Complete and utter boredom. Was being at home always this bad? What’s worse: the fact that it’s only 3:38 pm, or that you’ve already eaten 9 of those lemon meringue cookies sitting atop the fridge?
3. The good old post-college high school nostalgia blast. But instead of everyone losing an arm and leg over how mind blowingly superior their school is (a freshman/sophomore night before Thanksgiving staple), the move nowadays is to throw your hands up in resignation and shrug your shoulders. What’s next?
4. Sitting in front of an email draft for a good 47 minutes, wondering if the three lines you’re about to send to a prospective employer are too formal, or if they have too much personality.
5. Being unable to look at your bank account, out of sheer fear.
6. Seeing people you know–dumber and more socially stagnated, might I add–triumphantly posting that they’re moving to Washington DC because EMPLOYMENT. You’re the 52nd person to “like.”
7. Accepting a gig that’s “ok for now,” but isn’t what you’re ultimately going for. Beggars can’t be choosers, you decide. (Though they can be really good at overhyping their situation at social gatherings.)
8. Coming to the realization that anyone who writes descriptions for apartment buildings on the internet probably isn’t a good person.
9. Ensuring your parents and loved ones that your newly signed pad “actually isn’t that bad!”
10. Making sure everyone you know is caught up on your feelings regarding packing/moving. (Note: this is where you get to say “THE WORST!” 47 times in one day, without first-world shaming repercussions. I’d strongly advise you to take what you can get here.)
11. Relationship imbalance. College is over, your high school peeps may be back in the picture…brace yourselves for the prolonged breakup season.
12. Your first night out as someone who refers to their future as “scary, but exciting.” It’s very fun, but laughably unsustainable.
13. Your first jaunt to the grocery store where you’d meet your wife if this was 1974. It costs more than you thought.
14. Your first real dealing with all those bills. They cost way more than you thought. It isn’t until now that you fully understand one of the most crucial postgraduate rites of passage–getting to incessantly say “fuck (insert your cable company here),” with reckless abandon.
15. Waking up ridiculously early so you can spend the next 9 hours nodding awkwardly for money.
16. Wondering why 8 hours has turned to 9, and why 9 hours has turned to 14. Is there overtime? Is this what America is about now? How do people have all this time to watch these TV shows they don’t shut up about?
17. Coming home and sitting down on the couch for 3.5 consecutive hours, slowly coming to the realization that this just might be all there is.
18. Staying up all night browsing weird internet sites that tell stories about how dumb of a fuck you are for queuing up for the rat race at age 22. Hating yourself for already calling it “the rat race.”
19. Completely realizing why 26 year-olds you used to think were incredibly lame hype up the weekend so much. They were right.
20. Realizing that you’re going to have to go out of your way to not always hang out with your friend who makes a shit ton more money than you. One, because these $15 Long Islands aren’t as tasty when they’re 75% of your nightly budget. Two, because holy shit he’s depressed. And you thought you were miserable.
21. Realizing that basing your happiness on the few hours spent in an arbitrary space with blisteringly loud music and members of the opposite sex only pretending to have fun…is rather ill-advised.
22. Reveling in the glory that is finding a new late-night spot.
23. The Sunday Night Blues, The Sunday Doom and Gloom, The Sunday Dread. It was a nice 4 year hiatus, but that shit is back with a vengeance.
24. Your first after work drinks. At which you realize your alcohol tolerance has gone the way of the 2013 New York Giants.
25. Coming home after your first after work drinks with a blistering headache. Drinking is the best, but it’s now also the worst.
26. Slowly accepting the fact that no, you are not above online dating. Not even close.
27. Attending a standup/improv comedy show that your friend is putting on (because that’s what creative people who will settle for jobs in retail in 5 years do these days), and sitting through 7 Ok Cupid bits too many. Given the catastrophe you’ve just witnessed, you decide to hold off on the OK Cupid thing for a little bit.
28. Meeting someone you…can marry? Naw….
29. A very pleasant night in, that you didn’t even have to justify to anyone. You feel like Aladdin, giving Jasmine a tour of the place she’s lived in for her entire life.
30. Another night in, because the last one was so awesome. This one, a bit more boring.
31. Since such organic introversion never really happened in college, experiencing your first “first night out in awhile.” Very much like a high school freshman trying to outdrink his elder peers on the varsity football team, this doesn’t go over so well.
32. The worst hangover of your life.
33. The worst hangover of your life, extended till Monday.
34. Your first internal compromise. Sure, showing up to a place where tomato soup is the best part of your day may be a bit #bleak, but there are worse things. Like settling for a life as a company man by age 23.
35. A friend’s 23rd birthday party, in which you’ll hear references to Blink-182 no less than 57 times. The event may be remarkably subdued compared to previous ventures with this fella. Hashtag aging, hashtag I guess this is growing up.
36. Consuming an internet listicle that “scarily” relates to you by using vague, yet applicable sentiments to sum up/stereotype what life is like at age you currently are. (Note: said content may feature GIFs from the movie Bridesmaids. You are not sure how you feel about any of this.)
37. Realizing that succeeding at a job isn’t so much working hard–it’s convincing other people that you’re working hard, while spending most of your time reading 2,500 word thinkpieces about Duck Dynasty.
38. Your first vacation, paid for by you. All this really ends up being is a four day span in which you constantly uncover reasons as to why Dad was so stressed every single time your family went somewhere.
39. Having some sort of huge life realization, such as “that kid who seemed to have all this wisdom in college was such a victim of living in a bubble.”
40. Skype sessions with old college roommates, during which you spend an hour saying different versions of the phrase Carpe Diem…despite neither of you doing anything at all to seize the day.
41. An abrupt end to a hookup that you thought had potential. Likely ended because real people–one’s outside the hometown/college bubble you’ve existed in and made fun of two minutes ago–are fucking weird.
42. Realizing how immature that sounds, and realizing that intelligence actually doesn’t have much to do with how much your college degree cost.
43. Achieving even a greater appreciation for your trusty late-night spot after having a drunken heart-to-heart with Serge, the owner.
43. Resolving to do something that’ll enable you to “meet new people” or expand your horizons.
44. Resolving to ask your parents for some money, only to tell them that “you’re totally fine” when they ask you if you need any money.
45. Coming to the (mind-numbingly premature) realization that you’re never gonna get married, probably won’t have kids, and will end up being a total letdown to all those fools who talk about you with a steely, “he’s gonna do such big things” glint in their eye.
46. Going nuts over the second to last episode in the latest season of Game of Thrones.
47. Sitting through a very annoying conversation with someone “who read all the books.” Your personal 10 minute hell.
48. Your first non-ironic trip to a wine bar.
49. Re-affirming, for the 37th time in the past 37 days, that maintaining friendships post-college is an entirely different beast. A beast that kindly suggests that you shouldn’t ignore text messages for 4 days at a time.
50. Being unable to look at your bank account, out of sheer fear.
51. Coming to the foreboding realization that shit, this ride is long.
52. Crossing your fingers at that part.