If you’re like me, you just graduated in May, you know pretty much exactly what you want to do for a career, you’ve had what seems like a million interviews that you feel just great about after you leave but nothing ever comes of them, and now you’re a Nanny. Which is fine because you’re in your early twenties, you’re not married and you don’t have kids. But you like kids, and hey, you can give them back at the end of the day!
If you’re like me, you were a full-time student, worked part-time, and interned part-time the last semester of your college career (why did I think that was a good idea?) and now you really just want to sit on the couch with your dog and watch Law & Order SVU reruns and pretend you could be anywhere near as amazing as Olivia Benson, even though she’s actually a fictional character. She’s so empowering, though!
So that’s what you do. And you do it purely because you want to. Not because that’s what you have to do to get ahead, or to get a big kid job, which is why you’ve done everything you’ve done up. until. this. point.
But now you’re done with school.
If you’re like me, you don’t have to go through another few years of graduate school. But at the same time you’re kind of really SUPER jealous of your friends who are either going to graduate school or are still in college and have no responsibilities to pay off student loans and to get big kid jobs yet.
So instead of dwelling on how much it sucks that your sorority’s Bid Day was yesterday and you’re an alumna so you can’t go and you definitely can’t have a Bid Day Buddy or another Little, think of things you can do for YOU. Here are some things to get you started:
1. Read your favorite book. From Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein to one of your more recent, more age-appropriate favorites, if it’s your favorite it will obviously make you happy. Try Oh The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss. It’s inspirational. Don’t even try to pretend it’s not.
2. Your body is a temple, so treat it that way. Let’s be honest, four years of college can really do some damage. Get a mani/ pedi, or a facial, or a new haircut, or go on a new (healthy) diet. As in not just a three day juice cleanse. Do something for your body that is going to make you feel good about yourself for more than just a few days. Also, juice cleanses are miserable.
3. Spring (or Summer) cleaning. Haven’t finished fully unpacking your stuff from your college apartment? Overwhelmed by all of the crap you accumulated in just a short amount of time? And why does it seem like you have twice the amount of stuff that you did in your room in your apartment when your room at home is twice a big? Throw it away. If it’s not crafting stuff, clothes, or the decorations that your Big and Littles made for you, it’s really not that important.
Why be any less picky about your friends?
4. Keep in touch. Remember how you and your closest friends used to be able to go out to eat every weekend to catch up and unwind after a week of classes? Well they all moved home and now it’s just you because you decided to go to school in your hometown. So you take any chance you can get to see them. Even if it means driving to 3 hours from Charleston to Spartanburg just to get lunch at Mellow Mushroom with your best friend while she’s doing Pure Barre Instructor training. You do it. Because she lives in Maryland and 3 hours is better than 9 hours, and because they’re still your best friends and you would rather Skype with them than make new friends. Well, you should probably try to make new friends. Or at least sometimes hang out with people that aren’t on a computer screen.
5. Stay connected to your school. This means keeping in touch with friends that are still in college, no matter how bitter you feel towards them. Maybe every time you hang out it reminds you of how miserable you are because you can’t live that carefree shut-down-a-bar-on-Tuesday-night kind of life, but for your sanity, don’t lose those friendships with people still in college. They keep you young. And make you feel really old. It’s actually the strangest feeling ever to go to a 21st birthday after you graduate. Like suddenly you’re a grandma. You won’t have any trouble keeping in touch with what’s happening at the school itself, however. They’ll be calling you to get donations even though you’ve probably spent $100,000 there over four years and you may have half of that in student loans. So you’re like, wait – can I get donations?
6. Find a hobby. Always trust Girl Code. Being creative will help you deal with your emotions. And you have a lot of them, because life is weird right now. And there’s at least a few more years of this awkward in-between time until you have you a job that even remotely mirrors what you want to do with your life. So if you don’t have a job (or even if you do), find something you love and work on it. Being well-rounded and not just focusing all of your time on your job (or your job search) will help relieve stress, so check out Pinterest or other sites for crafting and DIY projects. Try learning something new. Go to bartending school. Take a cooking class. Do. Something.
By no means do I have my life together, but I like to think I’m pretty wise and level-headed for a 22-year-old. Hopefully this list helps you gain confidence, relieve stress, or learn something new about yourself. So go out in the world and OWN IT! You do you.