For most people, college doesn’t include the healthiest of lifestyles. For every promise you make to yourself to work out or eat healthy, there is a weekend consisting of late night pizzas and a few rounds of tequila shots. And everyone knows that the best thing to cure a hangover is a greasy calorie-full brunch the following morning.
The weeks before and after graduation are even worse. You’re done with classes, finished final exams, and you’re trying to spend every last moment you can with your friends. The furthest thing from your mind, as you attempt your final keg stand, is your health.
The next thing you know, you’re home, you don’t have a job, and you’re really feeling the effects of four years of Ramen noodles and cheap alcohol.
But guess what? Besides not paying rent, there is another perk of being unemployed and moving back home; it’s creatively called the Unemployed Graduate’s Diet. It’s easy, healthy, and FREE (a necessary requirement because of your current lack of income).
- When you move home, your food choices significantly increase, both in option, and in health value. My diet in college consisted of oatmeal, or whatever type of pasta I could cook in the ten minutes before class began, or before the first shot was taken at a pregame. Opening my fridge meant staring at the rotting tomatoes I had forgotten to eat, and determining if two days past the expiration date was too late to drink milk. At home, I open the fridge and find fresh fruit. There is homemade granola in the cabinets. The Greek yogurt isn’t moldy and shoved to the back.
- It is no secret that binge drinking causes weight gain. Sure, when you are out in the real world, your happy hours probably don’t end up anywhere close to the day-drinking events of your undergraduate career. But what’s great about being an unemployed graduate is the fact that there is absolutely no need to drink. You can skip that 250-calorie beer and watch two seasons of a show on Netflix completely sober. You don’t even have to wear clothes.
- On the off chance that you do attend a function where you will be consuming alcohol, your tolerance is probably going to be lower than it was in college. You (and your body) will be happily surprised that it doesn’t take 5 drinks just to feel tipsy.
- You feel skinnier when you’re tan. A 9-to-5-job, or full class schedule, eliminates your time in the sunlight. But when you’re unemployed, you wake up by 11, and you’re still left with plenty of prime tanning time. Your employed friends may be making money, but hey, you have the best tan lines.
- You have more time for exercise. In college, you had to work around your class and extracurricular schedule. Now, you no longer have the excuse of “I don’t have time to shower before my next class,” or “Work left me exhausted,” as a reason to skip the gym. Working out is probably going to be the main activity of your day. Bonus: Girls wearing sorority tank tops and Nike shorts aren’t using up all of the treadmills.
- If you’re like me, and have no friends back in your hometown, and you live in the middle of nowhere, count yourself lucky. You no longer receive tempting texts from friends consisting of the phrases, “Chipotle?” or “I NEED a Panera bagel. Wanna go?” By the second week of moving back home, those unhealthy cravings have quieted. By the second month, you don’t even remember what Chipotle tastes like.
- And the best motivation to eat healthy and work out….Do you honestly want people you went to high school with to see you both unemployed AND overweight?
Hopefully by the time you finally land a job, you’ll be feeling as fit as you were the first week of freshman year (right before you discovered the soft-serve machine in the cafeteria and beer bongs).