10 Things Every Fresh College Graduate Should Remember

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.43.36 AM

1. Take it easy, it’s not a race. So what if half your friends are in law school, half are pursuing medical school, and you’re at home watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother? If it’s only been a month or two after earning that golden diploma, relax. Everybody goes through that What-Now-Phase, it’s fairly common to justify your worth immediately after graduation. But you’re only twenty-something, and life’s not a race. Whatever you want — whether it be a good job or a master’s degree — you’ll get there. After years of working your butt off in school, you deserve a break.

2. It’s inevitable, but friendships will eventually grow cold and distant. Some decisions after college inevitably involve letting go of your comfort zone, your homely haven and yes, even friends. Even with the invention of the social media, facebook likes and Instagram hearts won’t be enough to kindle the fire with your girlfriends who moved into another city, or pursued law school ten thousand miles away. But hey, there are always reunions lurking around after every five years or so.

3. Now’s the time to make up for family time. Remember your grandma’s birthday that you always ditched because some unwritten term paper always held you back? Or remember your cousin’s three baby showers for the past three years that you always stood up? Well, now’s the time to make up for those missed family events. It may seem awkward at first, but for all those years that you spent away, you’re actually gonna enjoy this and even miss family gatherings at some point in your life. So keep attending such things — whether it be just a simple girl’s night out with your mom and your aunts or your sister’s second wedding, there’s no better way of relaxing and keeping ties with family.

4. Decisions, decisions. You’re a grown up now, and you should start acting like one. Every decision you make from now on will affect your future. So put some thought on it. Is it time to move into the city? Is your boyfriend/girlfriend holding you back from pursuing your career choices? Is it time to start taking gym classes? Is your wardrobe making you look like a high schooler? It doesn’t hurt to ponder on these things, so go ahead, go do some thinking.

5. Set goals. Yes, cliché as it may sound, this is vital to surviving life after college. Set realistic goals like: get a stable job within two years, save enough money for a car – these things happen when they’re planned well. If it helps, remind yourself to write goals every year. Make a list of short-term and long-term goals.

6. It’s okay to envy your friends who are making and achieving things ahead of you. So what if your facebook timeline is filled with your college buddies’ trip to Hawaii, their regent engagement, or profile pictures showing off their medical school books? If you feel a tinge of jealousy, that’s good — it means you actually clamor for the same sense of accomplishment. But instead of boiling these feelings into hate and anger, turn them into something positive; churn them into something that will inspire you.

7. Don’t fall for the “relationship panic.” If you feel like time is ticking away and now is the time to find that prince charming, take a deep breath and don’t just jump into the wagon. You’re young, and you have an entire life ahead of you. If you think college was the only ocean to find that fish, let life after college surprise you. Don’t find the one, let it find you and it will come. Learn the value of patience.

8. Your family is gonna turn into a little army of badgering squirrels. Now that you’ve been spending time with your family, you are more likely to hear them badger you about getting the job your aunt or uncle wants to offer you, or this guy your cousin wants to set you up with. Or even worse, the marriage plans with your boyfriend (if you have one). These things are gonna be around for a couple of years, so the best thing to do is to keep calm and remember that to them this isn’t badgering, but rather their way of helping you get the things you need and should achieve. Be thankful that they’re actually concerned and are making steps to make your life easier.

9. Do the things you couldn’t do when you were in college. Remember that book franchise that you always wanted to read but couldn’t find time amidst college examinations? Or when you promised yourself to take up weekend art lessons but couldn’t because duh, college parties never stop? Or remember the trip or the hike you’ve always planned but never pulled through? Well, congratulations! Two seconds after graduation, your weekly organizer is actually being kind to you!

10. Procrastinating is good, but it is also limited. Yes, you can slack off for a maximum of six months after graduation, but the rent isn’t gonna pay itself and you better use that degree which you worked your butt off. Also, unemployment can be tough — not only does it render you broke, but can also score your confidence a few notches down. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog