I briefly thought I was clinically sad once I graduated in May and realized that the rush of moving back for two semesters’ worth of drunken memories and mistakes was over. I realized all the fun was over and all I had to look forward to again was retirement, which is 40 plus years away.
Here I am three months post graduation and I still find myself looking at pictures from the last four years bringing myself to tears from either laughing too hard, or missing it too much. The truth is we’ll never get over how great the last four years were because while there is so much to look forward to we ‘ll never be that young and reckless again…it is unfortunately time to grow up.
What does that mean?
It means waking up at 5AM to get to work on time, it means working a 9-5 (in my case 8-4). It means finding a DD because the bars aren’t as accessible anymore, it means loving the Friday nights when you stay in and catch up on sleep, and dreading that Sundays are no longer filled with much “fun.”
However, it does not mean letting go of our youth. Even though you’ve left the college years behind you, your youthful, vivacious, and energetic young soul is still with you. While there is nothing wrong with spending a weekend in catching up on the latest reality TV and Netflix, there is also nothing wrong with spending the weekend with your good friend Jack Daniels.
If you asked me a week before I graduated how I envisioned my summer, “getting to bed by 9pm on the weekdays and spending my weekends trying new baking recipes” would not have been my answer. However, that’s exactly how it was for my first two months of summer. I’m not sure if it was my transition into a “working woman” that made me so lame or that fact that I now lived with my parents and not 6 other girls nagging me to go out. Either way it took my younger brother saying, “I feel like you’re wasting your youth on work” for me to wake up and realize I was.
I spent most of my 22nd summer of life coped up in my (newly renovated) bedroom watching endless Netflix and drinking copious amounts of tea. And oh, how relaxing it was, but not fulfilling. I longed for the nights filled with loud music, obnoxious dancing, and extremely strong, overpriced, drinks.
For all my fellow recent grads, remember to be young. Whether you’ve landed a full time job, or spend all of your time searching for one. Whether you’ve moved out and spend all of your money on rent or live at home and mooch off of mom and dad, enjoy every second. Be young and be fun. There is a fine line between growing up and growing old. We have the rest of our lives to be old, today is the youngest you’ll ever be- and it is time we live like that.
Reaching the end of college by no means is the same as reaching the end of your youth. You are not any less mature of responsible if you go out on a Friday night and spend too much money. So do it, go out, act young (your 20 something year old body can handle it), be stupid, date people, wake up and regret it all because in 10 years this lifestyle really will no longer be acceptable.
It is time to grow up, but it is not time to grow old my friends.