1. Those loans you took out actually mean something, and college doesn’t last forever.
2. Life is too short to be pining over that boy you like. If you can’t make him like you, it’s not that you’re unlikeable, it’s that he’s not right for you.
3. Not everyone needs to be kept as a “friend” on social media, especially not people you barely even knew when you were going to school with them.
4. You actually have bills, and no matter where you are financially at the end of the month, you have to make it work and find some money.
5. While everything was pretty whatever up until this point, you now need to start getting SERIOUS about life, which is depressing, but also exciting. You are realizing that the routines you set now could set you up for the future (in a good or terrible way).
6. You are starting to realize that the only cool birthday coming up is 25, and the only perk is that you can rent a car without paying extra for insurance. Which is… yeah.
7. Now that you’re starting to actually work in professional environments, you understand that a suit every day isn’t actually necessary, and the key is learning to mix cheapo pieces with a few well-made staples.
8. How you choose your adult roommates will define how your entire year goes. Picking random people at the last minute because you’re desperate for a place pretty much guarantees a terrible time.
9. Changing yourself to keep a relationship is a foolhardy pursuit. You’re going to change more than ever right after college, and if you grow apart from someone, there’s a reason for that.
10. The divide between “people that get a job right out of college” and “people that don’t” is even bigger and more awkward than “people who are going away to college” and “people who aren’t” was four years ago.
11. Ordering at bars is not complicated, and no longer makes you nervous. Once the fear of “ohmygodaretheygoingtoknowimnot21” goes away, you can actually be confident in bars.
12. Having pretty much any kind of job is a good thing — worrying about “finding the perfect job right away” is a) something that doesn’t really exist, and b) a waste of stress. Finding something that pays the bills and allows you to have a good life and breathe is a huge victory.
13. Things have changed and generations have shifted in the sense that your parents may have been homeowners at 22, but that doesn’t mean you have to be, and almost nobody else is either.
14. Nobody is thinking about you as much as you are thinking about you.
15. You realize that things that seem like a chore can actually be really enjoyable. Like making your bed and cleaning up your room every day can make the whole day feel great, and actually be a relaxing, cleansing activity in itself.
16. Eating your vegetables is always worth it, in every way.
17. While it’s pretty awesome to be able to drink at will (and legally, no doubt!), you’re now starting to see that maybe it’s not totally the best idea to drink until you pass out and don’t remember where you are.
18. (Also especially if they make ignorant political comments all the time that just get your blood pressure up for no reason.)
19. It’s predominantly a throwaway year, kind of like the extra day on a leap year. You’re still young, but not young enough to be completely wild, yet also not old enough to have your shit together. Logic follows that you should just live it up as if it’s a magical year that won’t exist once it’s gone.
20. The people who are going to judge you are going to do it regardless of what you do, so trying to make your life seem “perfect” on the outside is perfect. Post-grad life is messy and all over the place, and someone doing “better than you” is all in perception.
21. “Morning commute to work” needs its own playlist, and it has to be good.
22. Now that you’re not forced to read books all the time anymore, you realize that actually picking books out to read and enjoy is a luxury. And one you intend to use to the fullest.