When you first graduate college, I don’t know how to describe it other than depressing. Sure for a couple of months, you don’t have to pay loans, you don’t have to get a job and you literally have all the time in the world to do what you love. But the minute school starts again in August, that’s when it really hits: you’re out of college and everyday of your life will be the same. In college, you could choose whether or not you were going to class. In the real world, you better be going to work everyday otherwise you’ll be out of a job. In college, you learn things you find interesting. In the real world, you are forced to learn things that are not interesting but are essential for your job. In college, you could go out any night and would just have to bring a Gatorade to class the next morning. In the real world, it doesn’t matter how many Gatorades you bring, florescent lights and constant work will only make the hangover worse. So this is where post-college depression spurs from, it’s such a lifestyle adjustment, its hard at first. So how do you treat it? Well you could take the route I did and spend the first three months denying you are out of college, the next three months pretending you’re still in college, and the next three months pretending you love being out of college. The problem with this is the entire nine months you’re just depressed and it doesn’t fix the situation. Well ladies and gentlemen, I would like to propose a better treatment, one that took nine months for me to figure out.
1. The College Bar Scene Is Less Glorious After Graduation
You know that bar that you loved in college? Well chances are, you’re going to hate it after college. Now that you’re older (more mature is optional), you’re going to realize that the smell you once associated with that bar is actually the smell of puke and beer, the guys who once swept you off your feet are actually desperate assholes, and the dance floor you once loved is actually a place that will undoubtedly create claustrophobia. Continuing to go to this bar after college just will make you frustrated that you never have a good time. Solving this is as simple of finding a new bar that’s more your scene.
2. Create Memories With People You Will See On A Daily Basis
One of the things I missed the most about college is always having stories to talk about with friends and roommates. I missed catching up with friends in class and outside of class, discussing the night before or upcoming weekend plans. Then I realized, I was excluding myself from this happening in other circumstances because I was leaving myself out of those situations. The solution? Hanging out more with people from work and people I do see on a daily basis. This makes work a lot less miserable when you at least look forward to catching up and hanging out with the people you work with.
3. Focus On The Positives
Now this seems obvious, but I obviously did not do this in the beginning. I was so focused on how much I missed this, or that, etc. Once I switched my thinking, my attitude changed too. I now realize that not being in college means I can go on vacation anytime of the year regardless of midterm schedules. The places I loved to go and the things I loved to do are less crowded during school days. I never have to stay up all night writing a term paper again, and also, you have more money when you’re not paying a grand a month in rent.
4. Just Because You’re Out Of College Doesn’t Mean You’re Old
This may single handily be the most important to remember. Just because you’re out of college doesn’t mean that you have to act like an adult everyday. You’re only as old as you think you are. Going out and being ridiculous is actually more fun after college because now you have more money, have learned from mistakes you’ve made in the past (maybe you’ll make it to the bars this time), and you have friends who need a break just as bad as you do.