As I am getting ready to head down south to the land of the pines to see our Editor, Lindsay Glosson, graduate from Elon University, I have been feeling nostalgic about the days where life could be filled with drinks, partying til the dawn, sharing closets, sun tanning at 2 pm on a Wednesday, porch talks, and having many of your closest friends within 5 minutes walking distance.
So in the spirit of graduation, and for my best friends, here are 12 things that I learned in the first 12 months after college graduation (in no particular order).
1.Some friends will come and go, but your best friends are forever (cliché, but true)
Distance is a bitch, to put it nicely. However, that is why there are text threads, skype, phone calls, weekend trips, and more. The people who want to be in your life will make it happen.
2. Shopping can be done, but only in moderation
That paycheck means more to you now that it ever has before.
3. Moving across the country is scary, but freeing
Always had dreams of getting the hell out of dodge? Now you can! It is scary at first, but once you learn your new city it becomes one of the most freeing experiences of your life.
4. Eat healthy, you’ll feel better
Yep. Mom was right. Do yourself a favor and eat healthy, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes in your everyday energy and mood.
5. Exercise is necessary
Follow up to #4. She was right again, but your body through the paces. Not only does it help you look and feel your best, but this can also provide valuable de-stressing time at the end of a long work day or week.
6. Red eye’s are the most efficient use of flying time
In the moment it’s pretty awful, but there is nothing like “waking up” across the country and not having lost a full day. Now that you make it home less, or to see your friends less often, take advantage of the time.
7. You will never wear the bridesmaids dress again
I was in two weddings the summer after graduation. Both of them were beautiful, and the decor, color palates, and dresses were perfect – but they still aren’t ever going to make it out of my closet again.
8. How to negotiate your first job
This is a biggie. Negotiating your first job is huge! It sets you up for the future, and will help you feel like you are getting the best contract possible. Tip – read Lean In first.
9. Life is expensive, period.
Funny how everything seems doable when your parents are footing the bill for utilities, or rent, or clothes, or dinners out, or a combination of them all.
10. Some days, you get lonely
Some days you get lonely. Fact. You are removed from the people and the place that you have called home for the last four years. You can’t walk next door and see your best friend (and if you can you better treasure it). It is a hard adjustment, but your friendships grow in new ways.
11. A 40 hour work week is more exhausting than an 80 hour study week
I’m not completely sure why this is, but it is true. The 40 hour work week has the capability to turn your brain into complete mush. You may find yourself crawling into bed around 9:30 pm, and thinking that is a late night. Power through it, and drink lots of coffee.
12. In the real world a hangover hurts
No more waking up late, stuffing a greasy brunch in your mouth and laying on the sofa for a few hours. Drinking in the afternoon on a Saturday can completely wipe out the next 24 hours of plans as you lay moaning in pain and wishing you still had the tolerance you did 6 months ago, but you don’t.
What did you all learn in the 12 months after your graduation? What did I miss? To this year’s graduates – you can do it!
*Shout Out to the ladies in this cover photo plus ES & TR, love you guys*