A year ago I was packing up my college apartment, saving my most memorable theme party costumes (sexy dining hall worker didn’t go over as well as I thought it would), and crying in the most unattractive wipe-your-snot-on-your-sleeve fashion. As far as I knew it my life was completely over. I was jobless, destitute, and way too close to sober.
The only thing I had to look forward to was forcing my family to sit through Powerpoint presentations I made titled, “The top ten nights I should have died from alcohol poisoning,” “Nine reasons showing up to class drunk is only fun in the movies,” and “Any sibling that doesn’t get me a graduation gift shouldn’t act surprised when I ruin their wedding 10 years down the road.” I truly believed there was no reason to keep on living. And that was only reinforced when I was forced to sit next to a morbidly obese woman who took up half my seat on the plane ride home from Syracuse.
But yet I’m still here and alive an entire year later. And turns out, despite my best efforts to get a homeless man to push me in front of a bus last summer, life does go on after you graduate.
Somehow, during this crazy year that I partially blacked-out due to depression, I survived living with my grandparents for five months. I survived 8+ Craigslists-interviews-turned-murder-mysteries. And I survived having to tell people that I was interning after graduation. Sure there were tears and overly nostalgic Facebook wall posts and bitter feelings when your friends got hired before you did — but at the end of the worst year of my life, I’m proud to say I have an apartment, a job, and a 100% money back guarantee if E-Harmony can’t find me a husband before Memorial day.
Life after college is not what I expected it would be. I didn’t buy my work wardrobe exclusively from J.Crew and potential employers didn’t flood my inbox just because I had a bachelor’s degree. I didn’t go into my major after spending four years and three internships throwing myself into it. And I most certainly did not get a stable job with any sort of benefits (medical or sexual).
Here’s the thing that I wish people had told me when I graduated: have lower than no expectations, prepare for misery, depression, and a sudden obsession with the most emo Dashboard Confessional songs. Your frown will most certainly not be turning upside down. And then when you least expect it, you’ll be on your way to work one day or you’ll be reading Facebook statues about how much exams suck or you’ll be looking at pictures of your little sister dressed for a god-knows-what theme party and think to yourself, “wow I’m kinda of a grown-up and I kinda like it.”
Life after college is full of surprises. It’s about realizing that you don’t need to go out 8 nights a week and that you actually can survive on store-brand items. It’s about having a desire to iron your clothes before you go out in public and it’s about narrating your blogs aloud as you write them in an English accent. It’s about coming to hate Sex and the City for making up a fantasy world that doesn’t exist and it’s about finding yourself attracted to the beggar outside your building that always calls you pretty girl.
I set out to fill this final blog with life lessons, inspirational quotes, and memorable catchphrases. But then I remembered that I’m just ending a blog series and not writing the Cosby Show series finale. I can barely get through a workday without taking 9 Facebook breaks, let alone leave my 6 loyal readers with any kind of worthwhile advice.
The best I can offer you is to always remember that a stitch in time, saves nine. But unless you’re a 19th century seamstress, I doubt that offers you anything. It’s time for me to let another clinically depressed post-grad take over my series. I’ve already moved on to better things…like sending in daily applications to be the next Activia spokesperson.
But if you’re determined to keep up with my life (or if you’re my mom who begged me not to use my full name online like I’m a 13-year-old girl posting bikini pics on Myspace), check out my brand new personal blog. It’s a sight for sore eyes — or so I say to myself whenever I look in the mirror after a good Saturday night.