The moment just after you finally graduate, after you finish your last ever exam, after you can safely burn all those notes from that class you completely hate, is really, really weird. Sure, you feel happy. There’s been so much build-up to this moment, so much stress, so many times you’ve wished it would just hurry up. But now it’s all over. There are no more classes, no more learning, no more looming deadlines. After you have many, many celebratory drinks, what is there to do?
It’s easy to sink into a deep pit of depression and boredom, post-college. Suddenly your life doesn’t have a shape anymore. There’s no real reason to set an alarm in the morning. There’s no work you need to be doing, so you can just watch Netflix all day. You start feeling a little lost.
Don’t let yourself fall into the pit. Take action, right now, and pull yourself out.
1. Give yourself a daily routine, with a set number of tasks. The moment you finish college, it’s all too easy to think ‘YES! I can relax now, I can wake up whenever I want, do whatever I want, YAY.’ But that quickly leaves you feeling unfulfilled and unaccomplished. Be strict with yourself and figure out what you need to do every day to feel like you’ve succeeded in something. Set a wake-up time, decide how many job applications you want to work on per day, or how many blog posts you want to write, and stick to it.
2. Work out a long term plan. It’s finally time – you actually need to sit down and work out what the heck you want to do with your life. Don’t have a clue? That’s no excuse to be plan-less. Give yourself a deadline to change your life situation. Where do you want to be six months from now? How about a year? Work out what you need to work on and make that happen. This will fill the hole in your life left by the three or four year plan of college/university.
3. Keep learning. College is basically the last time in your life when your only responsibility is to learn stuff. That’s why it’s so awesome. But just because you’ve graduated, please don’t just give up and accept what you know. Life is all about expanding your mind and discovering new things, so whether it’s learning a new language or trying out a pottery class, dedicate some time to just learning.
4. Make plans to look forward to (with friends). Something really shitty about graduating is the sudden realization that your friends aren’t just 5 minutes away, and that you’re not sure when you’ll see them next. Get organized and make a concrete plan to do something – don’t just say ‘yeah, let’s catch up or stay in touch’, actually arrange something fun. Not only will it make sure you don’t lose contact, it will give you something to look forward to.
5. Get outside and stay active. It might seem like staying in bed all day will make you happy, but trust me, it won’t. Your surroundings really shape your mood, and while college gave you a constant reason to leave your room, post-graduation there’s really nothing stopping you from becoming completely inactive. GET UP. GET OUT. DO SOMETHING. You need to be outside your house or apartment sometimes, just to keep you from going insane.
[Lead image via Gossip Girl/SheKnows]