College. A time in my live when I literally lived with no regrets, no consequences, and no care in the world about whether or not I was going to survive the night. I stayed up until six in the morning, got up from a three-hour power nap, and ate until I had to lay in fetal position and digest. Then, I worked out until 9 P.M., sweat out all the vodka in my pores and did it all over again.
And five months before I graduated, I had this theory. The theory told me that once I was finished with signing up for classes and barely making it to any of them — that I was going to fail in the real world once I graduated. Actually, I was partially convinced I was going to turn into ash after I received my diploma and become reincarnated as a College Phoenix. Then, do it all over again.
And you know what? I was right. About the reincarnation part.
Put it this way — after graduation, I kissed all of those “college times” away. “Brittany,” I told myself, “you are never going to see another drop of alcohol in your entire college afterlife. You are going to spend every diminishing day applying for jobs, kissing butt, taking care of your body and learning how to cook.” After graduation I looked at all of my friends, took snapshots of their faces in my mind, packed up my things and truly kissed all of it away.
Deep down I knew that the real world could not provide what college had provided for me. In the real world, I knew I wouldn’t spend entire weekends chugging booze and sitting down with my girlfriends to spend fifteen hours watching True Blood and eating everything in sight. In the real world, I knew I couldn’t make out with someone at the bar, stay up all night and wake up with a chapped nose because I made out with a hottie for five hours straight.
In the real world, I imagined sipping wine that didn’t come in a box, having constant sophisticated chats about work, going on dreamy dates with prospective love interests, buying furniture and taking showers daily. That was my theory. I had it no other way. I was going to graduate and turn into a fun-sucked, crazy mature and perfect version of myself. This theory scared me. I didn’t want to toss a cap in the air, take off my gown and suddenly be a full-blown grown up! I didn’t know if I could handle it!
But let me tell you something. And it’s something very important.
That whole adult thing? The joke is on me.
Life after college is not a sophisticated freak fest where you have a daily itinerary equal to your own grandmothers. Embarrassingly enough, all of the things I mentioned that believed would only happen in college?
They’ve all happened to me since graduation.
In fact, more so than ever. I’m not unprofessional, I have a wonderful job and I care about my reputation very much. My success means the world to me, but that is never going to mean I won’t be able to have fun. Even if I want to do it like they do on the Discovery Channel and in the freshman dormitories. I can have my success and my fun too!
I go out, I stay up all night, regret it in the morning and sometimes do it all over again. I’m not about to pull a Charlie Sheen, but I understand that just because I’m finished with college doesn’t mean I have to change the person I was when I could find that “fun outlet,” go out late, hang out with my girlfriends, make out for four hours straight, drink vodka and sit in all of my bubbling and giddy regret the next morning. I know that if I’m responsible about what my body needs and take care of myself, nothing can get in my way. I don’t feel the need to party hardy all the time but when I do – I won’t beat on myself about it.
So, I want everyone to remember this. The end of your college career does not mean the end of a good and crazy time! After college, you can still have a blasty blast. Growing up will be that much less of a scary feat if you believe that.