I knew things were going to be different after graduation. I graduated high school and shiz did not go down in college like it did in high school funky town. Like any transition in life, things change. And with change, I am suddenly given the chance to look back in my life rear view mirror, appreciate what’s been left in my past and look forward to the brand new things that are coming in my future.
Like any college girl, the only thing I could think about upon graduating was how I wouldn’t be able to wear sweatpants to buy Arizona Green Tea at the gas station at 2 P.M. on a Tuesday afternoon. I knew I was going to miss spending entire days sprawled out on my futon, watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs and ordering Jimmy Johns for my mid-afternoon snack. My college siesta hour(s) – every day from 2-4 – would no longer be there for me to utilize. And that is something I’ve missed.
I’ve also missed going to the caf with all of my girlfriends on Sunday morning to discuss the weekend’s events over soggy toast and cheesy eggs. I’ve missed when spring finally came and all of the boys on campus would showcase their forearms, and that bubbly feeling inside me that came from knowing that in just a few more degrees, they would be drinking Coors in their backyard. Shirtless.
I miss having a careless and completely confident attitude in college. I miss finding the utmost contentment in being surrounded by chaos and people all the time. I miss getting caught up in crazy weekends with not a care in the world as to what anyone thought of me or the green wig I was wearing just for the hell of it (college kids do strange things for attention). I miss dreaming about my future, instead of living it and constantly worrying about what’s coming next.
BUT, and there’s always a but, in my relentless quest to look on the bright side, I have discovered some beautifully poetic tid-bits about a post-grad life that I’ve come to really appreciate. Yes, there are some wonderful things about being on this side of the cap and gown.
My post-grad life has introduced me to the beauty of wine. I never used to appreciate a fine glass but now I understand the practice of slowing down a little bit, sipping a crisp glass of Riesling and reveling in its apricot taste (as opposed to pounding back shots of Patron). I also have come to enjoy happy hour. Since I was always taking night classes in college, I finally have the time to run a train over happy hour waffle fries at Champs.
My post-grad life has also really made me appreciate weekends, for other reasons than sleeping off hangovers and going home to visit the family. I really look forward to my Saturdays and Sundays now to get things done, go on impromptu trips and explore the eating scene around the city. (Hello, brunch and mimosas!)
As a post-grad, I love the feeling of progress and the fact I can finally sculpt my future without school as my backbone. In college, it seemed like graduation was a stone wall I could not see past. As a post-grad, I’ve barreled over that wall into a place where I can see a sliver of light as I shimmy through my own future. It’s a strangely relieving feeling.
I love to cook and bake, and that is something I definitely did not take up in college (partially because I didn’t know a spatula from my own hand). Eating good food has a lot more meaning and importance now, and cooking it for myself is so strangely satisfying and therapeutic, I don’t know why I didn’t do it in college when I was spazzing out about registering for classes every semester. I love leisurely reading for pleasure and not having to worry about how much Finite Math reading I should be doing instead.
I love being forced to get up before the sun comes up for my job (this is NOT what I would say upon waking up, however) because it forces me to watch the sunrise. I love making my own income, and finally pulling my own weight. I love having a solid routine. I love living out of the college dorm lifestyle and hanging up a painting instead of a James Dean poster. I love lamp. Sorry, is it immature that I had to stick that in here?
I would like to take note that I did not transform from a sloppy broad into a classy, perfected woman right after I tossed my hat in the air. In no way am I classy and in no way will I ever maintain the same stature as Kate Middleton just because I got a job and stopped peeing in public. I’ve just grown up a bit and learned to appreciate the new life I’m living. And surprisingly, there’s a lot to appreciate out here.