I remember it so vividly, one afternoon in my college dorm room, I broke down in tears. It was December 2015. They weren’t so much sad tears as they were happy. It was the moment that I truly realized I only had 5 months left of college until graduation. I’d dreaded this moment since my freshman year. My tour guide told me that the 4 years will fly by. He was right. They say that college is the best 4 years of your life. They weren’t kidding. It’s been 1 year since I wrote my Countdown to Graduation post, and 1 year since I walked across the stage to be handed a $200,000 piece of paper. To me, the memories I made are more significant to me than the diploma or the degree. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful to have a college degree, but I’m even more grateful for the experience.
“I’ve learned one thing, and that’s to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” – Tom Petty
It’s been 1 year since I left the bubble, and there’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about #college. Sometimes a song will come on that reminds me of Wednesdays at BBJ’s or events with my sorority sisters. So much has changed since the ‘G’ word. And no, it never gets easier to say. I’m basically half-way into my grave at this point.
With the Class of 2017 graduating in just a few days, I’m getting super nostalgic. Or maybe it’s just the plethora of cap and gown pictures appearing on my news feed and timelines. But if you don’t get anything out of this post, remember these tips. I actually wrote most of the exact same tips in my post last year.
- Enjoy every last Darty, Beach Weekend, BBJ Wednesday and After Hours like it’s your job. Decently priced alcohol (aka $2 beers and kamikaze shots) won’t last forever. It’s also probably the last time you can get away with drinking Four Loko’s and Burnetts. But I honestly have no idea why you would drink these things anyway.
- Spend as much time as you can with your sorority sisters, fraternity brothers and best friends. Soon you’ll be 3,000 miles apart, especially if you move across the country like me.
- Magic Meals don’t exist in the real world. I shed a tear every time the bill comes for my steak dinner, or the Starbuck’s barista charges me $6 for a sugary concoction. Still worth it though.
- The real world doesn’t have a Santa Claus disguised as Nido. No idea why. Post-grad blues are a real thing people.
- Parking still sucks, but I’ve had better luck talking myself out of a parking ticket in the real world than with campus security. *snaps*
- Take the time to get your priorities in check. Learn about finances, learn about the industry you are interested in, learn about adult things. I spent countless nights hours networking, applying for jobs and making sure I kept my grades up so I could graduate with honors. While no one really, asks about your grades or GPA in the real world, it still gave me a feeling of peace and success. In the end, you are your best and worst critic.
- GO to the graduation events that your university hosts! My university hosted a wine tour which was super fun and no matter how many people you hate, it’s probably the last time you’ll see them like, ever. So that’s a reason to dislike them a little less.
- Take care of yourself these last few days! With so much happening, it’s easy to get sick and run-down. This is my secret to staying healthy and boosting your immune system.
- Denial is no longer an option.
As the end of your college career approaches, reminisce on your favorite memories and spots around campus. Have a wine night with your girlfriends, give thanks. In the end, it’s not that bad. Uncertainty is scary, but you made it this far, right?
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.” – Anne Frank
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Also, this post was written with my fellow college classmates in mind, which is why some names and references might not make sense to everyone. But hopefully you still enjoyed the read!*