Recently a local publication in my college town released an article on their online. It was something along the lines of “A message to all seniors” with the usual bullshit about how once you graduate you’re basically dead and your life is over and blah blah.
This is probably the most toxic mindset I’ve ever heard in my life. And no, that’s not to say I don’t think college is great, because I do. Shit, I dedicated an entire blog to it and have run it for over a year and a half now. There’s so much fun shit to do in school and so many ways to go about it that you’d be an idiot not to consider college AN AWESOME FUCKING TIME.
Now note. I said AWESOME FUCKING TIME because honestly, that’s what it is. An awesome fucking time. Couple a good study plan with a sick social circle, tons of bars on lock and hordes of beautiful women and you’ve got a great, fulfilling and productive lifestyle on hand. It’s the shit.
But like all things, it’s temporary
All that “college is the time of your life and it’s all downhill from here” shit is for the birds. Yes, getting irresponsibly hammered five nights per week and being surrounded by an environment that actively encourages aggressive amounts of fun is the shit. But you need to keep in mind that this is just one facet of fun and fulfillment that life has to offer, not the only one.
The reason it’s so hard to let go of this mindset is because your whole life has been just going to school, with a constant increase in levels of independence. College is the culmination of all this, were you are a respected student of higher learning during the day and drunk gorilla with down syndrome at night. Most of today’s college students have had the educational system essentially as their life’s vocation. It’s what you’ve done every year for nine months since you were three years old. After 18 years in the world of education, it’s natural for your body to get used to the routine and lifestyle that comes along with it.
But you’re gonna graduate. Yeah, it sounds like a buzzkill, but it’s the truth. Maybe some of you reading this will be walking the aisle this May, while others are just starting out their college careers. Or maybe you’re still in high school and have a ways to go, and that’s great. Enjoy your time. But know, and accept the fact, that one day you’re gonna graduate. And the college life will end.
There’s nothing you can do to stop this. Sure, you can do a victory lap, but all that does is delay the inevitable. The life you know will be gone forever. Done. Never coming back.
Like a relative dying or a breakup, the sudden change and loss of something you once treasures is painful. And that’s completely normal. It means you’re human. Why do you think “the graduation song” by Vitamin C is so grossly sappy.
But it does you absolutely zero good to sit around pouting about it once you’ve taken off the cap and gown. For fuck sake. I see people who graduated years ago STILL bitching and moaning about “post grad life” and how they wish they were still on campus.
Let me give you a piece of advice right now. Quit calling it “post grad life”. If your life is so empty and meaningless at this point that you’re basing where you are in this world around when you went to college, something is majorly wrong. It means you’re living in the past and not living in the moment like you should be. You’re living in the past, sadly reminiscing on the days you will never see again, instead of looking forward, excited and hopeful for all the good things to come.
It’s totally fine to look back and remember all the fun times you had at school. In fact, that’s a good thing. It means you were making the most of your life at the time. Telling stories from college and discussing the old life is a great way to reconnect with old friends or even make new ones.
But your main focus should only ever be in the here and now. You should be waking up every morning totally geeked to kill it at your job, or hustle your balls off on a personal project, or really just to do whatever it is you’re up to right now in the best way you can. You know why? Because that’s all that matters right now.
I’ve found that people who are least able to move on from the fact that they graduated have the least long term drive in their lives. They just went through the motions, somehow manages to get a job after graduation, and are now left without something to “look forward to” because society and/or mom and dad haven’t laid it out for them. They get depressed because this feels like it. They had their fun and now they just work the bare minimum at their mediocre job for 40 years before they retire.
The ultimate key to getting over graduation sadness can be summed up in one ideal:
Have goals that are bigger than college.
Maybe you want to stump your efforts to crush every piece that looks at you right in exchange for finding a nice girl to settle down with and start a family.
Maybe you’re sick of where you live and want to completely move cities to pursue a personal goal.
Maybe you want to travel the world; sampling everything life has to offer and allowing yourself to put things in perspective (This is a great way to get inspired. Had I not traveled to Europe, this blog would not exist).
Whatever your goal in life may be, visualize it, realize the work that needs to be done, and begin the work necessary to achieve it. You would be surprised how quickly the whole “post-grad” label starts to ware off your conscience when you start hustling toward the life you want. I’m not even out of school yet, but I already have a slew of things I want to get done after I successfully burn my cap and gown in a pile of old papers and exams mixed with everclear. I can honestly say that the thought of graduation doesn’t depress me. Exactly the opposite; it’s exciting.
But in the meantime, and as all you readers should too, I’m gonna enjoy the shit out of this school year. I’m not gonna worry about graduation, because it’s not here yet. There’s too many things to focus on in the moment. I’m not gonna waste my time pouting while I could be getting sloshed on $5 pitchers at the local pub with my friends.
So do yourself a favor and tell your school newspaper, buzzfeed, or whatever shitty news outlet is telling you that post grad is gonna suck to go and slurp on a herpes infected dick. That shit is for average people destined for a life of mediocrity, prescription pills, and weight watchers.
I’m a fan of a mantra on happiness that my homie Christian McQueen once spit.
“Make money, smoke lucky strikes, fuck bad bitches”
I don’t smoke, but it’s metaphorical
Life doesn’t end after college: It changes. Whether it’s for better or worse is up to you.