Post-grad life is a bit of a roller coaster. Half of the time, I am thinking, heck yes – no more homework, Netflix marathon! and the other half of the time I am thinking, ughghsugh – what am I doing with my life? And despite the never ending merry-go-round of emotion, post-grad life feels a lot more stable than college ever did.
In college, I always felt like I was building my life out of cards. Between the Russian roulette of roommates and a never ending cycle of classmates, professors, and jobs – my life felt totally unstable during my four years as a college student.
I actually feel relieved not return to college in the fall and, in light of my post-grad existence, I am starting to feel like I am finding the stability that makes me a very happy old person trapped in a young person body.
For one, I have a six month lease. Do you realize that the last time I lived somewhere for six months in a row was four years ago before I moved out of my parent’s house? It’s been bizarre to settle into a place and realize that I won’t be packing things into boxes ten seconds later. Six months isn’t forever but, half a year seems a little more permanent than a semester. The idea that I will still be in the same apartment when there are Christmas lights up is mind boggling to me.
Secondly, I am not so afraid that the people in my life are going to disappear at any second. In college, I always felt like people were slipping through my fingers because with 85 percent of the campus leaving on the weekends and, students transferring in and out every week, “friends” came in as quickly as they disappeared. However, in this post-grad world I am finding more and more friends who intend to or already have set roots here, and for the first time in a long time, I am not so afraid that if I blink the people in my life will evaporate.
Lastly, I finally have time. I loved all the learning in college but, by the end, I was ready to be done with all the filler assignments, quizzes, and readings that sucked up so much of my time. Now, I actually have time and freedom to go places and hang out with people because even though I have work – work ends pretty much when I step out of the door at the end of the day. I remember in the beginning of July, I went climbing with my friends in West Virginia (see above), and there was a moment when I just laid down on a towel, stared up at the trees, and realized how happy I was to be free of the huge weight that was college stress.
I won’t say that post-grad life doesn’t have any downsides. I can’t take a nap at 1 p.m. on weekdays anymore and, I am still trying to figure out how to turn two part-time jobs into one full-time one. However, every so often in post-grad life, I find myself feeling happier than I ever did in college. Instead of feeling like I am living in a house of cards, finally it feels like I am starting to lay brick, and feeling the stability of a permanent existence is one of the most comforting feelings in the world.