365 Days Later

If I’m reading my Facebook news feed correctly, everyone graduated this weekend. Congrats! I personally had the pleasure of jetting up to San Francisco and watching my talent sister receive a well-deserved Bachelors of Fine Arts. Pretty sure she exerted more energy in a week of dance classes than I did in my entire 4 years of scurrying across my square mile campus.

It’s cliche, but true, that it’s hard to believe an entire year has passed since I too sweated in a black hospital gown and tried to keep my cap from escaping off my head (my hair has a mind of its own and didn’t like the competition).

Other than telling you how awesome my sister is, I don’t have a great thesis for this blog post but I’ve been in a reflect-y mood lately and figured other recent alums might be in the same boat.

Side Note: I’ve noticed lately that I over-hyphenate. See last 2 sentences for examples. Not sure when this started, but every time I read something I write I find at least 5 unnecessarily hyphenated words. I’m considering removing the worn-out punctuation mark from my keyboard. Just did it again. Unbelievable.

Post-college life has been far better & far worse than I imagined. Off the top of my head, below are my top unexpected life lessons from the last 12 months.

1. Keeping yourself alive (without spending a fortune) isn’t as easy as it seems

Most recent college grads don’t have $500 to blow on food each month. Limited grocery budgets means a lot of planning, home-cooked meals, and leftovers. Some weeks, getting food on the table EVERY SINGLE DAY takes more strategy than a pro chess game.

2. Evenings are the BEST

In college, there is no clocking out. Study, sleep, shower and repeat dominate your schedule. Once other people start paying you to do work instead of you paying to volunteer your free labor, you can actually stop working. In fact, it’s recommended if you want a working lifespan of longer than 3 month stints.

3. Everything changes but then it doesn’t.

The first few months out of college were a Wizard of Oz level tornado. Getting married, moving across the country, new job, car insurance, realizing you grossly overpaid for car insurance 3 months later, the list of “real world” acclimating to-dos felt endless. Until it ended. And then you feel sadly nostalgic and wonder why your life doesn’t change dramatically every semester anymore.

Three?! That’s all I could come up with after moving cross-country, new jobs, weddings, innumerable finger cuts from bulk slicing onions, and dozens of conversations with post-grad friends?!

I need your help, guys. What have you learned in this past year (or years) of finding our own little corners of the world?

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