I graduated from university almost six months ago, but I intern at the study abroad office of that same university. Consequently, I run into my underclassman friends on campus relatively often. They all ask how I’m doing, and “how’s life after college?”
I always have to laugh inwardly at the question.
Life in the sense of being alive after college is much the same as it was before I graduated. I still eat and sleep and breathe much like I did six months ago.
Describing Life After College in the general sense (as in, the lifestyle of a person post-graduation) is impossible. My lifestyle is worlds different from my friends’ lifestyles, so the only universally true answer to this question is “life after college means you don’t go to college anymore.”
My Life After College? Now there’s a question I can answer.
I have time for myself every day. In college, I was always rushing around, attempting to go to class, attend rehearsals and student group meetings, and do homework in the mere 24 hours a day and 7 days a week available to me. Now? I go to my internship, I come home, and I’m done dealing with the world. I have time for myself. I can fill it with trying new recipes or reading for pleasure or editing my cover letter for that dream job that will launch my career.
I don’t study nearly as much. I learn every day, but I don’t study. I discover details and nuances of my chosen career field just by applying for jobs and talking to people in the industry. I learn a few new Japanese words every day to keep my language skills up. I learned how to make chicken noodle soup from scratch. I learn that 5pm is a terrible time to go to the grocery store. I learn about myself by describing and marketing myself to potential employers. I learn so much at my internship without hardly noticing, just by working with people who I admire and aspire to be. But I don’t study. I learn what I need in order to succeed and be happy – I no longer study to get a good grade. That distinction is huge and beautiful.
I wear more pencil skirts and blazers than I did in college. Gone are the days of throwing on jeans and a ratty T-shirt to go to class. Alas, these are the hazards of adulthood.
My life has become entirely different from that of my friends. In college, your classmates and friends are all dealing with similar issues – writing papers, cramming for exams, rehearsing for performances. They all live in the same place, have similar schedules, eat the same food. Now, my friends live in Ohio and Wisconsin and Japan and New York. They are teachers and sales reps and theater carpenters and graduate students and software developers. They live in downtown loft apartments and rural cottages. Our lifestyles, schedules, and priorities are now wildly different. For some of my friends, this difference of situation is insurmountable, and we lose touch. For others, it has caused our friendship to grow stronger. We constantly have something new to learn and share about our lives.
In short – life after graduation is so much fun, and so different. It feels like a whole new life.