Graduation is over and the applause has ended. Change can be hard and many students stress about the transition to adulthood, however, life doesn’t end the moment you get your diploma. Read on to see what you’ll miss about college – but what you’ll love about the real world.
There are lots of opportunities to make friends.
From living in the dorms to attending classes and clubs, the college atmosphere is geared to help students find new people to hang out with. The great thing about graduating is that you not only keep your college friendships but also have opportunities to build new ones. You might hit it off with your new co-workers or find a young professionals group to join. Learn more about the benefits of networking and get out there and mingle.
You get long vacations.
In college, you have a three month summer vacation, a month off for Christmas, a week for spring break and at least a day for other national holidays. Never again will you get so many vacation days but, the good news? In the real world, you actually get paid when you take a vacation! PTO (paid-time-off) is a beautiful thing, and you’ll forget all about those long college vacations (hopefully.)
You make your own schedule.
In college, it is entirely possible to avoid scheduling morning classes and make your own routine. You don’t have to give up this liberty altogether, though, in the real world. If you aren’t a morning person, some jobs will offer you some flexibility on start time or an option to work from home. Regardless, get used to having a little structure in your life; it won’t kill you.
You can be (a little) lazy.
Cafeteria food might not be the greatest but it’s already cooked and paid for. Also, no one judges you for wearing sweatpants to class, because they’re probably wearing sweatpants too. In the real world, though, you’ll find new shortcuts to make life easy too such as slow cooker meals. As for the sweatpants, the better you look, the better you feel so take it up a notch.
You’ll love not having homework.
Eventually, you say goodbye to college life and all the stress that comes with it. First off, there are no late nights in the library, drowning in homework or cramming for finals. Not to say life after college can’t be stressful, but when you leave work at 5:00, you are done for the day and you have actual free time.
You get real freedom after college.
You got a taste of freedom in college, like staying up late and eating all the junk food you wanted. But could you have a candle in the dorms or paint the walls? After college, you have your own space and you set the rules. You can have a garden, own a pet and take a class just for fun, and not because you have to.
You earn and save money.
Believe it or not, there comes a time in life when you save more than you spend. After college, you get a real job and actually start to care about having a healthy savings account and an emergency fund. You’ll probably even start investing, so check out our beginners guide to learn how. Plus, you can still use your student ID discounts as long as you look 22.
You start taking better care of yourself.
When you get your first job, you’ll probably pick up a healthier lifestyle too. For starters, you have more time to exercise and take up a normal sleeping schedule. You also aren’t restricted to dining hall food or freezer meals and you can afford to buy healthier options. Whether you want to take off that freshman fifteen or just live a healthier lifestyle, you will feel better and your body will thank you.
You figure out what you love doing.
It might not happen right away but you eventually discover your passions. Your college education finally comes full circle and you get to make a career out of doing what you love. There will always be time to reminisce on your college days but don’t forget to live in the present and enjoy the journey. You might be surprised to find that your best memories are still to come and you’ll never forget the beginning of this exciting new chapter.