The months after graduating college are a scary time of transformation. You're happy to be done but heartbroken to leave the town and people you've come to love over the last 4 years. You're trying to prepare for graduate school, your new job or trying to choose between getting a job or going back to school. You move out on your own or back with mom and dad while you figure this whole "real world" thing out. But whatever you've been doing since graduation, whether it's grad school, your first job, or a little self-exploration, you have slowly but surely seen the habits of your college self slip away as you've taken on that dreaded responsibility of taking care of yourself (i.e. scheduling your own doctor's appointments).
Here are 8 signs you're becoming what you never thought you'd be, an adult.
1. Your bedtime is now a nightly appointment with yourself that you CANNOT cancel.
Gone are the days of spontaneously deciding to partake in Tequila Tuesday. You're hitting the sheets by 11pm at the latest, Grandma.
2. You actually have to care about your appearance everyday.
Because your office is not a huge lecture hall and your boss will notice a slightly-homeless looking person among the more seasoned adults you work with who are much better at looking like they have their lives together. Yoga pants, leggings and the shirt you slept in last night are now strictly for the weekend. Sad, but true.
3. Speaking of appearance, your shopping habits have changed drastically.
Suddenly things like cardigans, button-downs and ballet flats start to catch your eye. You tell yourself you're just being practical, buying things you can wear for work and weekends....until you come to the horrifying realization these items now work for your weekends because they involve a lot more sleeping and a lot less bar hopping in a backless shirt and heels. Crop tops, you will be missed.
4. You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner like a normal, somewhat healthy person now.
No, your body cannot in fact survive a 40-hour work week on Bojangles and Cook Out alone. You have to eat at least some veggies for dinner and you have to do so before 11pm because, Duh, you'll be in bed. (I still say you can't beat the Wendy's 4 for $4 though, and it's even better late-night)
5. Going to the gym has become a priority.
It's taken some time (i.e. every painstaking minute of the 5 months since I graduated) but I've personally come to enjoy this aspect of my new "adult" life. Do I miss getting my cardio in walking to class (bars) and my high intensity interval training via flip cup? Of course. But do I miss seeing the effects these not-actual workouts had on my body? Not at all. And for those Sundays when I'm conflicted between working out or brunching, there's always "mimosa curls."
6. A weekend of doing nothing sounds like a dream come true.
I used to live for long nights of dancing and/or karaoke followed by long game days of drinking followed by another long night of dancing and/or karaoke. Now? My boyfriend and I prefer date nights involving Cook Out trays, a six-pack of whatever was on sale and "House of Cards."
7. When you do go out on the weekend, you feel it for the next week (or 2).
You went rogue and broke your 11pm bedtime by trying to relive your glory days of beer pong tournaments and kamikaze shots. Then suddenly it's the morning after and you're wondering where your tolerance went and what was so "glorious" about those days after all.
8. Finally, as much as you miss college, you're excited to see what's next.
I talk to most of my best friends from college nearly every day. We reminisce about the last 4 years often but that's only because those are all of our best stories...so far.
Sure, we miss living together or only 5 minutes away, going out on Wednesdays just because we could, and never being embarrassed about anything we did because someone else had done it (or worse) too. And I love remembering all those stories. But I also love seeing the awesome things my friends are doing now. Some are in grad school, and will be the best doctors and lawyers around someday. Some, like me, are working and are well on their way to doing big things. But we're all trying to figure this whole "adult" thing out and it makes no longer being in one town together a little less scary. We may not have spring breaks anymore, but we do have Homecoming reunions, bachelorette parties and weddings to look forward to. And I for one can't wait.