13 Things I Miss After Graduating College

13 Things I Miss After Graduating College

Can we just pretend I haven't graduated yet?
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It's been four months since I graduated from college, and I already miss it terribly. College days were some of the best of my life. Sure, the classes and exams were stressful at times, but the amazing parts balanced it out. Here's 13 things I miss most about college:

1. Having "free" food thanks to dining dollars and meal plans

Campus meal plans may have sucked at times, but nothing sucks as much as actually having to spend your hard earned cash on food..that isn't even unlimited! Campus dollars were the light of my life; it's like monopoly money that works in real life.

2. Free seats in the student section at football games

Not to mention the tailgating for hours that happens before...

3. Partying every night of the week without judgement

If it's a coping skill it's fine, right? Rush parties, frat parties, house parties, birthday parties...the list goes on.

4. Choosing your schedule

Not a morning person? Not a problem. In college you get to choose your class timings, whereas in the post-college world, you do what your employer says. (Hint: it's usually not the hours you like to work).

5. Dressing like bum every day is OK

Something tells me if I show up to work in sweatpants I'm not going to get the same reaction as I would if I wore them to class. The real world has a dress code and it's the bane of my existence.

6. Being surrounded by attractive people your age all the time

College is a little bubble where you're surrounded by people that are your age and have the same motivations and interests as you. You're surrounded by all the *single* fish in the sea all at once; in the real world, you're not constantly surrounded by attractive guys 24/7... and it's awful.

7. Living in a three-mile radius of all your friends

Try moving to a new city where your only friends are coworkers and your roommate.. and your friends at home are now four hours away. Post-grad social life sucks.

8. Skipping classes because you just don't feel like going

Sure, there may be a few consequences but in the end, you can still skip! In the real world there's things like PTO and call-in days and only a certain number of sick leaves. It's a combination of high school policies and Hell.

9. Spring break

It's the most wonderful time of the year complete with beach trips, cruises, or all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. In the real world you have bills and no breaks. RIP the fun, crazy spring breaker you used to be.

10. Three month long summer vacations

You literally have three months to do whatever you want, lay out by the pool and bask in the glorious sun. The closest you get to that in the real world is staring at the sun from inside your office window.

11. Late night food

Cookout, Taco Bell, McDonald's: All of them were part of your nightly routine a few times in the week. Now it's all about being in bed at a reasonable hour so you're not dead on your feet at work the next morning.

12. Daily naps

Gap between classes? Nap time. Tired after a long day? Nap it out. In the real world: Work all day so you can barely sleep for a few hours at night. It's miserable.

13. The school spirit

There's really nothing that compares to the feeling of being united as a whole based on the school you go to. Once a member of the pack, always a member of the pack.


TL;DR:

College: Amazing

Real World: Shit

Cover Image Credit: statefansnation.com

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Those Old Photographs Show A Girl I Don't Recognize Anymore

Reflection on what once was, and what now is.

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Sometimes, I look through old pictures.

Whether it be scrolling through my camera roll on my iPhone, my various social media accounts or even the pictures people have tagged me in over the years. What I see, however, disturbs me. I look into the eyes of the girl who covers every inch of my accounts, the girl in almost every other picture on my camera roll.

I don't see me.

What I do see: a stranger. Happy, pure, stress-free. A girl whose smile stretches from ear to ear, whose eyes shine bright like little shooting stars. Nonchalant dimples. Slightly messy hair, a dirtier blonde. She's usually placed with friends who turned out to not actually be friends or the occasional guy that she thought was going to be the one. So optimistic.

Who is she, and where did she go?

Over time, she starts to look a little more stressed. Her eyes start to dull, and the smile lessens until it's barely there in photographs. Her hair does lighten over time, but soon she will realize that it will never be light enough for her liking. A secret perfectionist.

The stranger starts to look more and more like the girl I see in the mirror every morning, and this is when I finally have to come to terms with the fact that I once was that girl.

Was.

I'm not saying I'm not happy. I still smile, I still laugh. It's just that there are only so many events a person can go through before they really start to change. So here, at this point in time, is when I really have to sit down and think. Think about what lessened that smile. Think about what turned the sparkle in those eyes into tears. Think about everything that made me feel anything less than content.

It's not just things. It's people. Human beings. Terrible, horrible, human beings. They come into your life, and you want to believe that people are good and that they are just as caring as you are.

Wrong.

They will break you. Whether it be soft and slow, or quick like a knife finding it's home in the center of your heart. You will meet good people, yes, but you will also meet those with the cruelest of intentions. You'll never see it at first. Ever. You'll let them snake their way into your heart and mind, you will offer to give them the world and more. That's just who you are, or maybe, who you were.

So this is where I must ask this, and truly reflect on the events of my life: Who was the first and last person to add to the deterioration of the girl in the old photos? What was the first and last event to do so? Is there some chronological timeline somewhere that I'm missing out on, or is it really just one big blur of catastrophes?

It's hard to answer such questions. I can remember brief moments from my childhood that may have contributed. Small encounters with immature tween boys who were the first to make me feel anything less than beautiful. My fellow middle school peers who harassed me for being the quiet girl who liked to wear quirky outfits. The other girls in my class who didn't want to be around me, simply because I didn't grow up in the same area as them. Like I could help that. I had several things in common with them, but they will never know. Or maybe it was the high school administrators who laughed in my face at my goals and ambitions. Administrators.

I could go on and on about the people, places and things that have tried to knock me down a few pegs. The stepping stones who brought the smiling, happy figure to the reserved, hesitant girl and merged them. I must remember one thing: I am not the person who let that random boy call me a name. I am not the girl who let her "friend" violently yell at her and break her down in public. I am not the girl who let her "friend" make her feel bad for being there for her and expecting her to do the same. I am not the girl who let the wrong person in way more than once.

I am much stronger now. That's when I realized what actually happened. It wasn't a deterioration, it was a metamorphosis that occurred.

Yes, these events may have a negative connotation to them, but in all honesty, I don't regret a thing. Yes, the perfect stranger in the old photos may look like the more ideal option at times, but she isn't ready for the real world, at least she wasn't. She wasn't confident or mature, she was exactly what she looks like: a child. My experiences have shaped me and turned me into someone who is ready. Ready to take on whatever comes this way. Ready for reality.

I miss the girl that's further down my feed often. Sometimes, I daydream of the simpler times. Times where I could create beautiful life plans, times where I dreamt of this extravagant fantasy life, with some crazy-cool job and a husband I never fight with and a large home on a waterfront somewhere. This isn't true reality. Reality is a good friend of mine now. That's OK. We're starting to get along, finally. I understand it a lot better now.

Sometimes, I look through old pictures.

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