How Do You Move On After Graduating College?
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How Do You Move On After Graduating College?

This is the unexpected moment of realization that made me appreciate life after college

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Acacia Ladd-Cocca

The moment I realized I wouldn’t relive the college days again, wasn't isn’t actually so bad.

I finally got to have a weekend off to spend with Dom. We ventured down to Long Island to enjoy three days of shenanigans with many of his college friends, whom he still remains close to. I have hung out with his friends before and knew to expect a wild time.

Since I had never actually been to Long Island, I was intrigued by what else to expect. Such as, the fact that the city isn’t as close as I originally thought or that the houses are adorably quaint.

However, I did not expect to have an enlightening realization while on a party bus transporting almost 30 of us to a vineyard to sample wine by the bottles.

We arrived to the Island in the afternoon on Friday and did some shopping to kill time before we met up with Dom’s friends. The plan was to have dinner together and go out for a “few” drinks. We wouldn’t be out late…

Fast-forward to 2:30 in the morning and I am lying in bed giggling at an episode of Bob’s Burgers while shoving goldfish crackers into my mouth and chugging water, while Dom snored loudly next to me. I was also telling myself I shouldn’t have drank as much because getting up early to ride a bus, drink beer and cheap champagne, and then drink wine until 5 p.m. was sounding like more of a struggle than a relaxing Saturday activity.

We woke up at 9 in the morning, got ready, ate some bagels, and popped Excedrin Extra Strength ready to take on day drinking.

Honestly I was a little nervous because since graduating college, drinking is something I don’t do very often. I have to wake up early for work and I enjoy my days off hangover free. My tolerance for alcohol has plummeted and I just don’t have the energy to do a weekend full of binge drinking anymore (which I am in no way condoning anyone to do whether you have the energy or not).

I look back and think about how much I miss the college days. I think I have been officially out of college for 3 years or so (not counting the year and a half I went back to school for my counseling certification).

I miss being with my amazing friends on a daily basis, and living with my best friends.

I miss going to the two bars we usually went to and somehow waking up bright-eyed to eat huge, unhealthy breakfasts and prep for another long night of partying.

I miss having less responsibility and just being fairly carefree, making those lifetime memories people say you’ll cherish forever.

I really do cherish every memory from college. And I obviously would love it if I could go back and relive all the craziness.

But watching people at this vineyard made me realize that I am getting too old for this type of partying. I don’t actually think I’m old by any means, but I turn 25 in almost exactly a month. The things I want to do in the future don’t involve cheap liquor and hazy recollections of the night before. This isn’t to say that I won’t drink too much here and there, or that I’m too good for partying all of a sudden (I mean I will be in Las Vegas in less than a week). I just enjoy long, late nights experiencing great things with people I really want to be around.

I also am not saying I didn’t wan to be around Dom’s friends or that I had a bad time. I had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed being around some of Dom’s closest friends. The weekend weather was perfect and I love that he is still close to so many people from his college days, and that they accept me as one of their own into their group.

But when we were finally on our way back from the vineyard, I couldn’t help but feel relieved to get away from the noise of too-loud music and drunken yelling, and the constant drinks being spilled all around me. I was exhausted and sobered up about two hours before we had to leave the vineyard, and I wasn’t even heavily drinking the wine all day. I was sipping small cups, which were only from one bottle that Dom, and I shared and snacked constantly. The rest of the crew wasn’t so lucky to be sober on the ride home.

I remember looking around me and seeing a few people completely passed out, one person puking in a plastic bag, and everyone else yelling obscenities, laughing, running around the bus like wild animals.

At that moment I also finally felt like I stopped missing college. I even realized that college and drinking wasn’t what I missed, it was being around the people who really mattered to me and having the best times of my life to look back on.

I actually feel like some sort of weight was lifted off of me. I think I have been too hard on myself for the simpler, quiet life I have right now compared to the wild times I had in school and the entire year after graduation. I was always doing something and planning my next move, whether it was a house party, a night out bar hopping, what food I would eat the net day to cure my hangover. The year after college was about which country to go to for two months, what to pack for my first festival by myself, and how to navigate the inevitable job searches.

Now, I kind of love sitting at home binge watching new shows or having regular movie nights with Dom and my brother while the cat runs around like a psycho. And I plan for the next day of work and what mood my clients will be in.

This is not to say I suddenly will become an anti social hermit, content with not having future adventures and parties. I just am realizing that I don’t need to keep holding on to who I was back in college and what kind of things I had then because I am a different person (to an extent) and I have new places to go, and new exciting adventures to experience.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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