If you’re anything like me, college was the best and craziest four years. I found myself constantly surrounded with my best friends, and I felt like I was queen of the world on American University’s small campus. I’m not kidding; I could walk across the quad and always see someone I knew. Beyond that, I was in a sorority and was a star student—I had it all. Now it seems that no one knows me, and I had a realization… post grad feels lonely. I went from being an alpha female in my sorority and campus life to the unemployed girl next door.
It all started when my three best friends moved away. Two left for New York City and one for law school in Connecticut. Don’t get me wrong. I felt incredibly proud of them for getting jobs away from D.C. and the AU bubble, but a little part of me wished they had stayed, or that I could move closer to them. They were the best support system I had. We were #squadgoals, for lack of a better phrase. They’re the type of friends you go to the neighborhood sushi place in your pjs on a Sunday with, but also the kind of girls that would weasel their way into VIP access at the club in Punta Cana.
Aside from the absence of my friends, the transition from college is impossible to get past. Parents can help, but they come from a different generation where when you graduate from college, you had a job lined up. But nowadays you can fill out an application that doesn’t even require a college degree and still not get the job. I quickly realized connections are everything, especially if you’re an aspiring journalist. Having a high GPA and degree from an esteemed university starts to feel like nothing after a while.
In college, I loved nothing more than spending my weekends dancing the night away in a fraternity house basement. Of course, a part of me still wants to do that, but I need to grow up. I don’t want to be AU’s Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused. It’s tough when my friends beg me to go college-y places with them. Believe me, I am the first person who wants to go. But I feel as if the angel on one shoulder whispers to me to explore my cool new neighborhood in D.C. and the devil on the other says to follow and see what those college toddlers are up to.
Social media to the post grad is like finding out you have a midterm the night before… painful. People post on social media for their own weird satisfaction. Don’t get bent out of shape when they post competitive job stuff like, “so happy to announce I am now the queen of Genovia.” Most likely their entry-level job is full of grunt work or someone got them that job. You don’t want to compare yourself to others, because everyone grows at a different rate and this will just make you crazy. However it’s okay to feel upset and confused. Life gets hard, especially when we feel we have no purpose.
As a student, I felt my job was to learn, travel, get my degree and have a great time. Now, as a post grad, I feel as if I’m sitting around binge-watching The Sopranos between mindlessly filling out applications and looking at my college pictures. I try to see the bright side and all the wonderful things I’ve accomplished, but it’s hard when you’re a one man band fan club. Post grad life gets lonely and sometimes you have to be your own hype man. Luckily, running around the park and some nice rocket yoga help clear anyone’s mind.
Yes, post grad life has been a bit of a struggle for me, but not everyone feels this way. Your transition into post-grad life may end up smooth and fun. You may be so over college and not have any of these problems. You may also have an awesome job lined up and can’t wait for the next chapter of your life. But, if you’re feeling a little sad, lonely or hopeless—hang in there. Life starts becoming different and that shouldn’t scare you. Instead, let the change give you inspiration and hope for a great future.