Does the memory of midterms warm your heart? Has the word “undergrad” caused you to shed a nostalgic tear or two? If the answer is yes, you could have a case of the Post-College Blues, a very real condition affecting many new grads. But no need to despair! We’ll show you the 10 most common symptoms of this hardly fatal ailment and send you skipping down the road to recovery.
Symptom #1: Sleep deprivation
Forced to rise when the sun does, you somehow still buy into the “just one more episode” lie. Inevitably, that one episode will turn into 2 a.m., and you can no longer employ the “stop, drop, and snooze whenever” method of the past. Admit it: it’s time to leave the late nights for the weekend.
The cure: Set an earlier bedtime and a Netflix limit for yourself, especially during the week.
Symptom #2: Age avoidance
Having been surrounded by peers for years, you feel a strong inclination to avoid “the office grandma.” You couldn’t possibly have anything to talk about, and you probably know more than she does anyway, right? Wrong. This person could prove to be a valuable mentor and and one rockin’ woman.
The cure: Ignore the wrinkles and forge some new friendships.
Symptom #3: Cravings for comfort
Gone are the days of wearing sweats around the dorms and leggings around campus. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the office dress code, and while you’re at it, you might want to stock up on clothes that are both comfortable and socially acceptable when you’re out running errands on the weekends. When you’re at home by yourself, though…
The cure: Invest in some real-people clothing.
Symptom #4: Crazy commutes
Your emotions range from frustration and anger to downright insanity, all upon entering a car. Yes, it was sweet and magical when you didn’t have to worry about gas, a lengthy commute, bad drivers in bad traffic… but no worries, there’s no reason to let these frustrations ruin your ride. Just take a deep breath and try not to let road rage get the better of you.
The cure: Audiobooks, podcasts and music can (safely) spice up the monotony.
Symptom #5: A lack of learning
Remember back in the day when you actually felt pretty smart? Face it: You miss going to school. But those days of wisdom don’t have to be behind you! We live at a time where education is literally at our fingertips, and often at no cost to you! From taking evening classes to picking up new hobbies, you never have to stop learning.
Symptom #6: Reminiscing about roomies
They may have eaten your food, wrecked your apartment and stolen your crushes, but you secretly miss those girls. You ended up being best friends, and you could really use a giant group hug right about now. Thanks to technology, that hug is practically within reach—you’re only a FaceTime call away.
The cure: Make a conscious effort to keep in touch with your friends after graduation.
Symptom #7: Nutrition deficiency
For the last four (or more) years, you were willing to eat anything that was quick, easy and inexpensive. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and you’re still stuffing fast food and ramen in your face at alarming speeds. It’s probably time to rethink your food routine. Salad, anyone?
The cure: Start small and focus on incorporating more fresh foods.
Symptom #8: Awkward encounters
First name, brief hug, done. It sure was easier when most of the people you associated with were your own age. Now you’re constantly wondering whether to drop the Ms. or to keep it. Do you stick with a handshake, or wield a high five? Adulthood should’ve come with instructions…
The cure: Go with your gut and always aim for courtesy.
Symptom #9: Social media obsession
Oooh, his hair… but what is he wearing?! You still give in to the marathon stalking sessions, but you have a lingering suspicion that you’re wasting your life away. It’s probably time to update your social-media habits and think about adding a more serious platform. Prepare to be both connected AND profesh.
The cure: Sign up for a LinkedIn account or update your current one.
Symptom #10: Backpack blues
You could fit your world in there when needed, and you still catch yourself trying to do so. As cute as some book bags may be, there is a time and a place for them, and that time usually ends with a diploma in hand.
The cure: Invest in an oversized, durable handbag to fashionably tote your necessities around.
The world may not have changed much since you flipped that tassel, but your place in it certainly did. The trick is to have fun during the transition by staying in touch with the friends you made and keeping in mind the wisdom you gained and the lessons you learned. Now go get ‘em, grad!