8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Let Post-Grad Uncertainty Ruin Your Last Semester

Ah yes, graduating from college. It should be something we all look forward to, right? If I remember correctly, I was chomping at the bit to graduate high school. So why am I feeling quite the opposite now, as I sit in the darkness of my bedroom with a computer screen of endless LinkedIn job applications, a half-written cover letter and a cat that needs a mother who can support his expensive lifestyle staring back at me? It’s because everything is about to change, and I could’ve sworn four years was going to last an eternity when I first stepped into the college simulation. But, after a few melodramatic phone calls to my mom (please contact my agent for any acting inquiries), I’ve come to the conclusion that all the stress and uncertainty isn’t worth wasting my last semester here. In fact, I should be living it up! Here’s why you should, too. 

  1. 1. This is the last time all of your friends will be in one place

    For starters, these are the last four months that all of your favorite people will be living within a two-mile radius of your doorstep. Maria, who is 1-month post-grad, says that “it’s a crucial time to make new friends and network, without neglecting your old friends.” You probably have little to no idea where you’ll all end up. It’s a total bummer, but it’s also not the end of the world. The people you truly love are the ones who will stick around for your entire life–because you’ll both make the effort–but now is the time to take extra advantage of your close proximity. Catherine, a medical assistant who is 1-year post-grad, says, “Before college ended, I was so down about leaving friends behind. But, instead of dwelling on it, I took advantage of every lunch date, every movie night and every Friday night happy hour. Then, at the end of the semester, I wrote a letter to each of my best friends thanking them for all of the fun times we got to spend together.” 

  2. 2. Soon you’ll have an adult bedtime to adhere to 

    You know what’s fun? Going out to the bar. You know what’s also fun? Staying up till all hours of the night playing Spicy Uno and Cards Against Humanity with your friends after the bar. Once you’ve left your college lifestyle in the dust, it’s a strict 10 p.m. bedtime (or earlier if you can help it). Stevie, an accountant who is 2-years post-grad, says, “I’ve always been an ‘early to bed, early to rise’ kind of girl, but once you have real adult responsibilities you really can’t afford to be staying up till three in the morning binging Netflix on a Wednesday night.” 

  3. 3. Lazy days will be few and far between

    You know those three hours between your Thursday classes? Yeah, appreciate them while they last. When you enter the real world with a full-time job or a loaded schedule of grad school classes, you’ll realize how much free time you once had. Katie, now a dental student, says, “Honestly, nothing you do in college has a bearing on real life outside of college. Now, don’t go failing classes or getting arrested, but take time to do things you want and take days for yourself to relax, because in post-grad those days are few and far between!” Not every second has to be spent on preparing for the future, so take a nap to catch up on sleep after a night out, check out that free concert on campus with friends and, please, finally go to that sporting event that you always say you’ll go to but never do! 

  4. 4. Gym memberships are expensive 

    You have a FREE gym membership in college, so use it! When you graduate and suddenly have to pay for a monthly gym membership, you’ll be wishing you had taken advantage of those free barre classes. Don’t believe me? Try calling a few local gyms and inquire about their prices–I’m sure that’ll motivate you. “The hardest thing to do before graduating, at least for myself, was to get my health priorities straight. If you want to work out five times a week, slow down your drinking tendencies and start cooking healthy for yourself, then you need to start working on those habits now so you can maintain them after college,” Katie says.  

  5. 5. Your grades are not the deciding factor of your future

    While I’m a huge advocate for trying hard and getting good grades, you shouldn’t spend your last semester holed up in the library every night. Though I’m no expert, I’m doubtful that any job is going to hire you based solely on the fact that your resume reads “Deans List” in tiny italicized letters. In fact Alex, a news correspondent and 3-years post-grad, says, “A good GPA could get you in the door, but your experiences are what matter. Sometimes I wish that I had closed the textbook early and just gone out with my friends instead because my A in ‘What is a Text’ didn’t matter all that much in the end!” Close your bullet journal, grab a drink and catch up with the girls tonight. 

  6. 6. Post-grad doesn’t mark an end to all the fun 

    Just because you’re graduating college, doesn’t mean the party is over! In fact, many grads I spoke with said quite the contrary. Catherine, for one, cited financial stability as a huge bonus, saying, “I literally spent $300 on makeup last week simply because I could. Plus, I can afford to go on random trips with friends and out to get drinks and dinner on occasion!” After you dedicate four years of life and tons of money towards a degree, it better pay off, right? Aside from raking in a decent salary, Stevie says that “life can actually get even better after you graduate. I regret spending even a second of my time stressing over what my life would look like after college, because I can tell you it’s not going to be exactly what you imagine, anyways. On the flipside, once you graduate, you’ll find a job that you hopefully love going to five days a week, and you never have to cram studying into your weekend plans ever again!” That'll be the day!

  7. 7. What’s meant to be will be

    With all of this said, why are you doubting yourself in the first place? You made it this far, which is an accomplishment in and of itself, so who’s to say you won’t get everything you’ve worked so hard for? Oh, that’s right, absolutely no one but the little voice inside your head chanting otherwise. You’ve put in the work, you went out and got the experience, and you’ve made the connections, so it’s time to put your inferiority complex aside and realize that people in the “real world” are interested in your skills, thoughts and experiences. “Everyone, including myself, seemed to think that we need to have everything figured out and have our dream jobs by the time we graduate when, in reality, that happens for almost no one! Do what you can, and it will work out, but it doesn’t have to all at once. Little victories matter, so just take it one step at a time because constantly thinking big picture won’t get you anywhere,” says Catherine. It’s okay to feel like you don’t have it all together, but don’t put off planning for the future because you’re too afraid that you’re not good enough to make it. 

  8. 8. Your post-grad plans will probably change, anyways

    You can put endless time and effort into planning your perfect post-grad future, and it will still probably change at some point. Community coordinator, Sabrina, who is 5-years post-grad, says, "My plans after college literally switched up two weeks before I graduated, and everything still turned out fine. Feeling a little stressed out over it is completely normal. If you’re not freaking out at all, then you should be worried!” 

These last few months are going to fly by, and you’re going to inevitably be hit with some extreme highs and lows. You may secure the position at that amazing company in that shiny new city and, then again, you may get rejected. I can guarantee that, if anything, you’re going to feel proud of yourself when you walk across that stage, even if you didn’t land that dream job or if you have no idea how you’re paying for your next meal now that your meal plan has ended. Let yourself feel lost, because not every single moment of your life has to have direction. I’ll let you in on a little secret: a lot of times it won’t. Our lives are made up of seasons that pass in the blink of an eye, and we spend so much time worrying about trying to make all of the moving parts fit together when, in reality, the beauty of it all is that we’re continually adapting, experiencing and growing. That’s one thing you can be certain of post-grad.