It’s funny, isn’t it, all of the things they don’t teach you in college. Like how to properly balance a checkbook, how to find jobs that come with benefits, or just plain old How To Survive in the Real World 101.
I’ve realized as time passes since graduating, and listening to my friends talking about commencement that is just a month away, that this is really it. It’s over. I’m at the end of the tunnel, the end of That Journey, and That Chapter. Those four (and a half) years disappeared before my eyes.
I already feel like a different person. I’m already passed the hype of graduating because January was that month for me, not May. I’m in the I-need-a-job-now-but-all-I-want-to-do-is-watch-Netflix phase. Oh, and slight panic mode.
I’m realizing that Sallie Mae is going to come knocking on my door in June, and that if I don’t start budgeting and prioritizing, I’ll be struggling to pay for everything – and oh my god, that word “everything.” How do adults survive? How do they pay for it all?
I should’ve raised my hand during one of my Shakespeare lectures and said, “While Lady Macbeth is my favorite character, can you please tell me how I’m going to be able to pay for my loans, my car, other bills, and still save enough money to move out? How does that work, exactly? Winning the lottery? Okay, thanks.”
It’s not just the money though.
I already feel like a different person because my mindset has changed. I have finally learned how to focus on myself, and I feel incredibly grateful. While it is sad to be leaving the college bubble, and all of its impactful, memorable years behind, those years have shaped me into the person who is confident even as she stands outside of the College Bubble.
Those years taught me to have faith, be strong, work hard, love yourself, and set boundaries. Maybe that is all I need to survive.