Life After Graduation: Expectations VS Reality

Congratulations you graduate, you! You survived years of exams, all-nighters, vicious hangovers, and heartbreaks. Now look at you, out on the other side and thriving. You have your whole life ahead of you, and the best days are yet to come. Well. Your best days probably aren't the next 365 ones, but they'll come! Right? Fuck, it's been two years since graduation, and I still don't know where I'm going in my life. HELP!!!!

1. I'll Get My Dream Job


Expectations: After spending 4 years in a stuffy classroom, I deserve to have this amazing, dream job. I can't wait to have unlimited holiday time, inspiring co workers, and a purpose in life. Plus, how amazing will it be to be so successful before the age of 25? Ahhh, can't wait.

Reality: After spending 4 years in a stuffy classroom, I graduated to spending the rest of my life in an even stuffier office. Everything is gray. Literally, everything in this office is the color gray and makes me nauseous. I can't stare at a spread sheet for another minute. I would rather be homeless than get arthritis in this job.

2. I'll Be Rich AF



Expectations: Finally, I'll have some money to my name. Having a degree makes me worth loaaaads, and really, the hard part now is deciding what to spend my first big paycheck on. Should I invest in a nice car? Open a savings account? I can actually order entrees off the menu instead of side dishes. Haha wow, adult decisions.




Reality: My part-time job in college paid me more an hour than my post-college job. HOW CAN THAT BE?! I can barely scrape some coins together for the bus to go to my slave job. Forget a savings account. Also, when do I have to pay back those student loans? Oh god. Oh god. Reality.

3. I'll Be In A Serious Relationship


Expectations: Now that I'm 22 years old and mature, I think this would be a great time to settle down in a relationship. You know, date an older man who knows his wine and says things like, "Would you like to go to Vermont for the weekend?" Wouldn't it be so funny if I was the first one of my friends to get married and start the trend? Ahhh yes. Wedded bliss.

Reality: Why has no one matched with me on Tinder? Is my Tinder broken?! I don't understand...I'm cute, my bio is fucking clever, and one of my profile pictures shows me looking into the distance mysteriously at mountains which just shows I'm regal as fuck. Should I download another dating app so I'm more available to the singles around me. This is just embarrassing.


4. I'll Travel The World


Expectations: Well, the world is my oyster. Now that I've broken free from the chains of institutionalized education, I can jet off to any desirable destination. India? Madagascar? Italy? Alaska? Imagine the stories I'll come back with. I can talk about the time I rode a camel for hours and hours on end in Morocco, or the time I met that beautiful man in Spain and we had the most serious language barrier but IT DIDN'T MATTER because our love broke through any barrier in our way. I'll start journaling too, and by the end of my travels I could sell it to some publishing house who will turn it into a New York Times Best Seller.

Reality: A plane ticket costs HOW MUCH?! I'm not buying the whole damn plane, I just want a seat! I'll even take the seat near the bathroom. How am I suppose to be a New York Times Best Selling Author before the age of 23 if I can't even afford to fly across an ocean. Also, aren't hostels suppose to be super cheap?? I can barely afford to stay in Italy for 5 days, let alone travel the world for a year.

5. I'll Have Everything Figured Out



Expectations: Finally, my time has come. After I walk across that stage and have that diploma in my hand, I will know my life's purpose. Everything will come to me, and it will be smooth sailing from here. I've suffered enough trying to figure out what my goals and passions are, and from here on out, I'll have it all handled. Dream job? Let's do it. Beautiful apartment? Can't wait. Hot, Successful Boyfriend? See you soon. This is the life I've been waiting for.

Reality: I didn't realize how cold mom and dad's basement was as a child. It's so different now that I'm living down here. It's kind of like my own apartment? Who am I kidding. This fucking sucks. I'm even more lost than I was when entering college. How am I suppose to know everything at the age of 22?! I can barely cook mac and cheese without burning the noodles. I can't be an adult yet. No. No. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!


Video: Tips for Life After Uni

Credit: Scout & Company

Ciara O'Shea

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