Treat yourself: An open letter to the Class of 2014

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To the Class of 2014,

This is it. One month ’till May and, odds are, you’re feeling numb and nauseous. The walls are closing in, all rugs have been pulled out and you’re compulsively spell-checking your resumé (while simultaneously snapchatting, putting off that ten-page paper and planning your next pregame). In six or so weeks you’ll be saying goodbye — to friends, to family, to weeknight whiskey specials — because an Irish Exit isn’t in the cards anymore. Not for four years of college.

You’re scared, (see also: restless, sleep-deprived, and a slave to happy hour), and that’s okay.

Trust your convictions. Go out on a Tuesday even though it’s raining and you know the bar’s full of freshmen. Have one, or ten too many people over (your neighbors won’t hold that title much longer) and stop censoring your rounds of slapcup. Put a ten in the jukebox. Take more selfies. Wear more sweatpants. Make sangria. Find a bagel store that delivers and order three dozen.

Skip a class for a drive with the windows down, make more time for roommates — past and present — and download Find My iPhone. Call home but hold tight to your last weekends away.

Make amends with someone. That girl who stole your bottle, or your boyfriend at that party at the baseball house. That professor who sent a four-page paper on spring break with you, first-class. The old flame that forgot your name (and never said hi).

Then tell someone else to go to hell.

Do not cry in the bathroom. I repeat, do not cry in the bar bathroom. Do not cry in your own bathroom. Do not cry in any bathroom and do your best not to cry at all. This may be the end of a really juicy chapter, but it’s not the end of the book (and, spoiler, there’s a sequel). Get off the floor (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), wash your hands and shake it off. Suit up and dance like no one’s watching because those who are won’t remember and those who will are probably the worst.

Start a group chat with the ones you love most and swear to still cherish it — to have and to hold, in sickness and in health — even when you’re napping.

Treat yourself, but be productive. The post-grad-25 is real and so are the post-grad hangovers. Make peace with your newfound tolerance and set some beer money aside for student loans.

Apply to ten jobs then apply to ten more. You’ve got nothing to lose. Channel your inner Hannah Horvath and venture outside of your comfort zone (and maybe even outside your field of study). Proof-read your cover letter and proof-read it again. Then give it to a friend. May they catch something you didn’t and may they do it before you send out sixteen copies with the introduction, “I am senior at (insert college here).” (No wonder New York Times said no.)

Bring flats for senior formal, steam your graduation gown, CHECK AGAIN FOR MISSING WORDS IN YOUR COVER LETTER, and be nicer to home when you get there. It’s adjusting, too.

Don’t be mad or sad or scared to move back in with your parents. Home will only hold you hostage if you let it. Save up. Take a road trip. Move out. Do you. You may be broke but you’ll manage.

No matter how qualified you know damn-well you are, expect more rejections than job offers because you will fall short at least once and you will bomb an interview no matter how long it took you to iron your blazer. You’ll spend hours on the phone with Time Warner Cable fighting with the automated operator and your bank will cancel your credit card the same day Con-Ed has plans to shut off your electricity (okay, maybe not but, even if, you’re not alone).

You are one of roughly 300,000 hot-off-the-press post-grads with no plans past the weekend and little to no idea what the fuck they’re actually doing. Remember, not all who wander are lost (and most HR departments fucking suck).

You will find something that makes you happy — be it a shiesty apartment above a makeshift Blimpies or a job you learn to love — as long as you keep looking. Just don’t settle.

You’ll get your shit together eventually.

Until then, keep your options open. Say yes to Sunday Funday, the occasional night in with Netflix and even your school’s senior events. They’re not all lame (and some are open-bar). Say yes to life and love and all the shit that makes you happy because if there ever was a time to order Bloody Marys by the pitcher and openly use YOLO as a verb, it’s now.

These are the times of your lives. Make them count. Don’t hold back.

Cheers,

The Class of 2013

P.S. We’re all still looking, too.

Also featured on Huffington Post College.

116 Comments on “Treat yourself: An open letter to the Class of 2014

  1. For me the four years after graduation beat the four years in school hands down. Life is better once you got some jack in your pocket!

  2. This is so true, I live in the UK but this was just as true of university and that is what I say to all of my friends who are still there or planning on going – make the most of every second. It really is the fastest three years of your life!

  3. From a member of the class of ’68: advice from the long view is – cherish your friends, your sense of fun, your curiosity and your education. Provide for your future in as many ways as possible. Arrange a reunion 40 years from now. The group of ten friends did this last year from my class of ’68. It has a been a wonderful reaffirmation.
    And never STFU!

    • The class of ’88 agrees. College days are fab and footloose, but friends, fun, curiosity, and a little knowledge will carry you through a lot of fabulous years! Stay in the moment, stay in the game, and keep reaching.

  4. I really like your article. I feel like some people forget how nerve racking graduating can be. The not knowing is one thing that I personally fear the most about graduating this May. Your article really reminds me that just taking it day by day truly does make the transition easier.

  5. I love this. As a soon-to-be graduate I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. It’s such good advice and also so well written. Thank you for the reminder that we’re all in this together. We need to work hard to find jobs we love, but also YOLO! Time goes by so fast.

  6. Reblogged this on So College and commented:
    For those of you graduating or who have just graduated, I strongly suggest following Meaghan McGoldrich

  7. Say yes to life and love and all the shit that makes you happy because if there ever was a time to order Bloody Marys by the pitcher and openly use YOLO as a verb, it’s now. These are the times of your lives. Make them count. Don’t hold back.”
    I love the vivid contrasts described here …. but this is life! You wouldn’t have it any other way!

  8. This is really great! From someone who graduated in 2011 (before SnapChat, YOLO & Twerking as we know now it) all of this rings true! College is/was amazing. You will reminisce about all your “Trashed Tuesdays,” “Wasted Wednesdays,” “Thirsty Thursdays,” etc, but there is the next chapter to look forward to. An apartment or house that doesn’t smell like stale natty light, drinking wine (only one glass) & getting a promotion. Those things are just as great! Good luck class of 2014!

  9. I’m graduating myself this year, granted it’s not until November, (I’ll never understand why all you northern-hemispherers decided that the school year starts in September rather than January), but this post has really put things into perspective. I’ll deffinitley be posting this around telling people to chill out and have a shot. Thank you :)

  10. Pingback: Treat yourself: An open letter to the Class of 2014 | Simply Meret

  11. Wow I am internally conflicted over this blog. I can see both sides. Yes if you’ve been studying really hard you should remember to take time to enjoy things and being social is an important part of University. However, partying like there’s no tomorrow can waste time, energy and doesn’t determine a direction in your life. So my advice would be have fun but be productive too and guys pack a condom!

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  15. I so like this post. For me, it isn’t only for college grads but also to us students of life. We are all trying to find ourselves, pursue our dreams and attain our place in this world that sometimes we are being too hard on ourselves, forgetting that we also need to loosen up, have fun and just love life.

  16. Reblogged this on Undeniably Andi and commented:
    I so like this post. For me, it isn’t only for college grads but also to us students of life. We are all trying to find ourselves, pursue our dreams and attain our place in this world that sometimes we are being too hard on ourselves, forgetting that we also need to loosen up, have fun and just love life.

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