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.

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

    • And you speak for YOURself, INTP. as a fellow INTP, I cosign all of the advice in the above essay. my second semester of senior year was an absolute blast because I went out on weird nights, because I took risks, because I stayed inside with those that mattered, and because I jumped out of my comfort zone.

      INTPs are fully capable of going out, having fun, and being social. don’t let a four-letter label be an excuse for avoiding fun and opportunity.

  1. If these are your sentiments towards the end of college, you wasted 4 years.

    You should spend less time “treating yourself” and more time figuring out what the fuck you want to do in not just the next 10 minutes, but the next 10, 20, 30 years.

    Your treat was 4 years of being a privileged white girl, now STFU and do something about it.

    • Well put. Glad I wasn’t the only one cringing the entire time I read this. This is horrible advice. Good luck floating by while you pamper and kiss your own ass in the giant mechanism called life. You will surely sink, and fast.

    • Sorry you are so angry about this post. The author has a great attitude. Sorry I already landed my dream job in August of Senior year. Sorry I worked hard my first three and a half years and want to enjoy the last 6 weeks, oh wait, sorry not sorry.

      -Senior looking to solidify ties and live the last of “the best time of your life”

      • I feel like this sentiment could be adopted by those with a job lined up for a year and by those going home unemployed. Your last 6 weeks (>1/2 semester) is almost filler at this point. Surely people don’t forget their last weeks of high school! Accepted to the school I want to go – why do I care if I get a C+ or a B- in physics?

    • “Your treat was 4 years of being a privileged white girl, now STFU and do something about it.”

      That escalated quickly. Sounds like you have some unresolved internal issues.

      This article is about making sure to enjoy life even during the most stressful times— not about telling you to kick back, do nothing just because you can because you live a life of privilege.

      I look around at my college campus and see people overwhelmed with anxiety and depression, and I know everyone could benefit from taking a moment to breathe and do something nice to relax yourself. What good is landing a great job if you are unhappy in every other aspect of life and later regret not enjoying your youth.

    • Thank you! This article depressed the living shit out of me. Manly because I had no social life. I busted my but to be the first one in my family with a B.A. (and a 3.0 to boot) College isn’t about the party’s, that’s the movies.

  2. If these cowards have such good opinions why are they hiding behind anonymous usernames? Don’t hate because we have the time of our lives while you watch from the sidelines 😘✌️

  3. Lighten up and enjoy life, anon haters. That’s what this post is all about.

    Stay classy,

    Lolno, sinking fast, endlessly pampering myself, McCuntismyqween, privileged brat

  4. the sad truth is that this is really how people in college act nowadays. glad to say I’m not one of them and am actually WORKING towards my future.

  5. I can’t believe you ignorant people could say this is about privileged brats. Every word in the essay applies to my life and I work my ass off everyday. This is about ENJOYING life. People who take life too seriously are the ones who aren’t happy. So all you negative Nancy’s good luck being happy in life.

  6. Thank you so much for this!! I’m definitely feeling lost even though things could be a lot worse. College has been such a great experience for me so I’m really sad to graduate! Great letter!

  7. Pingback: Treat yourself: An open letter to the Class of 2014 | Smiths Daily Dose

  8. Cliche upon cliche. No affinity for language. There is a reason you have a blog and not a book deal.

  9. 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). http://qr.net/stx3

  10. Pingback: Unproductive Senior Things I Need to Just Do Already | Confessions of a Major Appliance

  11. You’re one of the strongest and most hard working people I know so to all the people who left comments saying otherwise can suck it🐓
    Not even a year out of college and you’re in the huffington post and they’re not. All the salsa dancing emojis dedicated to you girl 💃💃💃 you’re the best.

  12. “PS: We’re all still looking too”????

    I’m not still looking. I’ve had a secure job since the month after graduation, and have turned down several job offers since then. And that’s because I didn’t “treat myself” during the last month of college. I took graduation and the job market seriously. I spent my spare time applying for jobs and preparing myself professionally so that I wouldn’t just sit in open bars and complain about not having a job.

    This article definitely sounds like it’s coming from a generation of entitlement….it’s pathetic.

  13. This article is comical. Why haven’t you figured out your career with only 6 weeks left? This seems awfully irresponsible. Obviously to fix this one must party 10 days a week for the rest of the school year and not find a career…. sad thing is people (especially those with “degrees” in “majors” that are just silly) will heed your advice…

    P.s. you’re all still looking because you got worthless degrees. Everyone I know in STEM or business majors got a job….

  14. Heck, I’m 3-4 weeks from graduation, am attending University of Chicago to start my PhD next year, yet still want to heed this advice to some extent. It’s a bittersweet feeling to be leaving here for sure. Life is not all about material success, and it feels like it’s time to focus on my own happiness for a while (needless to say, it’s been hard work double majoring in the life sciences!).

  15. Truer than true… Miss college already… miss my first college experience the most… Class of 2009… the second and third degrees was more about the books, but I was also much wiser by that time… Class of 2013… Loved this post! Thanks for the reminiscing of my earlier years 😛

  16. OR you should worry about actually getting a job and being able to move on after college. Just make sure not to fail your classes. However if you do this then don’t have a job upon graduation, don’t come and bitch at me.

  17. Pingback: DIY Graduation Cap | Books to Bobby Pins

  18. Some good advice here, but a little too “Eat, drink, and be merry,” for me. Most young people don’t realize that’s an attitude that leads to destruction. Of course there’s a time to let go a bit and celebrate, but if you make that your daily personal philosophy, you’re gonna have problems. Pardon the criticism.

    • Your criticism is welcome, no need to be pardoned! I definitely intended this to be more of a lighthearted piece and am happy that so many seniors have found solace in it. I would, however, like to stress that I in no way intended this to come off as an “eat, drink, be merry and throw all fucks to the wind” sort of piece because, after all, it’s the final stretch and there’s always more work to be done. Just make sure you remember to stay positive — and never give up.

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  19. Reblogged this on and commented:
    As a previous member of the Class of 2014 (before I took a different life path), I’m reblogging this as a big congratulations to my former classmates. Love you all

  20. I was the class of sixty three and remember it well. I was going to save the world. Boy was I wrong. I passed the torch to you. Give it hell, Harry.

  21. I’m glad you give advice in a friendly, non scolding manner. I already see some of the comments from people who treat college grads like their a bunch of drunken, no nothing idiots. Shame on these commentators.
    dailyquizquestion.wordpress.com

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