It’s been four months since I graduated college. How am I holding up? To be honest, life isn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong – I’m incredibly grateful for everything I have right now. But there are still some things I struggle with every day that no amount of undergraduate education could have prepared me for.
1. Student loans. I’m lucky enough to be able to say that the actual figure isn’t so bad. I could probably pay it all off within a year without having to be too frugal about where my paychecks go. But interest starts gaining in two months, and I’ve only saved up little more than a third of the total amount that I owe. Although I admit that I haven’t been spending responsibly latey, the pressure to get out of debt has always been hanging over my head and affects the daily decisions I make when it comes to handling my finances.
2. Low-maintenance and sedentary lifestyle. Despite my best efforts to keep it a secret, I’ve realized that it’s nothing to be ashamed about anymore – I’ve gained about five pounds, wear very little to no makeup now, rarely style my hair, and I don’t exactly dress like a fashionista 4.5 out of the 7 days of the week. When you hold a position that requires you to sit at a desk inside of an office for most of the day, it’s bound to have an effect on your body and habits. But I guess you could say that this makes it extra special when I do get to dress up on the weekends when I go out. ;) And thankfully, I’ve been eating healthier and jogging twice a week to counteract the weight gain before it’s too late! I’m actually surprised by the amount of motivation I have to keep up with this routine. :D (Side note: Why are sports bras so effing expensive?! The ones I bought are really comfy, though.)
3. Dependence. I’m not going to lie, I’m still not used to living at home. When you go from spending the last four years taking care of yourself, not having to be responsible for anyone else, and being in complete control of where you go, what you do, and when you do it – it’s very difficult to adjust to the reality that you live with your family again. Especially when they sometimes don’t realize that you’ve grown up a lot over the past four years and may not be the same person. But I guess the only solution to the significant differences in lifestyle and beliefs is some sort of compromise. I know that it isn’t practical to move out right away, so although I may not like it, there are house rules that I need to follow in order to keep a roof over my head.
4. Less free time. I’m exhausted all the time. I’ve been neglecting many of my favorite hobbies, and writing for this blog is one of them. Occassionally, I’ll put aside some time for me to do the things I love to do, like read and scrapbook. But when it comes down to it, I dislike being cooped up inside, and would rather spend time with the friends who I barely see as it is. And don’t even get me started about my nonexistent online gaming life now. :( Which is a shame, because I got to know some pretty cool people who live across the country/world.
5. Relationships. Having a boyfriend in college is completely different from having one now. Although this article may not be 100% accurate for either of my experiences, the similarities can’t be ignored. Having a serious, long-term relationship with my college boyfriend was easy and convenient. We started off living in the same hallway as each other in our dorm building, after all. Seeing and spending time with each other was never an issue – we basically lived together. We’d pick each other up from class, have almost every meal together, and attend interesting campus events. But now it’s infinitely more difficult to be intimate with someone. Between both me and Billy working full-time, it’s already hard enough as it is to see each other more than a few times every week AND balance everything else in our lives. Thankfully, he only lives a 10-minute walk away on the other side of my neighborhood. :) But, unfortunately, I’ve come to the realization that compatibility alone is no longer the determining factor in lasting relationships. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that things will work out.
6. Driving. I’ll always be a city girl at heart. After I got my learner’s permit at sixteen and failed my road test at eighteen, I didn’t really have any further desire to learn how to drive. I could always take the bus/subway or have a friend drive me, right? Wrong. Now I’m twenty-two and forcing myself to take driving lessons again in order to get my license. (For those of you who need help passing the test, my friends at dmvcheatsheets are offering a pretty sweet deal.) Why? Because my office is a 35-minute drive from where I live, but a 2.5+ hour commute by train/bus. Although New York City’s public transit may be efficient, Long Island’s sure isn’t.
7. Plans for the future. This is when I begin having anxiety attacks. I stay up late at night obsessing and worrying about what I’m going to be doing one year, two years, five years from now. I know that I want to go back to school for my Master’s degree – but I’m not sure if I’ll have the means to do it anytime soon. Then I want to leave New York – settle down in a nice house in a pleasant neighborhood, and live comfortably. But I constantly feel like I’m either running out of time, or rushing to grow up. And although I sometimes feel that so many of my goals are unattainable, I want to keep pushing myself forward. Someday, life will be more than this.