8 Big Changes That Happen After Graduating College

Graduating from college is pretty scary. It’s the first time in your life that things have been truly uncertain. Until now, you always had a plan: School, school, school, and more school. And unless you are going to grad school right after college, there are about to be some serious changes in your life. Here are some of the big ones.

1. You won’t run into your friends everywhere you go.

This one might be easier to get used to if you go to a big state school, but if you went to a small liberal arts college like mine, you are in for some serious culture shock. You know how you pretty much can’t ever go anywhere on campus without seeing at least 15 people you know? Yeah, those days are over.

2. You will actually be expected to pay rent.

If you are lucky enough to be someone whose parents helped you through college, it’s time to realize that those times have come and gone. Get used to rent payments. And cable payments. Cell phone payments. Car insurance payments. Pretty much every type of payment.


3. Your parents will expect you to get a job to pay for aforementioned things.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but basically the question “so, what are you doing after you graduate?” will become the bane of your existence.


4. Your weekends will suddenly be wide open.

Until you graduate from college, you have no idea how good you’ve had it the past four years. Whether it’s a concert, a museum opening, or a sporting event, your college probably has new, fun things to do all the time. Suddenly, you will have pretty much nothing to do, and that’s either going to be really awesome or completely terrible.


5. You will actually have time to read for fun.

Remember when you were a kid and you loved to read? Remember how school slowly and methodically crushed that to pieces? Well, get ready to regain some of that lost joy for literature, because you’re about to have a whole lot more time for yourself – more than you’ve had pretty much since elementary school.


6. You will be expected to care more about your appearance, but you will actually care less.

Remember that one really attractive person you had in your 8AM class sophomore year? Yes, that one, you know who I’m talking about. Remember how you always got up extra early to look nice, even though your soul died a little bit each time you had to set your alarm clock? Once you have your real-person adult job in your real-person adult office, your boss will probably expect you to dress up a little. And it won’t be fun. And “professional-looking” work clothes? Expensive!

7. You will feel monumentally worse about treating your body like crap.

Whether it was late-night runs to that local crappy Mexican food place that was only good when you’re really drunk, or making microwave cheese quesadillas because you have literally no groceries except tortillas and cheese, your friends had a way of enabling you in your shitty eating behaviors. After college, you will have nobody to blame but yourself.


8. You will miss everything about it (even the things you hated).

You’ll be surprised how much you miss it, even if you can’t wait to get out. One of your favorite pastimes used to be complaining about your college’s crappy cafeteria, but now that you are actually expected to cook your own food, you will kind of sort of (totally) miss that shitty food. And staying up until 2AM with your best friends. And sometimes…even homework.


What do you miss about college?

Additional images: David Foster /  Flickr



Rachael Decker
Rachael Decker
Rachael is back in the US this year after spending last spring studying abroad in London. Being a writer has pretty much always been her dream job, except that one time in 5th grade when she wanted to be Hilary Duff, but we don't talk about that. Her spirit animal is a mermaid, because she loves to sing and hates wearing pants, and "also that hair thing, I guess."