What not to do after university

The luggage after landing: what not to do after university

I woke up after graduation, hung over and feeling anxious about decorating my hostel room with vomit. That moment stood as the beginning of the end and the end of the…

2010


I was in my last year of university. Everything felt hilarious back then. The pictures we took on our nights out were ones to admire for the rest of my days. Days were spent sitting in the sun; it seemed to be a good summer that year, parks becoming our homes, basking like daisies in a field.

Then when night fell we would eat like a family and dine on our six pack of beer, bottle of vodka and pack-o’-twenty cigarettes. Every song had been made for us, blasted into our temporary homes or played in the clubs where girls and boys danced among each other with nothing but romantic notions on the brain. We lived gloriously. We were the lords, lording over the city, which was ours for the taking.  We lived for the moment, seizing the day.

They never told us what to do when it all ended.  Maybe they did; it was hard to hear past all the partying, night after night. We were students! We had a wondrous future of hopeful, infinite possibility. Our imagination was our limits and it took us to the very top and nowhere between. Little did we know what came in-between. What do you do when it ends?

2011

The music died, no longer aimed at me, but for them. Within a summer I had gone from too cool for school to no school and no job at all. Well, I had part time work, but that benefits no one but the companies. Laziness was my profession. I became focused on inventing a time machine to go back while every weekend I crawled to the damned “local” club where rats and ravens fought over their nothing. I fought to keep my alcohol and smoking addiction well-satisfied. My already disappointed parents were made even more so when they found out my smoking habit.

Post uni blues or mid-twenties crisis, whatever, no one told me what to do, don’t judge me! How was it my fault? Music told me to party ‘til my liver died! That’s what I did! Bad luck is like an illness, there to remind you that you are not invincible. I was invincible once, now I’m not. Let me wallow in drink!

2014

Then finally, three years after graduation: I grew tired of wasting days hung over, embarrassed of going nowhere in life and most importantly, I found a girl. The wildest storms come after the hottest days. Have a plan for what comes after. Don’t get lost in the memories, it is just a beginning. University is a wonderful holiday, but it does not last forever, and when it is all over make sure you can handle the luggage after landing.

Don’t learn the hard way. Learn what not to do when you graduate.

Do any other graduates out there have any warnings for current undergraduates? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo: Michael Coghlan / Flickr

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