1. Get Your Shit Together
Yes, this is the most generic piece of advice anyone can give. Seriously, though, get your shit together. You can’t go out five nights a week anymore. If you rage like you did while you were in college in the real world, and are not physically and mentally exhausted during every waking moment, you’re probably an alcoholic or have some sort of super-evolved, metabolically advanced liver, and if that’s the case you should contact some sort of scientist so we can clone it. Either way, people aren’t impressed with how much you can drink anymore. People get concerned about this “substance abuse” crap all the time in the real world, and it could end up costing you big time. Get your shit together.
Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you that the best time they ever had in their life was the trip they took right after graduating from college. Take your graduation money from your friends and family, or save up for a few months, pick somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and just go. Spend a couple of weeks abroad with a couple of friends, or if you’re weird, by yourself, and see the world. Eat weird stuff, drink weird stuff and do weird stuff. You can’t understand what anyone is saying to you, so fuck it. Get weird.
3. Go Back To Your College Town Sparingly
There are shades of gray to this one. If you have football or basketball season tickets, go ahead. You’ve paid for the privilege to grace your old campus with your presence. But if you’re showing up at dollar bottle Tuesdays or double well Wednesdays at your old favorite college bars, you’ve got issues. You had four or five or six years to take advantage of being in college, hopefully you got the most out of your experience. You gotta let it go and move on. Weekends and game days only.
4. Embrace Being Cut Off
The most horrifying moment for me after college was getting cut off by my parents, but it was a valuable lesson. I barely knew how to handle the money that my parents gave me in college, and now they expect me to learn how to handle my own? Just know your expenses each month, don’t buy stupid shit, besides liquor and trips to Vegas, and whatever you do, don’t ever go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Otherwise, you’ll see a grocery bill higher than that tab you ran up at the piano bar during your senior pub-crawl.
5. Disassociate With Losers
A wise man once said “no man is a failure who has friends.” I find that statement to be incredibly true, but also incredibly bullshit. Of course, everyone has a friend or two that are down on their luck, and you‘d like to help them out. That‘s fine. You‘re a human. Be human. However, if this person is unable to find and hold a job, always mooching for dinner, drinks and pretty much anything else for an extended period of time, cut them out. Also, if you think someone just sucks as a person, even if they do have their shit together, disassociate with them. The quality of friends becomes much more important than the quantity of friends you have as you get older. We’re all adults here, so stop answering their calls, ignore their texts and talk about them behind their back like a normal person.
6. Date Around
It’s a nightmare, and it’s even worse if you’re an awkward kind of person. If you didn’t find your mate in college, now’s the time. Work with the slow-play or put the full-court press on right after graduation. Your soulmate, if you believe in that kind of crap, is out there, and it’s up to you to find them. More than that, you’ve got to get yours somehow. It isn’t as easy as college. Girls were everywhere. EVERYWHERE. For me, seeing 50 smoking hot babes a day was the average in college. Now, if I see more than one hot girl a day, I consider it a good week. Wining and dining will be necessary, as standards have gone through the roof now that you’ve got a diploma. Just think of “standards” as certain prerequisites to sex that didn‘t exist in college. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but the waters in postgrad life are nowhere near as bountiful as they were in college.
7. Go To Vegas
If you didn’t go during college, go now while you’re still young and can get away with that excuse. Odds are that you’re going to end up there at some point in the first couple of years for multiple birthdays and bachelor parties anyway. Open up a separate bank account for this trip and, wait. No. You know what? Fuck that. You’re young. Put the whole thing on a credit card and worry about it later. Worst-case scenario, someone gets arrested or dies. Best-case scenario, everyone has an awesome time and at least half of your crew gets laid. The pure entertainment of the Vegas airport on Sunday morning alone will be worth the price of the trip, even though you‘ll be part of the large cast of the most hungover group of people you‘ve ever seen. Sleep sparingly, gamble, flirt, hook up, go to titty bars, spend all of your money and try to look normal come Monday morning.
8. Stay In Touch
Graduation is like the origination of the universe. A big bang. You and your friends are going to be spread out across the country come May, and all of the sudden you might find yourself in a city with one or two friends while all of your other friends are scattered from Boston to San Diego. The thought of making new friends nauseates you, as protocol for making friends after graduation can be a chore in itself, mostly because you’re probably going to have to do it sober. Hit the road in the year after graduation to visit your old friends, visit new cities, get really drunk with them, do weird shit with them and then up and vanish like Keyser Soze on Sunday morning. You already spend Monday through Friday with people you don’t like at your job, so spend a weekend with those whose company you enjoy.
9. Don’t Go Changin’
People get older and less fun with every day. College ending doesn’t mean that much. Becoming an adult doesn’t mean you have to grow up. You’re still 22 or 23 with a gigantic chunk of your life left. Is that horrifying? Yes. Does it have to be? Not really. Get a little bit more responsible, but still have fun. Just because you have a “job” doesn’t mean you can’t be awesome. Get drunk at happy hour, date around, buy awesome shit with all the money you have now, impress people with all the awesome shit you have now and figure out what you want with your life when you’re 30, or whatever.