A Few Thoughts From a Post-Grad Upon Returning to Her College Town

12 Sep

Day 2 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

1.) You will feel out of place.

Let’s face it. Even though you only left five months ago, you’re still somehow apart from this whole place in a weird way. While everyone else that had the summer months to prepare for school, you had the summer months to… Well…work at a theme park and wonder what you’re actually going to do with your life!  You walk into your friends’ apartments. You see pictures of treble clefs, ballet shoes, Liza Minnelli, and shirtless men displayed proudly on EVERY wall. You see sheet music to “Carousel” and “Tick, Tick, Boom” sprawled on coffee tables. People are flying in and out, showering, eating, doing homework, and cussing. And in a rush, you suddenly realize that  you life used to revolve around these things. In a way, you still wish your life revolved around these things.

2.) You will wonder if it’s still okay to wear that skanky dress, or if you should dress “more appropriately” because, as a recent graduate of four months, you are so much “older” and “mature” now.

3.) You will feel the magic again.

You may feel the need to run on your old routes. You’ll run on the road where you saw Him for the first time. You’ll pass the parking lot where you danced, and the old party houses called “The Manshun,” and “The Gift Shop,” and “The Actor’s Studio.” You’ll always remember walking into these places, but the memories of leaving are clouded with the haze of alcohol, endorphins, and expectations. You’ll pass your exboyfriend’s apartment. You’ll breathe in the scent of laundry detergent when you run passed the old laundromat. You’ll suddenly feel very old and young at once. The smell of the town gets back into your nose, and for a moment it’s like it never left. It’s like you never left.

4.) You will realize the magic is what you (and the others around you) made it.

You realize that you have left. And that’s why this is all so bittersweet. Because while you’re a young and independent and single, new, fresh-faced post-grad, you’re also still a part of the school you left behind. You’ll wonder how many other girls run past their old “places,” pausing only for a few moments to look from the outside in to decipher who lives there now. You realize that the only reason these places are special is because of the things that happened there- the people who were with you, tripping up the stairs to get inside, the shots that you took, the pink dress you wore, the kiss he gave you when he saw you for the first time in 6 months.

5.) You will miss everything about college that you hated.

You miss homework. You miss being in the library till 2:00 am. You miss being stressed out. You miss picking between eating, showering, or sleeping. You miss how much of a joke core classes are. You miss seeing people do the walk of shame on Friday mornings. You miss doing the walk of shame.

6.) You will be so incredibly grateful that it is all over.

While you do miss those things, you would never want to go back. At least not right now. Right now, you have other things to keep your mind occupied. You’re excited to move to a new city! You’re excited to be a “real person!” You’re ready to leave the comfortable bubble that encompasses you while being a student! You’re ready for responsibility. You’re ready for auditions, and people who tell you “no,” and boys who don’t call when you’d like them to. You’re ready to pay your bills, and make a “budget,” and be an adult.

7.) You will realize that you are OLD.

Everyone is getting married. Everyone is having a child. Everyone is working and auditioning and being successful and beautiful and they are just OLD. You turn 23 and realize that at one point you wanted to be married by 25, which means 2 years from right now, and then you say “Aw HELL no.” There is just no way. …Right?

8.) You will realize that you are still SO young, and while the freshman you see walking to class look like 8th graders,  YOU are still young.

9.) You will be struck with the undeniable need to drink as much as your old college self could drink.

You’re back! Here are all of your old friends and old places! They have alcohol for you! They bought you a bottle of barefoot Moscato wine! They want you to go to the bars! You don’t have work tomorrow! OR class! You are free! You are young! You can still get away with this and justify it in your brain as not being “trashy” because you’re saying one final goodbye to this whole lifestyle!

10.) You will only drink as much as your post-grad self wants.

Let’s be honest. You’re post grad self is not used to being drunk. Your post grad self is used to being sober, and responsible, and healthy. If you decide to take 5 shots in a row, your life may be a little different than if you were not to do five shots. While you are at the bars, people will ask to buy you drinks, and you will politely tell them “Oh, I’m sorry, I have shows in a few days, I can’t possibly…” And then you’ll expect your friends to help you through this awkward situation. You’ll realize that while at one point this would have felt great, you are feeling great without the ridiculous amount of alcohol in your system. You’re ready to TRULY be an adult.

Whatever that means…


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