When you're in college, you feel the weight of adulthood and the future on your shoulders. Every decision you make feels like an important one that might help or hinder the shape of your post-collegiate life to come.
When you fail a test, you watch your dream home crumble like a stale gingerbread house in a wind storm. When you get dumped, you mind's eye develops a photograph in which you are hidden below a blurry swarm of too many house cats burying you alive in a recliner chair. Everything feels so heightened and dramatic. One good mark and in your imagination, you're kicking your feet up on your lucite desk in your top floor high rise office while you fan yourself with a stack of tightly pressed hundreds. Someone asks you out and a white picket fence emerges from the grass around you and you suddenly have a full Pinterest board titled "My Wedding".
But then you leave college and most of these fantasies and fears leave you. The real world sucks you under its underwhelming wing and failures and successes become so common that there's no time to celebrate or grieve. Life becomes much less about the black and white and much more about the grey. Some of the choices you made in college that felt like the most important decisions of your life, will literally lose all of their power the second you toss your graduation hat in the air. Here are seven things that stop mattering after college:
Despite the fact that your high school teachers and guidance counselors will put loads of pressure on you to pick a college that best caters to your major, once you get to that college, you'll realize how not major your major is. Sure, it's important to pick a major that you're interested in so that you feel motivated to excel and attend your classes in college, but in terms of what you decide to do with your life post-college, it doesn't matter at all. Sometimes it's actually helpful to have majored in something different than what you're trying to pursue in the job force — it gives you an edge.
Unless you're headed to grad school, no one will ever know about your GPA. Of course you should get the best grades you can — you are paying for an expensive education and education is valuable, after all — but if you didn't graduate top of your class, it's OK! Employers do not request to see your transcripts. Your grades are for you.
Your Social Life
So you went to college expecting to make more friends than you could count and it didn't really work out that way ... no biggie. It's never too late to make friends and how well you did or did not do socially in college will have no bearing on your adult social life outside of school.
Where You Shop
Unless you happen to be pursuing a career that is centric in them, chances are you won't care about labels in your post-college life. People in the adult world don't check each other's labels. The only time you might ever mention where you shop is when someone compliments you and asks out of a kind curiosity. Adults wear what they want, when they want. No one cares where it came from.
How You Dress
In college, it's easy to get labeled ... because college-aged people have a stronger need to put people in boxes. In the post-college world, you're not a "goth" if you wear black and you're not a "prep" if you wear an Oxford shirt. There's a lot more leeway in the outside world and people aren't as anxious to slap a label on you.
How You Spend Your Weekend
Whether you like to sit on your couch and watch Real Housewives reunions or hit the bars until dawn or braid your best friend's hair, it's all good. No one judges you by how social you chose to be. Whatever works for you is fine. That pressure you once felt to be out and about on a Friday night goes away completely.
Who You Love
You love who you love and in the adult world, that's your business. There's no need to make excuses or offer explanations.