Back to School! Or Not. Here's 5 Coping Tips for Recent Grads Feeling Left Out

Hello, recent college grads! Right about now, all your friends who are still in school are back in the swing of classes and it’s probably sinking in that you are, in fact, not joining them. Congrats! After roughly sixteen years of perfecting your school skills, they are now totally obsolete. Excuse me while I go outside to shake my fist at the sky screaming “WHHYYYYY?”

Well that was ineffective. But never fear, there are other, better methods of coming to terms with the end of your college years.

1. Take is Easy on the Social Media

There is nothing that will bring on the nostalgia faster than observing all your friends who are back in school talking online about classes and free food in the student center. The temptation is to devour all of that stimuli in an attempt to live vicariously through Facebook, but that will only exacerbate fear-of-missing-out syndrome. If you catch yourself getting too nostalgic for that awful professor your friend is complaining about, get offline for a while.

2. Keep in Touch With Your Friends

We all know that friends were the best part of college anyway. Sure, education is kind of important, but it’s the people that really make the experience. So stay in touch. Even if social media is dicey at this stage, we are still living in the age of mass communication — email, text, Skype, and the good old fashioned phone call all do the trick. Keeping these people in your life makes it easier to cope with the fact that so much else has changed.

3. Remember the Things That Sucked About College.

Sure it was awesome, but remember how much you hated it anytime you had to deal with college bureaucracy, brutal all-nighters or, even worse, freshmen. It’s tempting to romanticize the whole thing, but it was never perfect. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it was.

4. Accept That This Part of Your Life Really is Over

If you’re anything like me, you spent a decent amount of time this summer feeling that sooner or later you’d go back to your real life, the one you’d been living for four years. But as hard as it is to think about, college isn’t your real life anymore. And that’s okay. Chances are you’ve already moved on way more than you realize.

5. Figure Out What You Want To Do Next

This one is way easier said than done. Way, way, WAY easier. But it helps to let go of the past if you know what you want out of the future. And for those of you who already know this part, congratulations. Send me some tips on figuring it out.

Image: Damien Gadal via flickr