The cap has been tossed, the gown kept in storage, the notes thrown.
Congratulations on graduation and being done with school! For some of us, this has been a moment eons in the making.
The rest of us?
As surreal as it can sometimes get, life must go on. Here are 10 signs to spare you from painful self-pinching as proof that, yes, you’ve truly graduated – and that you’re most definitely not alone.
1. Coffee is #life
Nope, the sixth, but who’s really counting?
Okay – while downing cups of this life-saving elixir isn’t exactly much of a change from those essay crunching days, you find yourself drinking more of it. Fresh out of bed? Coffee. Midday perk-me-up? Coffee. 5pm? Coffee. Coffee all day. It’s either that or copious amounts of tea, but that doesn’t cut it.
You’ve probably contemplated buying one of those “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee mugs” at some point, too. And, while you know that too much caffeine is bad for you and that it can get costly…you’ll reduce your intake someday. Today’s not that day.
2. Responsibilities are everywhere
And they barrel into you with the force of a wrecking ball, leaving your head spinning. What we spend on, for example, has evolved in sheer magnitude. The phone bill. Savings. Insurance policies (what to get??). School loans.
Then there’s the #adulting part. Work. Starting retirement planning. Taxes. For some of us, this includes house deposits.
Sure, we might have greater spending power now (treat yo self!!), but as a great man once said… with great power comes great responsibility.
Wait, did you say‘wrong universe’? Sorry.
3. You use an app for everything
Post-graduation, you suddenly use a thousand apps. A budgeting app to manage your expenses, your mobile banking app(s), Evernote, LinkedIn, Lazada, phone provider app, EZ-link, discount apps. How did we even live without smartphones?
On the topic of discounts…
4. You suspect a discount conspiracy
Alright, alright. It’s nowhere that serious but apart from losing your school travel concession, you’ve finally realized that some stores strategically set their promotions…during the time when you’re stuck in the office. It mainly affects the folks working at industrial areas with no malls or outlets close by. Why, guys, why?
5. You own a scheduler, and it goes everywhere with you
It starts to become hard to remember things, or not be swamped with one too many tasks after joining the workforce. The scheduler (physical or digital) becomes your new best friend so you don’t let a work task or your friend’s birthday slip your mind, both of which could earn you the wrath of a thousand gods(just kidding).
It also helps you organise your week so you can make the most out of it – there are only so many hours left after a day at the office to use, and the housework ain’t gonna do itself. Unfortunately.
Remember to schedule some “me-time”!
6. You’re now home by 11pm
Them party days are over: you simply can’t find the extra energy in you anymore. A 9-6 job is enough to tire you out and at the end of the day, all you want to do is laze in bed and catch a Netflix drama or two.(There’s also the pragmatic reason: you’ve also realised that the costs of too many meetups add up. Discounts and coupons to the rescue!)
Before I started working it amused me when, during a dinner meetup, my uni seniors declared that they’d leave by 9:30pm sharp and did just that when time was up. Now that I’m in their shoes, I can say that I totally understand. Zone out at home for just a while after work and before you know it, bam – it’s 9:30pm. Whatever is this sorcery?
7. You’ve swapped your concession card…for name cards.
When you have to exchange them with clients or anyone else you might find yourself fumbling just a little, revealing your fresh grad status in the process. At this point, you’ve probably collected quite a bunch, yourself, and have no idea what to do with them.
(Tip: Building up a network of contacts is never a bad move: you might find a business card scanner app like Wantedly‘s handy!)
8. It’s wedding season (indefinitely)
Every now and then, a quick scroll on your Facebook or Instagram feed updates you on this. Not to mention, you’ve probably attended at least one solemnization or wedding ceremony – with more on the horizon. The happiness is contagious, but your wallet is noticeably lighter from all the gifts/red packets/outfits.
Time for that well-deserved vacation, maybe?
9. You can’t escape formal language
You’re so used to reading your emails and replying them that, now, it’s trickled down into daily life. You roll your eyes when you see someone saying “please revert” – you want me to revert, how? – and have to keep yourself from saying “cheers”, “regards” and “please advise”.
10. And finally…
You actually, kind of, just might, miss writing an assignment. This would have been inconceivable pre graduation— but now? You actually miss the routine and hair-pulling and thinking. When looking back at past submissions you can’t remember writing them, and start doubting your sanity, just like how words become unfamiliar when you stare at them for too long.
Somone please sign me up for school again before I forget how to essay?
A very familiar scenario
If you’ve yet to graduate soon and need some help, here’s some advice from seniors that have been there, done that (you’re not alone!):
- 13 Graduates from NTU, NUS & SMU speak out: What I wished I had done while in university?
- Pre-Graduation Syndrome of a Happy-go-lucky Student
- Because what we choose today affects our choices tomorrow