3 Things to Not Do After Graduation



It is graduation season, and I cannot be more thrilled! I love watching people celebrate the completion of all their hard work. This is a special time, even as COVID-19 lingers. However, it can also be a stressful time for graduates.


I remember a lot of people asking me, “What’s next?” That is one of the worst questions to ask a graduate. After years of focusing on a degree, even before college, it can be hard to see past graduation. I personally think that is a good thing. It gives you a chance to enjoy the present (if you choose to take it).


To help you enjoy the present, here are three things to not do after graduation:

1. Do not work.


I did not rest at all. I was so driven to “be an adult” that I did not give myself time to recuperate. You just spent years working as a student— probably pulling all-nighters, working tons of shifts to pay bills, trying to find ways to eat when your meal plan ran out… You worked hard in ways that you will hopefully not have to work hard in again. If you can, celebrate the completion of your work by taking a well-earned vacation. That vacation can be as simple as having a quiet summer at home.

2. Do not beat yourself up over jealousy.


If you have not already, you will see amazing job announcements, graduate school announcements, engagement announcements… a lot of news to celebrate. When that good news is not your good news, though, you may feel “magenta.” If you watch The Golden Girls, you know what magenta means. If you do not know what magenta means, here is an explanation. Magenta is a combination of feeling happy for someone, feeling sad that their good news is not your good news, and feeling angry that their good news is not your good news. Basically, magenta is low-key jealousy.


It is okay to feel magenta. Feeling magenta does not mean that you are not happy for someone, are pretending to cheer them on, or do not want what is best for them. When you feel magenta, remind yourself of those things. Magenta is only a feeling, and it will pass.


3. Do not compare yourself to others.


Feeling magenta and acting on magenta are two different things. When you start to think that you are not enough because you do not have the same announcements that other people have, you are acting on magenta. Acting on magenta is harmful. It takes you away from the celebration of your announcements. The fact that you graduated is a miracle, regardless of your employment or relationship status. If you notice that you are acting on magenta, try to replace your negative self-talk with positive affirmations. You have enough, you do enough, and you are enough.


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I hope that you enjoy your graduation! It may be smaller than the pre-2020 ones, but it will be no less special. Try to relax and enjoy it, not regretting the past or worrying about the future. All you have is the present, and graduation is one of the best presents to have.