The heat is rising, the back to school sales are hopping, and for the first or tenth time, you won’t be joining the other students. Instead of going back to a college full of friends, naps, and barely edible food, you will be staying at home working. As you start to see your friends who are still college students or younger family friends excitedly packing up for their freshman year, it can hard to realize that you don’t fit into the college student category any longer.
Whether you miss your interesting classes, friendships that changed you, or just not having to be an adult, college was a big part of all of our lives. So how can you cope when you start to see people heading back to school this year?
Let Yourself Mourn
In our culture today sometimes we are so afraid of people seeing our true feelings that we try to stuff them inside until we explode. It’s ok to be upset and sad that college has ended. That just validates that you had an amazing college experience, and that is something to be proud of. So let yourself cry if you need to on the day your friends are starting back to school. Look at your pictures from the last four years and just let the nostalgia have its way with you. Even though you don’t want to feel this way, I guarantee you’ll feel better when you finally admit to yourself that you are sad.
Take A Social Media Break
Social media can sometimes be our best friend, but it can also be our worst enemy. Once the end of August hits, your feed is going to be filled with pictures of friends reuniting, sorority letters, and the first day of school outfits. It’s ok to decide that you need to take a break from social media, so you don’t make yourself sadder than you need to be. You don’t want to be jealous of your friends or bitter, so take that much-needed social media fast for the last week of August into September.
Plan A Trip
Try to pick a time on your calendar that you would be able to visit your alma mater. A traditional time for many people is during the fall months when colleges have their Homecomings. So why not carpool with some of your friends and relive the “glory days” for the weekend?
Reunite With Your Besties
If you can’t see your alma mater, why not try to plan a trip to see your best friends from college. Just because college is over, doesn’t mean your friendships are. If you want to keep in touch with your friends from college, you are going to have to make it a priority. That means setting aside intentional times to talk and potentially planning a visit if you have the time and funds. Once you start to form memories with each other post college, suddenly you won’t be missing college so much.
One of the things I was most grateful for my senior year of college, was being able to lean on words of wisdom from my upperclassmen friends who had already graduated. They were able to soothe my fears when I was terrified of never getting a job, and helped me to be prepared for post-college life. Be that person for someone else. Calm down your underclassmen friends and help them to realize they won’t be living with mom and dad forever.
Make A Thankful List
Even though real life isn’t as fun as college, there are still many perks of not going back to college, see article here. Make a list of what you are thankful for since graduating college. Be positive and realize that having a job and liking the area you live in, is more exciting than you realize. Not to mention you probably don’t have to eat terrible food every day of the week.
Realize College Isn’t Your “Best Years”
You are, hopefully, going to have way better times ahead than the times you had in college. You are going to meet new friends that impact you the way your college friends did, and maybe even get married and start a family. The best days of your life have yet to happen. So when you are wishing you could go back to college, start thinking about all the great things the future has in store.
I know that not going back to college is going to be tough, and for many of us, our alma maters were our homes for the last four years. To be honest, I have had a pang in my stomach for days realizing that some of my younger friends are already walking around my college campus again. I would give anything to be starting my senior year again, but, I know that in a couple of months when I don’t have to write papers, take exams, or deal with people running into me on sidewalks, I’ll be pretty over the whole college thing. Comment the college you attended below to share your school pride!