Is This How You Adult? The 5 Very Real Stages Of Post-Grad Grief

Audra Wallkill
Audra Wallkill, here. Your new bitchy sensei. I believe that everyone’s got a freak flag that needs to be flown. If yours is collecting dust in the basement next to your dead dog’s ashes, I’m here to help you get that shit back at full mast. Born and raised in the magical diaper that is New York City, I all but have the dehydrated urine of a homeless man coursing through my veins. My tear ducts have been hermetically sealed (if your mascara is running — how are you supposed to fight the patriarchy?). Truth-serum is my life source, and there is much yet to be uncovered. As I continue the journey, I look forward to sharing my learnings with you. Shine bright like a diamond.

With the turn of a polyester tassel, your college days have evaporated into a blur of Keystone Light, crop tops, Hookah and wall tapestries. Your four uninterrupted years of epic savagery are over and the real world is staring you in the bloodshot eyes. It’s scary as hell and the only thing you’re certain of so far is crippling uncertainty and a lifetime of debt. You’ve probably already begun to ask yourself some of the hard-hitting questions: 

Will my college friendships live on?

Will I ever be able to find a job?

Will I ever memorize my social security number?

These murky waters will be tough to navigate, and knowing what to expect as you evolve into a functioning member of society is half the battle. Here are some hot tips on how to make it through the five stages of post-grad grief like a total badass.



At the onset of post-grad grief, you’ll linger in your college domicile and concoct false alibis like, “But I’m still packing!” You’ll roam around campus like a vagrant, attempting to swipe into the dining hall for one last free meal. Whatever you do, don’t morph into the Steven Glansberg that overstays his welcome after graduation. Don’t be the creep who gets plastered alone at the local hangs scaring away innocent Freshman with existential mutterings. Keep those college memories near and dear, but also know that the rest of your twenties are about to get LIT. Roll up that Bob Marley poster like a fatty joint and leave with some dignity.

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You’ve either moved home or (if you’re ballsy) ventured out on your own and shit is starting to get real. This is when the rage kicks in. You’ve reverted to a prepubescent state of angst that no amount of stomping, CrossFit, or Emo music can fix. The odds will feel completely against you. But, as Tyra Banks once said, “take some responsibility for YO-SELF.” Take all that bad juju, channel it into productive activities and start moving your life forward. Ain’t nothing wrong with fueling yourself with a little hate-fire.

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You’re sick of playing the long game on LinkedIn. Your tap of inspirational Instagram posts is starting to run dry. In desperation, you’ll scrounge up a solid supply of weed and lock yourself in your parents’ basement to concoct your big “get rich quick” scheme. You’ll come up with a series of hair-brained ideas and even consider graduate school. (No.) Here’s the truth serum: You’ve spent the last four years in Westworld and you aren’t exactly resistant to the elements of real life. It’s hard out in them streets. Best to take a breather, reflect on your passions and find realistic ways to achieve short term goals.



The master plan caved. And Karen, the degenerate from your senior year pottery elective just landed an entry level gig at an investment bank. You’re trapped in a landmine of social media posts that has you comparing yourself to your peers who seem light years ahead of you.

#interviewOOTD #firstdayonthejob #nyc #hustle #liveyourdreams

LOL. Social media is FAKE NEWS. Ignore it. Don’t doubt your self-worth. Live your own truth at your own pace and just do you, boo-boo.



You can only Google search the answers to your existential problems while ugly crying for so long. Cue the Rocky theme and start building your own motivational montage. Put up your best headshot on LinkedIn. Purchase an interview-friendly getup that makes your mom happy. (Her generosity will expire faster than your college ID.)  Even though at times it may seem it, this is NOT a one-way ticket on the struggle bus to hell.  Appreciate this temporary period for exactly what it is: a BLIP on the radar. The challenge makes the victory sweeter. This is only the beginning young grasshopper. The best is yet to come.


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