There’s no feeling quite like sitting at your own college graduation. You’re surrounded by like two and a half friends and 4,000 other kids you wouldn’t know if you ran them over with a beat up Scion TC. You realize your task of earning a Bachelor’s degree may have been challenging at times, but it pales in comparison to the challenge of the person standing at the podium whose sole job it is to correctly pronounce the names of the Masters students. Will the real Shrinivass Ayyappan Vijayalakshmi please stand up? (Actual name taken from my commencement book. Masters in Computer Engineering, you go girl!)
Either way, you get your degree and collect a couple of checks, but you certainly do not pass go. In fact, most of us…move home. It’s not an easy transition. You’re used to eating pizza at ungodly hours, setting alarms for 10am in order to “get an early start,” owing no one any justification of why your last CVS purchase consisted of fake eyelashes, ramen noodles, and a One Direction three-ringed notebook. Whereas exercise at age 19 does not reach beyond the walk to class, the walk to the fridge, and the walk of shame; age 22 requires slightly more effort ‘cause you are sorely reminded that this physique ain’t gon’ last forever. The glory days are over, my friends.
For now, my parents are my “roommates.” It’s kind of sweet because we don’t fight much over whose turn it is to take out the trash or why utilities were outrageous this month (spoiler alert: the answer is always me), but we do find ourselves arguing over whether we’ll be watching Nazi Hunters, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, or the Steve Wilkos Show on any given afternoon. Dad’s, mine, and Mom’s choices, respectively. Nightlife at home has certainly taken a turn for the, um, interesting? I traded in Two-Dollar Tuesdays for Trivia Tuesdays and its quite alarming now that the local Ale House has a table reserved for Ace’s Allstars…and doesn’t even bother giving us menus.
As for my day-to-day activities, things remain unchanged. The old neighbors know me as Steve and Sari’s daughter, unsure of my age or purpose in life; the new neighbors probably just think I am a live-in dogwalker who should be reported to the homeowner’s association. Though my mother has purchased printed and scented dog shit bags (among a library of other useless animal products IE: dog dry shampoo, dog toothpaste/brushes, $28 allergen free dog shampoo), I simply refuse to spend my summer touching another mammal’s feces. Yes, job-hunting is going well, thanks for asking.
My standard communication with the ‘rents in undergrad used to go something like this: a text message or simple phone call once a day to let my parents know I was still alive, usually breathing would suffice. Two instances of communication meant I wanted something. Three or more meant a definite butt dial. Now, I can no longer pretend that I am at the library/phone is dead/in an important meeting for those options no longer exist. Living home, a minimum of four calls is expected. If they don’t hear from me before noon, I’ve either been kidnapped or I’m dead, or I will be both soon. This is quite comical to me considering in college I lived between a Papa Johns, a Kangaroo and a Checkers, all of which were frequented by a large homeless population. Now, I live in a gated community. Within a gated community.
So yes, the local checkout lady at the supermarket now knows me by name, and yes, Ubering home from a bar now costs more than $1.83, and yes, swiping left on Tinder now means running the risk of seeing that person at the pediatrician, but for the most part life is good. Laundry is free, there are home cooked meals aplenty, and I sleep easy knowing that I will never have to drink vodka from a plastic liter ever again. I’m gonna ride this post-grad purgatory out for a couple of months, cause come August when I move to New York City, I might actually miss these roommates of mine.