If you haven’t seen the 80s classic “St. Elmo’s Fire” yet, then your first task as an alumnus is to sit back, take off your cap and gown and watch it. “St. Elmo’s Fire” is like “The Breakfast Club” meets college graduation. But this isn’t just another coming-of-age 80s movie; “St. Elmo’s Fire” has themes and messages that have stood the test of time and still ring true with millennial grads. Here are seven quotes that sum up the twenty-something post-grad life:
1. “It ain’t a party till something gets broken!”
Congrats, grad! You finally got to walk across the stage and receive your diploma. It was four (or five, or six) years of hard work, but it paid off. Now it’s time to celebrate with your friends and family. Have a round, it’s on the house.
2. “I always thought we’d be friends forever.”
“Yeah, well forever got a lot shorter all of a sudden.”
Move out day. You knew this day would be coming, but it was always far enough into the future that you didn’t have to worry about it. As life pulls you in different directions it’s natural that you will lose touch with a few of your college friends. But you’re on to bigger and better things, grad, and you’ll keep in touch with the important people in your life. Remember, everyone is only just a FaceTime sesh away!
If you’re looking to finally take that European vacation you have all been planning since freshman year, check out airbnb.com. With 190+ countries, flexible stay lengths and the ability to rent a variety of rooms (did someone say igloo?), you can make your stay much more budget-friendly and customizable. Who said #PersonalFinance wasn’t très chic?
3. “Do you ever feel like you’re not accomplishing anything at all?”
Whether you’re living in mom and dad’s basement or still looking for your first job, just know that your post-grad existential crisis is normal. Psychologists are actually starting to look into Post-Commencement Stress Disorder as a real issue affecting recent graduates.
According to Psychology Today, PCSD symptoms include: sleeplessness, irritability, feeling a lack of support and feeling a lack of control in your life. These symptoms stem from pressures associated with going outside of the college bubble and facing the “real world.” Just know you’re not the only one going through this and it’s totally normal.
4. “She’s the only evidence of God that I can find on this entire planet with the exception of the mystical force that removes one of my socks from the dryer every time I do laundry.”
I hate to break it to you, but college probably isn’t the last time you will ever use a laundromat. Someone with much better math skills and puns than me calculated the “Laundro-Math” of going to the laundromat weekly versus owning a washer/dryer set. Feel free to check out the full article here, but the abridged version is that it is typically more economical for city-dwellers to use the laundromat versus home washing. Not that many apartments have room for a washer/dryer anyway, but sometimes it pays for convenience. In this case, my suggestion is get used to stacks of quarters and mismatched socks.
5. “Marriage is a concept invented by people who were lucky to make it to 20 without being eaten by dinosaurs. Marriage is extinct.”
“Dinosaurs are extinct. Marriage is still around.”
Marriage might not be obsolete quite yet, but 44 percent of Americans (not just millennials) would disagree. In a Pew Research Study conducted last year, only 26 percent of millennials aged 18 to 32 were married. Compared to other generations at the same age, 36 percent of Generation X, 48 percent of Baby Boomers and 65 percent of the members of the Silent Generation were married between those years.
While millennials aren’t rushing to get married, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to; in fact 69 percent of unmarried millennials would like to, but they are lacking the necessary economic foundation to do so. The biggest hurdle here is, of course, student loan debt. Two-thirds of recent bachelor’s degree grads have an average student loan debt of $27,000. Compare that to 1995, when only half of recent grads had student loan debt, with an average of $15,000.
6. “So you lost your job? I’ve lost twenty of them since graduation…And, in a new development this morning, a handful of hair in the shower drain.”
Millennials are notorious for job hopping – some might even say we have job A.D.D.– so don’t be surprised if your first few years in the workforce include some job switches. With the latest unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy seems to be moving along, albeit a bit sluggishly. Unemployment has continued to drop, now resting at 5.4 percent. The bottom line is that the economy is doing a heck of a lot better than it was in 2009, so job prospects are looking good for millennials. There’s no need to pull your hair out over it.
7. “We’re all going through this. It’s our time on the edge.”
And, last but not least, embrace the post-grad life. This is a totally new chapter of your life, so make sure you write it the way you want to. Your time as a twenty-something young professional will be some of the toughest and most rewarding years of your life. Focus on the positives and remember that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish without coffee and determination.
Are you experiencing the post-grad blues? Share your experience in the comments below or catch up with us on Facebook.