18 Pieces of No-Bullsh*t Advice for College Grads You Won't Hear in Any Graduation Speech


"The world is waiting for you to hammer it into shape." 

"The person you are is like nobody else on the planet."

"The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer."

The platitudes (or downright lies) graduates are served up this time of year arrive, of course, with the best of intentions and are delivered by brilliant people. 

Inspiring as those words are, grad speeches have a sneaky way of overlooking the truths about adult life. There are the harsh practical realities, such as record-high student loan debt, and that about 4 out of 5 students graduate without a job. Then there are the less tangible realities,like the difficulty of maintaining friendships to the monumental task of keeping your fridge stocked.

So Mic tapped real college grads via Tumblr and a Google Form survey to ask what real, no-bullshit advice they would give college grads today. 

Jobs are just jobs. 

1. "It's more important to know the kind of job you DON'T want than the kind you do want."

2. "If you feel sad, lost and disappointed that things aren't working out right after graduation, let yourself feel it. These feelings pass, and things will work out eventually. Even if 'eventually' takes awhile."

3. "Enjoy the years right after college. You have so much time to stress about your career that it's kind of nice when you first get out that you can let people teach you. Find a great mentor who can guide you, even someone who isn't in your industry."

4. "Life is more than work."

5. "Don't compare your life to your friends' lives. If they've all got their dream jobs in what they studied, and all you've got is a service job that pays the bills in the meantime, don't worry, it happens. Just do what makes you happy."


Being an adult can suck, so make the best of it.

6. "Challenge yourself, sure, but realize that some days success might mean you got out of bed, made a phone call, etc. when you truly couldn't stand to. Those are still accomplishments, however small they seem."

7. "Stay up late those few extra hours to have sex. I've never regretted making time to have sex. Ever."

8. "Stay active. Especially for graduates who played sports all through college. It's hard to remember to work out on your own. Plus, you'll have to change your eating habits."

9. "Drink all the tequila you want right now. In two years, you'll get a full body hangover just thinking about it".

10. "Choose to go out more than you stay in. You will have more memories of your nights out than you will of sitting on your couch."

11. "Get the lowest payment you can on student loans, then pay more. The extra goes straight to the principle and decreases the amount of interest you have to pay."


Don't be an asshole, to yourself or others.

12. "Take care of yourself, but not at the expense of your relationships with people you met in school. Stay in touch!"

13. "Here's what I know: It takes two seconds to be nice to someone."

14. "Figure out what kind of support you need/the kind of support you can afford to give others, and don't feel bad about slowly weeding out people from your inner circle who make you uncomfortable in any way."

15. "Don't let work keep you from happiness. Spending time with your friends and family and peaceful alone time is worth more than any check you'll get."


Your own definition of "success" is the one that matters.

16. "Your successes and accomplishments will no longer be praised or acknowledged by grades or awards or applause. Which sucks. I'm just now learning to be proud of myself and not compare what I have and have not done to others and their accomplishments."

17. "Fail. You may not have failed in school, but you will fail in life, sometime, somewhere. If you've not failed anything yet, getting back on your feet will be a challenge, but it won't be the end of the world."

18. "Love fully, with a disregard for the potential for (read: guarantee of) of ruin."