Photo cred - Le Traid Union
You've graduated from CEGEP/college/university in Montreal. Congratulations! Now what? What, no witty response? Thought so. Welcome, friend, to the quarter life crisis that is a result of finishing school, otherwise known as the recent grad struggle.
Every recent grad goes through some of these struggles, while other hardships are definitely Montreal-specific. But even with all the hurdles that come at you after graduation, there is still hope, and we're going to help you out with some solutions to your most prevalent recent grad struggles. A recent grad myself, I feel your pain, and hopefully we can make sure your transition into real personhood is a bit smoother than my own. Hell, I'm not even there yet myself. Let's get there together.
Photo cred - Ziad Chatila
1. No More Student Discounts
Gym membership, your monthly transit pass, groceries, all of those were barely an afterthought as a student, with massive discounts available to you simply for being a student. Your STM pass doubles in price as soon as you're out of academia. At least the STM understands the struggle, as recent grads can actually get a legit discount of 20% on their monthly passes. All you need to do is sign up for an OPUS à l’année subscription, which will save you some time in the long run anyway.
How does it work? Firstly, after signing up for the OPUS à l’année subscription you'll receive a free OPUS card (that's a wave of $6). Each month your credit or debit account will be charged automatically for your monthly fee, plus each month you'll be discounted 20% off of regular fees. You'll never have to wait about standing in line on the first of the month again as your credit account is directly directly connected to the OPUS and your monthly fee is automatically withdrawn from your account. With OPUS à l’année you cannot manually stop payments through your account.
Photo cred- Glass Duffle
2. No More Random Fun
Assuming you manage to acquire some form of employment after graduating, which then I applaud you sir or madam, you'll be immediately bound by a new set of responsibilities. Say goodbye to dropping everything for a 4-day weekend to NYC simply because you can miss your Friday and Monday classes; randomly peace'ing out of town doesn't fly in the real/working world.
On the upside, while you won't be able to partake in as many random adventures, you will have the funds to do more planned fun stuff, like trips abroad.
Photo cred- Tainara Spaniol
3. Losing Your Posse
Montreal is very much a student-city. The only problem is, as soon as students graduate, they either move back to the city they're from or move to another metropolis where there's more work...like Toronto. As all of your once-students friends head off the island to find work, you're left with a dwindling group of homies that gets smaller by the year.
Keep in mind that in life, you'll always be meeting new people and making new friends. Yes, making new friends and actually being nice to people is a little daunting, but the effort is worth it when you find a legit pal. Plus, all your posse moving away means you have places to crash all over the world.
Photo cred- Joshua McRae
4. Summer Is No Longer A Thing
Ah, summer in university. Two extra months longer than what you'd get in elementary/secondary school, the 4 months between the last and next semester were a magical time of fun, sun, and travels to just about everywhere. Yup, no more obscenely long summer vacays anymore, because in the real world, you only get two weeks of vacation.
Hard to really offer a silver lining to this struggle, mainly because there isn't one. Always keep in mind though, that now as a worker bee, you'll actually have your own funds to do fun summer things, as you try to cram as much as you can into your fortnight of free time.
Photo cred- Glasses 2 You
5. Becoming A 9 to 5er
Say goodbye to sleeping in and hello to afternoon cups of coffee to get you through the day once you officially enter the workforce. Back in your glory days as a student, you could go out every night and wake up late, skipping lecture entirely, or take mid-afternoon nap after class to recharge, if you actually made it there.
The new schedule isn't all bad though. While you will have to let go of midweek partying, you can say hello to the 5@7, which is the working person's way of getting in their daily drinks but ending it early enough to wake up in the morning.
Photo cred- Fashion Beans
6. Having To Look The Part
With becoming a fully fledged person with a big girl/boy job, comes an entirely new wardrobe to match the role. Sweats, flip-flops, and hoodies may have been alright at your 8am lecture, just not at your new office gig. Or any job really. Time to put on collared shirts and black shoes, you know stuff you can actually look like a respectable person in.
In reality, while buying new clothes and conforming to the norms of the man kind of blows, upgrading your outfits is a good thing. You'll instantly gain more respect and look like you mean business.
Photo cred- Canada AM
7. Budgeting Becomes A Thing
Now that you're on your own, having to use your own money, the time has come when you actually need to watch what you spend your money on. Even if you're still residing in the safe haven that is your family home, you're probably still in the same situation, as you sure as hell don't want to ask your parents for money anymore.
If there's one boon to having to manage your own money, it's that it is your money. Not your parents' or anyone else's, it's all yours to do with as you please, even though "as you please" means budgeting for groceries.
Photo cred- STM
8. The Daily Commute
Gone are the days where you could live in an apartment super close to school, simply because all of the apartments nearby are pretty much reserved for students at your university, and stroll to class five minutes before it starts. Your work and home situation will not be so convenient.
At least you don't have a car, and can save some money on the price of your STM pass. If you do happen to own a set of wheels, congrats, and enjoy the massive amount of time you spend in traffic everyday.
Photo cred- I Heart It
9. Actually Thinking About The Future
Reality sets in once you graduate, and the vast open road before you that is your life went from magically mysterious to wholly terrifying and without direction. Just getting a job to support yourself doesn't end these woeful forethoughts, as now you actually have to ponder whether this occupation is right for you.
One thing to keep in mind any time you're super scared thinking about the future is that, no matter where you are right now, you can only go up from here. Being positive can make a big difference, so try imagining how awesome your life will be in ten years, rather than how shitty it could be.
Photo cred- Elite Daily
10. Dealing With Office Folk
In class, you could sit quietly, listen to your professor, do your thing, and then leave, without having to interact with anyone you didn't want to. In an office, you're literally forced to interact with a random bunch of people, many of whom you may straight out dislike.
It's best not to go into an office expecting the worst, especially if its in a field you're actually interested in, as your coworkers will likely have similar interests. if your job is just a filler gig between school and your real career, don't pass up the chance to meet new and interesting people.