19 Words That Take On A New Meaning When You Graduate

Graduation is when real life starts, and real life is weird.

1. “Home”


Used to mean: The place you go back to every couple of months.
Now means: Where you inexplicably find yourself living again.

2. “Loan”

Disney / Via gifbay.com

Used to mean: The thing you agreed to in order to get lots of money!
Now means: The thing you agreed to in order to get lots of debt.

3. “Going out”

Used to mean: Something you can do easily, at any time.
Now means: Something that suddenly is really, really tricky to organise.

4. “Laundry”


Used to mean: What you avoid doing until you have literally nothing left to wear. And sometimes not even then.
Now means: What seems to be getting done quite regularly by your parents instead.

5. “Friends”

UK Film Council / Via nojustice.tumblr.com

Used to mean: The massive group of people you always seem to be surrounded by.
Now means: People you now only have digital contact with.

6. “Library”


Used to mean: Where you live.
Now means: Where you’ll never have to go again.

7. “Internship”

Lionsgate Entertainment / Via pandawhale.com

Used to mean: Probably something to avoid.
Now means: Probably what you’ll actually have to do.

8. “Job”

FX / Via giphy.com

Used to mean: What you expect to get immediately as soon as you graduate.
Now means: Something you get only after a really long, protracted process.

9. “Experience”

Used to mean: What you’ll get in your first job.
Now means: Impossibly, what you’ll need to get your first job.

10. “Dream job”

Lionsgate Entertainment / Via reactiongifcollection.tumblr.com

Used to mean: What you are completely committed to pursuing.
Now means: What you might come back to in a few years.

11. “Interview”


Used to mean: A one-on-one conversation with someone looking to hire you.
Now means: A bizarre process involving a large group of people that will almost inevitably end up with you not getting hired.

12. “Offer”

Used to mean: Getting 2-for-1 on cans of Red Stripe.
Now means: Getting someone to actually ask you to work for them.

13. “Waking up”

Marvel Studios / Via giphy.com

Used to mean: 11am. Maybe.
Now means: 8am. Definitely.

14. “Hard work”

NBC / Via reddit.com

Used to mean: 40 hours a week.
Now means: 80 hours a week.

15. “Morning”

Used to mean: What you occasionally see if you have a very early lecture.
Now means: A period when you actually do a lot of your work. Because you are at your job.

16. “Payday”

20th Century Fox / Via gifbay.com

Used to mean: When your loan comes in.
Now means: When your actual pay comes in. From your job. That you EARNED.

17. “Budget”

Used to mean: Crippling restriction on fun.
Now means: Less crippling restriction on fun.

18. “Weekend”

Used to mean: The same as any other day. Because you don’t do much.
Now means: When everyone else is off as well and you can plan things!

19. “Freedom”

Used to mean: Being able to wake up at 11am.
Now means: Being able to do basically anything because YOU ARE AN ADULT.

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Luke Bailey is deputy head of Buzz at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
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