One year and one month ago I graduated college. Here is the wisdom I’ve gained:
- We are not more sophisticated than our undergraduate selves. We visit our college friends on a weekend and witness a drunk kid stumbling out of McDonald’s with six Big Macs and a milkshake in his hand. He’s yelling onto his phone about a chick he just made out with at the bar. “I can’t believe people act like that,” we say judgmentally as we head to get a Stella Artois at the newest, trendiest bar in town. Exactly 1 Stella and 9 Miller Lites later (because who knew Stella is so expensive?!), we’re walking home eating tater tots covered in pulled pork and BBQ sauce with our bare hands because we can’t wait the 7 minute walk to use a fork. They say old habits die hard, but we say “WHO CARES I’M HUNGRY.”
- Whoever coined the phrase “poor college kid” is full of it. More like “poor student-debt-laden-rent-paying-food-buying-gym-membership-bills-piling-no-longer-able-to-get-a-pitcher-for-$5-now-what? kid”. We may have been poor in college, but when a CASH-4-GOLD commercial sends us digging through our things so we can get takeout tonight, we’ve hit rock bottom.
- Sundays are the best days. For the last four years (or five, if you’re one of those people), we’ve started our Sundays with a hangover, dragged through the afternoon feebly attempting to eat crackers and drink Gatorade, and entered the evening with the crushing realization that all the work we put off over the weekend didn’t do itself. But with the onset of the real world, that has changed. Sundays often still start with a hangover (with pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and tater tot crumbs in our beds), but now we have all day to do with what we please. Need Wendy’s? Go get it. Still tired? Take one – no – take three naps. And when the familiar time comes when the work we have to do starts lingering over us like the Eye of Sauron, we can instead watch the newest episode of Game of Thrones, guilt-free.
- Laundry days are (still) the worst days. Self-explanatory. Laundry is, always has been, and always will be, the worst. Why are we paying to do laundry in our own apartment? Is this some type of cruel joke? Don’t they know how much a Stella costs?
- It is NOT ok to wear sweatpants in public. As it turns out, people in the real world do not wear sweatpants unless they’re working out or shopping at WalMart. This came as a shock to me and should to you too. Why restrict such a comfortable piece of clothing to the cramped confines of our apartments? College led us to falsely believe that sweats are acceptable mid-Tuesday attire. They are not. Looks like we’ll all be “working out” much more often.
- Happy Hour is a Godsend. A Blue Moon with our coworkers on the porch of our favorite bar after suffering through a painstaking 40+ hour workweek? Make it three. Get home by 8 and fall asleep by 10? Wake up before noon on Saturday and get a ton of crap done? Sign me up. This concept is foreign to the able-bodied college drinker. However, it is truly one of the best motivators to get through a last minute status meeting with that lady who doesn’t like fun or smiling on Friday afternoon.
- It is impossible to sleep past 9:30. There needs to be a class in college that teaches us how early life in the real world starts. There are days when we leave for work and the sun still hasn’t come up. If we wake up at 9:30 we’re already at least 30 minutes late. Turn that into a habit and we can kiss our low salaried, highly demanding, rent-paying jobs goodbye.
- Reading can be fun. For four years we’re forced to purchase the overpriced, stale ramblings of our professors and read them cover-to-cover. Without freedom of choice in our readings, we lose the ability to enjoy literature. Apparently, though, there’s nonfiction out there that isn’t painful to read. This new world of prose excites our senses like a pierogi excites a Pittsburgher. And if nonfiction doesn’t tickle your inner brainiac, at least you now have time to plow through the Hunger Games novels.
- Hobbies exist. In school we didn’t have hobbies – we had school, sleeping, eating greasy food, and drinking shitty beer. Now, when we get home from work, we’ve still got two thirds of a day left to do with what we please. In school we call this free time “bored”. Now, a whole new world awaits in a cookbook, comedy club, or cornhole league with your new, sophisticated, Sunday loving, laundry hating, equally as poor post college friends.