10 Realities of Swapping a Semester of College for One in ‘The Real World’
1. Sweaty Rec. League Basketball
Remember when you were around 10 years old, and you’d see gangs of 20-50 year old men arguing ruthlessly over fouls? Remember how despite the fact that 2-3 people were ridiculously good, the only thing you could really focus on was the baffling amount of old guy sweat soaking up half the court’s t-shirts?
Yep. You’re in that game now.
2. Financial Friend Bracketing
Your poor friends get off on the fact that they could buy meatballs, pasta, sauce, and parmesan cheese for the amazing price of $6.95, and even have some left over. Your rich friends aren’t happy unless they go somewhere that drowns out general conversation and spend money on endless shots, the item which validates their current lifestyle of contemplating whether or not to use coke in order to get through the tough work evenings.
The relative equilibrium of parent's money in college is (for the most part) no longer, and it’s sadly our financial constraints (or lack thereof) that make the singular road forge into two. Your poor friends of course, will martyr themselves on the one contrivedly dedicated to that Robert Frost poem.
3. Platinum’s the New Natty
I wrote about this in relative detail last week, but Bud Light Platinum is basically a beer for people who were used to being the kings of the college landscape (via Frathouse Lording) and feel a strong desire to maintain their “Platinum” life status.
This of course, provides a nice contrast to the ex-Fratlord’s current situation, a 25K gig as a thankless talent agency assistant monkey.
4. House Cleaning
In college, it was almost a badge of pride to see how long your house could without addressing the rising sewer formally known as your kitchen. There’s still of course traces of the glory days, but they’re increasingly becoming just that.
5. Crutch Addiction
For most people, this is usually simple and straightforward. Coffee. Five Hour Energy. Some sort of tea that’s easy to make fun of just cause it’s tea.
But for those who subscribe to the “funemployed” lifestyle, the sky is really the limit here. Weed sure, but maybe the lack of job has funneled into a sudden passion for splatter painting. Or a sudden interest in Carl Sagan videos. Or, most likely, the pursuit of completely memorizing IMDB.
6. Money Earned vs. Hating Yourself Equilibrium
I wish I had a graph here, but the jist of this mathematical breakthrough is as follows:
- The more miserable a job is, the more they have to compensate you for being miserable
- The less miserable a job is, the less they have to compensate you for being miserable
- At some point, no amount of money will make up for how miserable your job is
- At some point, no amount of awesomeness will make up for the fact that you can’t afford to buy shampoo
Of course, the trick is to find exceptions to these rules. But for those of us living within this plane (most of us), life’s primary mission is to find a balance.
7. The Upper Right-Hand Corner of Your Facebook Page
Is suddenly littered with people getting engaged. The dominos are falling, so best take cover.
8. Appreciation of Things You’d Hate Yourself for Appreciating a Few Months Ago
About a year ago today, due to a strange series of circumstances, I commuted to an internship with my brothers roommate (we’ll call him the Z-man), who dropped me off on the way to work. While I spent the 40 minute commute wondering how the fuck people woke up at 6 and didn’t disintegrate into dust by 3pm, the Z-man talked how he was really getting into talk radio. Like, highlight of his day sort of shit.
At the time, I was somewhat appalled at what I interpreted to be a tone heavily rooted in resignation–a “yep, this is just about as good as it gets” sort of thing. But the Z-man was right. His talk radio is your Pandora, my Spotify Playlists, and my roommate’s nightly summary of how awesome his lunch was.
9. Sudden Appreciation for Extremely Dark Humor
This is because it doesn’t necessarily get better. It just kind of gets. And laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing is may very be the best antidote to temporarily tolerating the unforgiving, “make sure there’s no lint on your suit” reality we’ve constructed.
And this is before having kids.
10. The Realization
First, it seems like just another internship. Then, it’s just a longer internship. Then, it’s something you’ll be doing for quite awhile.
Around the 4-6 month mark, it’ll come at the most innocuous of moments–riding the elevator, in the middle of a vigorous teeth brushing sesh, or whilst in line for the bathroom, drunkenly chatting up the sort of person you’ll never see again, but weirdly remember forever. The sudden realization that this is what you do now, and what you’ll be doing for the next 50 years.
Time for a shot. A few shots, actually.