Congratulations! You have finally made it out of the rat maze they call college. You partied, cheated and slept your way through the college experience to come out on on top as a graduate. (Insert golf clap here.) It’s amazing how fast those four to seven years went by, isn't it? Or is it too hard to remember since you were either high or blacked out for most of them?
Surely that pain in your side, right under your chest and just around your liver will serve as a sufficient reminder that your college experience was not just a dream, or a hallucination. I’m sure those shrooms were the shit, but they couldn’t have been that good.
So now that your college years are behind you, what next? What greatness are you going to accomplish? What legendary experiences are you destined to create for yourself now that you are free of your educational shackles? Maybe you should take the year off and travel the world. Or perhaps just continue the debauchery and elongate that college experience? Or, maybe, you can come to conclude that you are no longer a kid, but an adult.
Maybe it’s finally time for you to grow up. It’s really not as difficult as it sounds. You just need to take all of your habits, and reverse them. Do whatever you did before, only the exact opposite. Here are ten habits that you need to break before you enter the real world running:
10. The Snooze Button Is Now Your Enemy.
Setting your alarm for 7:00 and snoozing until 8:30 is no longer acceptable. Besides it being bad for your health - it’s true, look it up - hitting snooze gets you to a sluggish start. Starting your day with the mindset of dreading work will turn into you not wanting to be there once you get into the office. Before you know it, you'll start to resent your job and feel the need for a change of scenery. Coming into work late is not okay. Sure, your professor was senile, and you snuck in unnoticed, but your boss is not your professor.
She may not notice the first time or the second, but she will eventually catch on. The worst part is that she won’t let you know she knows until it becomes a habit. Even worse than that is the fact that you will set yourself up to be viewed as unreliable and unprofessional. Don’t snooze. Get up and start your day with a smile.
9. Your Workday No Longer Ends Once You Get Home.
There is no better feeling than knowing that your workday is done, and you can just sit back and kick it. Unfortunately, now that you are an adult, you have adult problems. You have responsibilities that go beyond the classroom and don’t end once you get home from work. Bills need to be paid. The apartment needs to be tidied. You have your own projects that require your attention.
There's reading to catch up on. Your list should never end; if it does, then you aren’t living right. You are in the real world now. It is now time to work towards all those dreams of yours. You graduated college, now it’s time to learn from life.
8. Working For Free Is No Longer An Option.
The job market might suck, but unless you are in desperate need of experience, don’t work for free. Internships are great when you are still in college, but post college, it’s just embarrassing. You may have moved back home with your parents, but you will need to move out sooner or later. You must set your own worth; work for free, and you will be seen as worthless. You’d be better off working on other areas of your life that might need some tuning.
7. Maybe You Could Snooze Through Class, But That Shit Will No Longer Fly.
A proper night’s sleep is your best friend. Staying up all night, and playing Xbox is not okay. The only reason you ought to be up all night is because you are either working, or being worked on by that hot brunette you met on the train. Dozing off at work is, well, pathetic. If you aren’t ready to work and make something of yourself, then go get a Masters. Maybe after two more years of being spoon-fed you’ll be ready to take care of yourself.
6. Friends Come Second. You Come First.
Friends are fun. They are important to have when times get tough and good to have around for those nights when binge drinking is on the menu. Nonetheless, your friends are their own persons, and you are your own person. You must put your needs and your life first. Friends are too much of a distraction when there is work at hand that needs to be done.
Keep your friends for the weekends, and allow yourself to do you for the rest of the week. Sooner or later, your friends will come to the same conclusion and will leave you on your lonesome. This is just what happens. People grow up, get married and start families. Your best friend will eventually need to come after your spouse and family; start practicing.
5. Procrastination Will Be The Death Of You.
Let’s be honest, you can get away with quite a bit in college. Have a paper due next Monday? Wait until Sunday night, pop an addy and go at it. The biggest difference between school and the real world is that, while in school, you having a grading system that is out of 100%, and in the real world, you are not being graded on a percentage, but compared to all of your competitors.
It is not possible for everyone to get an A+; only one person will achieve such a mark, and that person will be deemed to be better than all the rest. More than that, you are not just competing with your fellow employees, but also with those whose shoes you're filling. You must be innovative and do what was previously thought to be undoable. Procrastinating only ever produces results that are “good enough.” Good enough is not good enough anymore.
4. Your Professor Knew You Were Hungover. And So Will Your Boss.
Drinking all night, and then crawling into class was acceptable. Your professors expected students to come into class hungover because that is what college students do. Your boss expects you to come into work sober wearing a shirt that does not have a vomit stain on its collar from that morning. If you are going to work, then give it your all.
Being hungover is a distraction and a handicap. You won’t be able to produce the results that are expected of you, nor will you produce the results that you know you are capable of. Getting trashed on a weekday is not acceptable; you are only shooting yourself in the foot.
3. Your Apartment Is Not Your Frat House.
Now that you are an adult, it is time to live like one. Your residence is very important because it not only reflects your personality, but also either helps or interrupts your inner serenity. Having a clean and tidy apartment will do wonders for your psyche and your stress level. There is something about the lack of clutter that relieves clutter of the mind.
Beer bottles and pizza boxes should be recycled. Well, you really shouldn't be consuming stuff like that anyway, but that's your decision. You are an adult and can decide for yourself what you want to put into your body.
2. So You’re STD Free? Stay That Way.
Sleeping around is fun - there’s no denying that. But if you are going to be shagging like Austin Powers, then do so with protection. No glove, no love. Sex becomes more accessible once you get out of college - a bit counterintuitive, I know. STDs continue to be on the rise, even though condoms are much more readily available. Save yourself the headache, or itch, and don’t go in bare. Save raw for sushi.
1. There Are Plenty Of People That Are Smarter Than You.
So you were top of your class? You won academic awards throughout your college career? So what? No matter how smart you believe yourself to be, there are plenty of people out there that are smarter than you. There is a big difference between the knowledge you learn in a classroom and the knowledge life teaches you. The world doesn’t always work the way that you assume it does.
Heed the words of your superiors and those that have been on their own for longer. Even if they aren’t right, you should at least hear them out. You are now in a dog eat dog world, where everyone is looking out for themselves. Whether friend or enemy, you should get to know those around you in order to know who exactly you are dealing with. Get off your high horse, and be humbled.
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