Life is coming -- life after college, that is.
Like most of you, I’m trying to wrap my brain around this new concept of being an adult. I look at myself and my college friends and it’s clear we’re not ready to be out in the world making all of our own decisions. I mean, I know a girl who calls her mom to ask what she should wear on a regular basis.
Assuming she’s not the only one needing a bit of a reality check, here’s a list of things you’re probably not going to be ready for after college:
Answering the cliché questions
Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. It starts the moment you walk off that stage, diploma in hand or maybe even weeks before you turn in your final assignments: “Have you thought about what’s next?” “Are you moving out?” “Do you have a job lined up?” The answer to all of these questions is probably no.
We’ve never been the best at thinking ahead, just reference that final term paper I turned in as I walked on stage to get my diploma. It’s cool, though; I’m pretty sure no one is ever ready, nor do they have all the answers.
You thought paying for college was hard? Ha, you haven’t even begun to pay for college. Get ready for those student loan bills to start filing in.
They will, of course, be followed by your rent, utilities, phone bill, that credit card you used to go on spring break, cable, Internet and last but not least, your savings.
Didn’t consider saving and investing before? Well you better start.
I hope you got real fond of Natty Light in college, because your money has better things to pay for now. And no, I don't mean upgrading to Blue Moon.
It’s officially time for you to lose the title of dumb college kid -- yeah, that’s what they’ve been calling us behind our backs -- and become a contributing member of society. You know, filing your own taxes, voting, that sort of stuff.
That doesn't mean just putting that “I voted today” sticker on to seem smart, but actually paying attention to what’s going on in the world and making informed decisions. I’m pretty sure the only thing grownups do is vote and pay taxes, anyway.
Having to pick between Netflix and Hulu
Remember that thing about your money having better things to pay for? We knew this day would come, and it's probably the easiest decision you'll make post-grad.
You could always “borrow” someone else’s Hulu or Netflix account, but do you really want to be that guy? If you have no shame, more power to you.
While we’re on the subject of Netflix, take a note from your money and stop spending whatever free time you manage to scrape up binge watching last year’s latest breakout TV series. You got responsibilities, yo.
Moving back home
I’m sure you love your parents, but you’ve been on your own for four, five, six (just graduate already) years and moving back home is the absolute last thing you want to have to do.
But damn is it cost efficient. Your parents might make you pay rent, but I’m sure they’ll be nicer about it than that seedy landlord of the only dump in town you could afford out of college.
You know when your mom says, “You may be grown, but you’ll always be my baby”? That doesn’t go away.
So if you’re moving home, prepare to be questioned non-stop, stripped of your freedoms and often even held against your will.
Living on your own
Surprise! Try living on your own (you’ll likely have roommates) in a new city for a few months and you’ll see, you’re not quite ready for this, either.
This is where all those bills come in to play, so unless you’ve been saving throughout college, you’re likely not ready for the cost.
Oh and guess what? Dinner isn’t waiting for you on the table or in a magic buffet line. If you want food, you’ll have to make it yourself. I hope you can properly work a kitchen because ramen and pizza rolls get old real quick.
The job hunt/not having a job
Here’s what you’re thinking: “Once I graduate, I’ll take a month or so and just relax, gather myself and then go hard on the job search until I find the perfect one for me in about a month.”
Well, if you’re just looking to be disappointed, here’s an idea: Go watch “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” It’ll take two hours as opposed to two months.
You’re going to need a means of income once college is over, and unless you’re looking for your run-of-the-mill service industry job, you’re likely not ready for the emotional rollercoaster that is the job hunt. It’s a jungle out there, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.
If you’re waiting until after graduation to ride the bull, you’re already lying flat on your face.
No free time
So you got the job you spent tens of thousands of dollars in college preparing for. Now, you’ve got to work, and I hope you’re ready to work hard. Remember, it’s a jungle; lots of people want your job... blah, blah, blah.
Basically, this means one thing: All that time you had in college to take naps, get embarrassingly drunk and catch up on all nine seasons of "How I Met Your Mother" are out the window.
If you’re working your ass off like you should be, it's likely you won’t have the energy to stay up all hours of the night doing mindless things like you did in college.
But get this: You’ll likely get paid vacation time, and isn’t that better anyway?
Not being able to wear sweatpants every day
I'm pretty sure sweatpants came in first this year in the college attire hall of fame. I personally don’t see the draw, but every other person in my 8 am lecture hall must think they’re a staple.
I get that you all find them comfortable, but unless you’re still at Mom and Dad’s or don’t have a job, sweats really aren’t an acceptable form of pants for adults in public (not counting what you see walking around WalMart). It’s time to invest in some proper clothing to suit your new lifestyle.
Not sure how important this is, but it's worth mentioning. I’m not one for serious relationships anyway, which probably illustrates how bad and unready for this we actually are.
College was great; we got involved in this hook-up culture where there were few strings attached, and now I guess we’re supposed to go into the world with the thought of eventually settling down.
Ha, if you think the rest of what I’ve said is fairly accurate, seems to me we’re not even ready to take care of ourselves, much less involve another person.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It