Life Actually Gets Better After College
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Post Grad Survival Guide for the recent grads out there that we’ll be rolling out this summer. 13 weeks, 13 blogs, 13 chances for the corporate drones of the future to learn how to exist in the adult world while still hanging on to some level of sanity and self respect.
College is fucking sick. Not gonna lie to you about that. But if doesn’t have to be the “best years of your life” because the real world can be pretty great too.
Being an adult gets a bad rap, so here’s my top five reasons why life is actually better after college.
Why Life Gets Better After College
1. You’re Rich As Shit (by your standards)
There is no feeling quite like getting that first paycheck, checking your bank account, and seeing a comma in it for the first time ever. Of course, life in the Comma Club is generally short lived and soon it’ll all be gone after rent, Bud Light, and ordering Seamless for every meal since you don’t know how to cook yet, but that’s not the point. The point is you’re a grown ass adult who can swipe that card at Dos Toros after getting double meat and not have to worry that it’ll get declined. You can get drunk and splurge on a sweatshirt you’ll never wear because you’ve been getting Instagram ads for it for months and plus it’s on sale. You can buy a ton of work clothes at Brooks Brothers sale and then return them 18 hours later after you had a panic attack since you’re not actually that rich. It’s sick.
For the first time in your life, you have actual money that you can spend without getting questioned. Sure, in college you might have had a part time job or summer internship, but chances are your parents were keeping an eye on your bank account. Even if you were lucky enough to be completely on the Dad’s Amex plan, you’re still not actually free to spend whatever you want. Or maybe you are – I wouldn’t know. This blog’s probably not for you though.
2. You Can Date Without Everyone Knowing Your Business
No matter how big of a school you went to, every college feels small. If you date someone or even just hook up, somehow everyone finds out. And when it eventually doesn’t work out, you have to see that person constantly at the dining hall, gym, classes or the same 3 parties that everyone you know goes too. Plus, your future romance pool just shrunk because it seems like every single person in your school is in your ex’s sorority or used to hook up with your roommate or has a weirdly overprotective brother who you’re kind of friends with from Econ class. By the time you graduate, it seems like there’s maybe 3 people in the entire school that you could drunkenly make out with and not cause drama.
That all changes in the real world. With the apps, bars, work people (more on this in a future column) and an expansive group of friends of friends, your dating pool expands significantly. After four years of knowing everything about everyone in school, it’s actually great to date somehow who’s a legitimate stranger and go into a relationship completely fresh. Plus, you get privacy and no one has to know about every single thing that happens. And the best part – if you break up (in most cases at least) you truly never have to see them or worry about running into them again.
3. You’re Free After 5
Realistically, this is more like 6 or 7 pm, but the point remains. One thing you don’t realize about graduating is how fucking sick it is to not have homework. You can leave work for the day and just be done. No tests hanging over your head or commitments to clubs or organizations you joined to convince your parents you’re actively participating in school. Nope, it’s time to do whatever the hell you want. Which is actually the scariest thing in the entire world, but hey at least you have the choice.
Of course, you can still be a try hard and give yourself more homework by taking the CFA or CPA or studying for the GMAT. But that’s your choice. You can get really into CrossFit or do some weird pottery class. You can travel a lot and watch as it slowly overtakes your entire personality and every conversation you have. You can get a dog and get fined by your landlord because he specifically said no pets. Or you can just hang out, play videos games, go to happy hours, and be a normal person. It’s up to you my man / woman and that’s a beautiful thing.
4. You Work (Kind of) Matters
I know this is a weird take for an entire brand built around the concept that works sucks and life is a meaningless march towards death, buthear me out. Maybe I’m just not a big school guy, but I could never really get that fired up about “learning.” Sure, it’s cool to kind of understand supply and demand and figure out what The Great Gatsby is about, but it doesn’t really sink in until you actually apply what you learned at a real job.
Realistically, work is just homework with real world consequences that you get paid for. I took 3 marketing classes in college but not a single concept actually made sense until I had my first real marketing internship. And for the first time, I actually cared about doing well because I was emotionally invested in the company and wanted to see it do well. Just kidding, it was because I wanted to get promoted and paid more money but still – that’s a lot more motivating than getting a good grade.
Regardless of your motivation, there are actual stakes to what you are doing now and you get to see the direct impact of what you do every day (hopefully.)
5. You Appreciate the Value of a Crock-Pot
We are 4 long months away from Crocktober and time could not be moving any slower in the Work Retire Die household. Sure, Slow Cook Summer is great and all, but it’s too hot for a good soup or chowder, which is where the Crock-Pot really shines. Makes me sick that college kids treat America’s #1 slow cooker like this: