Do you remember how drastic life changed when you graduated from high school and then went to college? Your entire life was different and some things changed for the good and some things changed for the worst. You were excited about being on your own, free from your parents and rules. You couldn’t wait to meet new people and possibly re-invent yourself. The fun “do whatever you want” college experience you see on television was about to become your reality. But then there were the things you didn’t look forward to, like doing your own laundry, cooking, and actually going to class (if you felt like it). There were so many things that your parents did, that you didn’t even realize they were doing.
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After barely making it through college, you are about to tackle the real world as a college graduate. You hope for everything to be the same but in the back of your head you know that your entire world is about to be flipped upside down. You hope you land your dream job, but you are prepared to struggle. You are even willing to sacrifice your freedom and go back to live with your parents because you know that you should probably save money. But there are a few things you didn’t foresee giving up. Here are 13 things you wish you could still do after college.
1. Party Until 3 in the Morning
In school, you stayed out all night. Nightclubs and bars didn’t close until 3 in the morning, and house parties went on until the sun came up. The night time was always the best time. After college, you can’t stay up that late. You have to work in the morning at the job you only took because you needed money. Plus, you are getting older and you can’t pull all-nighters like you used to.
2. Nap Whenever
Your classes were so spaced out that you had time to take naps at any time. Now, you barely get eight hours of sleep because you are so busy. You are trying to get on your feet and move out of your parents’ house, which is a lot of hard work. You don’t have time to nap, no matter how bad you want too.
3. Walk to Your Friends’ Places
It was the greatest thing ever when you could just walk a couple of steps to see your friends. It was convenient when you needed to tell them about the embarrassing moment you had in class or when you just wanted to steal food from them because your fridge was empty. But since all of you have graduated and “kind of sort of” moved on, it takes a car or a plane to talk to your friends in person. There are, to you, a million miles between you and your college friends and you hate that.
4. Forget About Bills
In college, your parents paid for pretty much everything. Your food, your cable, your rent, and your cell phone bills were not on your radar. That all ended when you received your degree. Your parents handed your bills to you with a smile on their face.
5. Go Out Six Days a Week
Tuesday was no longer Tuesday, it was “Tequila Tuesday.” You went out on Wednesdays because you needed a mid-week release. Thursday was known as “Thirsty Thursdays” and you joined the rest of the campus in quenching the thirst with beer. You went out on Friday and Saturday because who didn’t? And you went to the bar on Sunday because there were sports to be watched. That was during college and now you are a respectable person who strives to do things that are socially acceptable. Going out six days a week is not socially acceptable, so you can’t do that, ever.
6. Decide Not to Go to Work
In college, you could skip classes and that was perfectly fine. Attendance didn’t matter as long as you passed the test. If you called the part-time job you had in school and told them you couldn’t come in because you were sick, they would probably not believe you; but they would be fine with it because they didn’t expect much from you anyway. In the real world, you just can’t not show up. That is the quickest way to get fired and you really need that job for the bills you can’t forget to pay.
7. Decorate Your Apartment With Tacky Things
Posters of your favorite band or pop icon are no longer acceptable to hang in your room and around your apartment. You don’t want to look immature or uncultured.
8. Be Cheap
You were big on low prices in school and it was acceptable for you to only purchase items that stayed in the two digits price range. No one expected you to have money as a college student. Now that you are a college graduate, you don’t want to look like you can’t afford anything. The way people perceive you could have a huge impact on your life.
9. Become Friends With Strangers
College was the easiest place to make friends. You could make friends in class, in the student union, your dorm, in greek life, the library, and pretty much anywhere people congregated. Making friends is a huge part of the college experience and the process of making friends happened incredibly fast. You could meet someone in your morning class and then go to the bar with them that night. Once you graduate, people become less open and making friends becomes a struggle that you eventually give up on.
10. Use School as an Excuse
If you didn’t want to visit your extended family for vacation, you could always say that you had a lot of work to do for school. Or if you forgot your parent’s’ birthdays, you could always say that you were too busy with your course work. Well, you are no longer in school, so that excuse is invalid.
11. Celebrate Your Birthday for a Week Instead of a Day
You miss the times when your birthday was a week long event. You and your friends would do different things everyday to celebrate. It was exhausting but you loved it. Now, you are lucky if you even get a cupcake on your birthday. Life is hard.
12. Enjoy Spring and Summer Break
There will be no fun in the sun for you Mr. Graduate. You can’t go to Cancun, Jamaica, or Florida. The beach is calling your name but you have to ignore it. Your Spring and Summer is filled with work and more work. You have to earn vacation days. They are not just given to you.
13. Get Student Discounts
There will be no more student discounts for you. When you were expected to be broke, you were given special privileges such as discounts. Now, your privileges have been revoked. Unless you find coupons, or use special codes, you will have to pay full price for everything.
Life after graduation is a challenging one. You will have more responsibilities than you have ever had before. Your friends will no longer be a few steps away and you will not be able to vacation whenever you feel like it. You will long for things to go back to the way they used to be, but eventually you will learn to cope with the differences. You don’t really have a choice. Wishful thinking isn’t going to turn back time.
What do you miss the most about college?