I was busy in college, like super-obnoxiously busy, but somehow I still had free time. Even during my weekends, I am either writing, at the gym, reading for class, attempting to catch up on sleep or doing something or the other that is necessary. I just want more time to do unnecessary things like sit in a dining hall for hours on Saturday morning and judge all the walk of shames I see go past. Goodness, people had very little shame in college.
2.Classes I could bullshit
Don’t get me wrong, I was always and continue to be a diligent student. But I took some pretty hard classes so I had to balance them out with 1 or 2 that I could devote as little time as possible to. There’s really no such thing in grad school. Every class involves copious amounts of reading and most people are reasonably intelligent enough to know when you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. And looking stupid in grad school is not recommended.
3.Your friends being 5 minutes away
I am pretty lucky – I have a reasonable amount of friends who I went to college with, who live in the same city as me. After all, it is Chicago and just about everyone who goes to school in the Midwest moves here. Still, somehow meeting up with your friends post-college involves so much effort and coordinating that it just becomes another source of stress. In college, your friends live literally 3 feet away most times. I had it good.
4.The ability to pull all-nighters on-end
I pulled A LOT of all-nighters in college because I really do work better under pressure. My personal best is my sophomore year, Spring semester where but for 45 – 90 minute naps during the day, I went 5 days without any real sleep. I was such a champ. I pulled two all nighters in a row in my first quarter of grad school and let me tell you this – NEVER AGAIN. That was a serious rookie mistake. I was so delusional by the second night, I honestly thought I was dying. This body may not need much sleep but it needs some sleep.
College responsibilities could be negotiated (see: blown off) easily enough, and you were forgiven because you were young and stupid. My freshman year, our basketball team was hot so I went on a weekend trip with friends to watch the conference tournament live. Notwithstanding we had mid-terms the next week, we all had a great time especially because we won the conference. And mid-terms came and went. Post-college life whether at work or grad school or both doesn’t work like that. You will be held accountable should you choose to “negotiate” your responsibilities. Spontaneous fun becomes something you consider and weigh very carefully before you act upon it, which of course means it’s no longer spontaneous.
6. Meal Plans
I unashamedly miss meal plans. Yes, I know college cafeterias serve sucky food and bla bla bla. But I will never again be unappreciative of having someone cook for me. Most days, I get home at 8 p.m. after working out or 9:30 p.m. after coming from night class. The last thing, and I mean the absolute last thing I want to do is cook, especially when I have only myself to cook for. You know what I ate for dinner tonight? Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies Penguins. Okay, most nights are not this bad – I usually grumpily make dinner (or microwave dinner) but meal plans are severely underrated. If I didn’t care that my mother would probably say, I’d have one in grad school.
No explanation needed.