Life After College

Your salary does not say something about you as a person. Especially whatever your first offer is. It will get bigger over time, that’s how it works. And even then it doesn’t mean anything (though money is nice).

In every life stage, I’ve always loved sophomore year. Hopefully I didn’t already lose you because obviously, senior year’s inherent assumption of the proverbial throne, junior year’s ascent into the upper caste and even freshman year’s Holden Caulfield-like age of innocence are all notable in their own right.

Let me explain: In July of 2007, my last full year in Portland, I was 23 years old and sleeping alone in someone else’s bed. The bed’s owner was an old college roommate who had gone off to Mexico for the month while I lived in her stead, paying the bills and watering her plants. I had just quit a low-paying job in retail and abandoned the post-college squat I’d shared with five other friends.

Basically you just wasted a whole day on that one apartment. Call your parents. Tell them getting an apartment is like trying to get accepted to Harvard. Ask them—plead— can you just buy me a place? Forget it. Call your best friend Max, tell him what happened. He’s like, Bro, you gotta use a broker.

One caveat: the life here is addictive… After a year of watching your savings dwindle living a frugal lifestyle, you stick it out until the last $1,000 you have is the money you use for a flight back to Seoul, where upon arrival they hand your flight money back to you. In cash.


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