About this time last year, I was in the home stretch of college and gearing up to cross the finish line. The excitement was overwhelming, the drinks were flowing, and friends’ memories from the last four years were drowning out the bar music. I was right about to graduate college – and maybe it was the liquid confidence, but I felt like I knew it all and could conquer the world.
However, all of that changed quickly. Flash forward to today and I feel like I have learned far more in the past year than I did in all four years of college. At first, I was blindsided by how much I really didn’t know, but then I realized – that’s life and this is completely normal.
Here are 4 things college grads will all know to be true after they enter “the real world.”
1. 8 am classes were not actually as bad as we made them out to be.
Remember how difficult it was to wake up 10 minutes before class, throw on some sweats, and sit in the back of class just to doodle? Well, if that was you, you’re in for a real treat. Scrambling out the door at 6 am after you quickly threw yourself together just to get a head start on rush-hour traffic – now that is a struggle. But wait, there’s more — getting yourself and your kids ready in the morning is the next challenge. Have fun with that one!
2. Your professors were right.
With the exception of our grade school teachers insisting that cursive would be the standard form of writing, professors and teachers alike are usually spot-on about everything. Showing up late to class is a lot like showing up late to a meeting, except the latter is more painful. On top of that, ever had a professor give you a failing grade for handing in something late? Believe it or not, that’s actually a thing in the real world – they’re called deadlines.
3. Finding a job is a lot like getting the perfect schedule.
Waking up at 6 am just to find out that the perfect classes you had picked to fit your schedule are all taken? Total bummer. All of the general elective online classes are taken, and you have to make due with three 8 am classes and two night classes. Applying for jobs after graduation is very similar. Hundreds of students are all searching for the best jobs, making it that much harder to land the one you wanted. The sense of competition is still very much there – and the outcomes can be all the more disappointing.
4. Summer just isn’t the same anymore.
Ah summer – the long break from school filled with plans for reuniting with old friends, going to concerts, and traveling to extravagant beaches. Engraving the concept of a summer vacation into students’ schedules in the education systems may not be the smartest idea. As you sit at your desk gazing through the small window at the far side of your office, you come to the sad conclusion that summer just isn’t the same as it once was. Once that highly-anticipated 75-degree weather rolls around, you get a longing feeling in your bones and lump in your throat that you can’t seem to swallow.
Life is full of lessons and learning experiences, and no matter how old you are and how much you think you’ve mastered all of life’s quandaries, there will always be more to learn. The next time you’re slammed with work and daydreaming of the simpler college days, just know that we’ve all been there.