1. Obsessing over lunch. Lunch never used to be a thing, and now it is the only thing in the world. You time your whole life around lunch, and await the arrival of 12:30-ish with a passion you used to reserve only for romantic love.
2. Treating sleep like a scarce, precious resource. No matter when you go to sleep, when you wake up at 7:30, you are going to feel tired. You are going to want naps. You are going to occasionally consider sleeping under your desk. Sleep becomes like a drug, and closing your eyes for a minute or two in front of your computer becomes your methadone.
3. Saying “thanks so much!” for no reason. You sign emails with this, even when you are the one who is doing something, or the person is actually an obstacle to you getting shit done. It’s like you’ve become a southern butler who only lives to thank people for being obtuse assholes.
4. Keeping 60 tabs open at all times. One is for work, one is for Gchats, and 58 are for projects and to-do lists that you’ve started — and abandoned — but don’t want to admit that you aren’t going to do, so you keep them around to feel bad about every now and then.
5. Either eating constantly, or very rarely. Sometimes you’re grazing on a can of nuts for like 10 straight hours, other times you look up and realize that it’s been three solid mealtimes since you’ve actually taken a moment to eat. There is rarely an in-between.
6. Getting locked in vicious coffee/tea/bathroom cycles. You’re constantly in the process of finishing an English Breakfast, starting a chamomile, or going on a run for a latte. And this translates to upwards of 70 bathroom trips per day, because your bladder can no longer keep up with the extreme workload you’ve given it.
7. Using acronyms… in your actual life. One day you will spout an acronym that you learned at work while at drinks with a non-work friend, and that will be a sad and embarrassing day.
8. Blurring the lines between “friends” and “coworkers.” When talking about someone from work to a “real life” friend, you’re likely to get caught in one of those “So my friend, I mean my coworker, I mean, yeah…” spirals, because what do you call someone who sits two desks down from you, but with whom you have been drunk and danced to Robyn with multiple times? They’re froworkers, I guess. Frolleagues.
9. Mastering the art of non-dancing. Sometimes you’re going to be listening to “The Cupid Shuffle” or “Timber” or some other song where not NOT dancing isn’t an option, and you’re going to have to learn how to shimmy and shake and enjoy your song without looking like the crazy person dancing at their desk. It’s a fine art.
10. Practicing not talking about work after-hours. The thing about going out with a coworker for drinks is that you just continue to talk about your job, the office, and all of the various combinations thereof for an additional two hours. Learning to stop obsessing is one of your biggest hurdles.
11. Getting irrationally excited about free food. Someone brought in donuts this morning, and now everyone gets to casually pass three times for a donut while trying not to seem like an enormous glutton, in-between glancing surreptitiously at the box to make sure no one took the cruller.
12. Eating at your desk. It’s the saddest, it’s the lamest, yet sometimes it’s just completely unavoidable.
13. Crafting in-depth playlists for different moods. The music you listen to at your desk changes your entire world, more than nearly anything else you do. And sometimes it’s just one of those days where you put on “emotional guitar-based songs from sophomore year of high school” and have a minor existential crisis while sending morning emails.
14. Becoming intimately familiar with happy hours. You never used to know what happy hour even was, honestly, and now you can name every one in a ten-block radius, their specials, the food of the day, and what hour it begins and ends. And this is a point of pride.
15. Having senioritis, but for Friday afternoons. 3 P.M. rolls around on Friday and you’re basically just cracking a beer and openly browsing YouTube. (Actually, sometimes you are literally doing this.) You’re just past the point of giving a shit.
16. Staying late and feeling like an after-school club. Sometimes you’re there into the wee hours and everything feels magical and different and strange, just like at school. And then you remember you’re in your 20s and have bills and your parents aren’t coming to pick you up.
17. Having a newfound respect for all the shows and movies about office life. You laughed at Office Space as a stoned 19-year-old, but you didn’t get it. You didn’t get it. YOU DIDN’T GET IT *beats printer violently while crying and chewing on a bagel*.
Read more about work life–or the lack of it–here.