1. All-nighters in the professional world are less Rihanna and more Lindsay Lohan: you’ll get no glamour from getting no sleep. In college, you can stay up all night writing a paper and mainline caffeine until you can mainline beer and induce a weekend coma. You can tell everyone how tired you are and they’ll probably say ‘me too!’ or ‘are you still going out tonight?’ or ‘want an Adderall?’
In the professional world, no one cares. Or, if you’re lucky, they care, but they still care more about getting their shit done so they can go home. Napping in a bathroom stall just isn’t the same as napping in lecture.
2. Where you went to school, how well you did, and what your résumé looks like matter very little if you’re insufferable. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile instead of actually improving the skills you have and gaining experience to bring to the table.
If all you can talk about are your friends from school and how great studying abroad was, then it’s time to get your life and step up your game. No one wants to work with you if all you can talk about is yourself. Don’t be a Pete Campbell, unless you’re being West Coast Pete Campbell.
3. Sinks shouldn’t harbor dishes that are creating live cultures, closets should have more clothes in them than are in a pile on your floor, and bathrooms shouldn’t be garnished with a light dusting of pubes. I don’t know what it is about college that makes us cool with a certain degree of squalor, but it needs to stop there. And it does. And one day, you’ll have to use the bathroom at the train station and you’ll open a stall, see the encrusted urine and turn away, horrified, thinking, ‘you know what? Better not.’
4. There’s a scientific theory that states that an increase in the number of days since graduation is directly correlated with an increase in the level to which you want to die during a hangover. The scientist who discovered this was I, in the experiment where I drank three craft beers and woke up wondering why the sun has to be so goddamned bright.
5. Sometimes I miss the parties, professors, and even the parking authority that seemed hell bent to bring me to a mental break via parking tickets. But there’s a level of fulfillment in the daily routines of real life. Yeah, the monotony of every day life can be a bitch, but there’s not a degree dangling over your head and a question of what to do with it waiting off somewhere in the distance. There’s only the next day, and you can do whatever you want as long as you can pay the bills. That kind of freedom to give up or start up whenever is yours every day, graduate or not. So the biggest revelation? There’s no huge lesson to learn. You just live on the daily. After a year, I’ve learned there’s nothing to miss after a year. Besides pizza. I really do miss the pizza.