When I graduated law school, I thought, good riddance! After 12 years of primary school and 7 years of higher education, I never wanted to see another classroom again.
Boy was I dumb. Two years into the “real world” and I kick myself every day for not realizing how good I had it.
The worst part is, the 9-5 grind is here to stay–there’s no going back. So for the sake of nostalgia, I decided to put together a list of 5 reasons why being a student was so much better than being an adult.
1. To Go to Class or Not to Go to Class. That Was the Question.
Remember when you used to wake up and say, “I think I’ll stay home from school today?” Maybe you were legitimately sick. Maybe you had a big test you wanted to skip. Maybe you were nervous about running into someone at school. The point is, on those days, you had options. You could stay home, watching Maury and eating ice cream all day, you could leave for school and end up at the mall instead, or you could tough it out and get sent home early if you just couldn’t make it.
Nowadays, there’s no nurse. There’s no get out of work free card. There is no ditch day. If you’re a professional, it’s unlikely you can take the day off on a whim just cause you feel like it and vow to make up your work when you return. The real world just does not work like that. And that is reason #1 why the real world blows the big one.
2. Whatever Happened to Extracurricular Activities?
Extracurricular activities used to be encouraged as a way to foster leadership skills and make you a well-rounded person. Sadly, the real world could care less about you being a well-rounded individual. Any time you spend doing something “extra” is just that–time spent doing something other than making your company money. That’s not exactly encouraged in most business models. In fact, some companies are actually expanding their offices to include gyms and showers, so you never have to leave! Hope you joined that underwater basket-weaving club while you had the chance.
3. What I Wouldn’t Give for a Substitute Boss
Remember substitute teachers? The good ol’ days of watching movies in school with the lights off and the option to just go to sleep or pass notes? I can’t think of one real world equivalent to this. There will never be a day when you come into work and instead of your boss, there’s an older hippie substitute ready to play West Side Story all day. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? The closest you will ever get to this again is a boring meeting with a PowerPoint presentation that puts you to sleep in an embarrassing and obvious way, no matter how hard you fight to keep your eyes open…
4. Vacations and Half-Days, We Hardly Knew Ye
Spring break. Winter Break. Three months of summer vacation. Never again. Half-days for parent/teacher conferences? Never again. In my case, all holidays–Columbus Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, President’s Day, MLK Day–never again.
Seriously, I need a vacation.
5. Work Parties Just Aren’t the Same
I don’t know about the rest of you young professionals, but the legal field doesn’t really get down and boogie. Sure, we have Christmas parties and sure, there’s someone who inevitably ends up being labeled the office lush, but you don’t want that to be you if you can avoid it. Whole different story from your Senior Prom, when you were boozing in the limo and doing the tootsie roll on the dance floor! Oh the good ol’ days.
And that, in a nutshell, are the reasons why the real world blows the big one. At least we’ll always have the memories, and Office Space quotes to get us through the really difficult Mondays.