Some days, there’s just no better way to put it: work sucks and we can’t wait for the weekend. It can especially be a bummer for those of us whose college years are still trailing close behind. Prior to all of this 9-5 Monday through Friday nonsense, life was simple and consisted of only a few key tasks: maintaining our humble, yet paid-for estates at the Universidad de la-la Land, drinking dollar beers at dive bar happy hours, and partaking only in extra-curriculars that we, well, enjoyed. Fast forward to you reading this article, groggy-eyed and hunched over at a desk job in a white-walled office, where you are not (yet) changing the world as you so expected. Tis’ a major kick in the balls, don’t you agree?
Between recent, reckless memories tugging at your heart strings and nearing weekends full of exciting possibility, I am sure every one of you relatively recent college graduates out there has at least three other more enjoyable, stimulating activities (that you can think of before you finish reading this very sentence) that you would rather be engaging in than work. This might not directly apply to you if you happen to be an Olsen twin or a first-round draft pick for the NFL, but for the rest of us, post-grad productivity isn’t always so glamorous.
We cannot let ourselves get too down, though. We must ceaselessly pursue our dreams and constantly discover new passions. Of course, the catch is that we must also consistently pay our bills and continually dedicate time and effort into attaining said dreams and passions. It’s all just so “O Me! O life!” isn’t it? Regardless, in the meantime — in the blurry in-between that spans our dream jobs and our desk jobs, our inspiration and our insanity, there are a few things we should all keep in mind:
The only thing worse than having a job to go to, is not having a job to go to. This might be a difficult notion to conceive on days when work is extra uninspiring or frustrating, but try to remember that it is always better to have options available and an income to fall back on.
You have money, now! Your own money, that is. Granted, it might not be much, but it could likely be less. Either way, I’d bet that if you really wanted to, you could afford to purchase a whole round of those dive-bar dollar beers, the entire right side of the McDonald’s menu and perhaps even a cab ride home. All in the same night. Best of all, there’s no need to begrudgingly flirt with anyone for it! (Everyone else has flirted for a quarter-pounder, too, right?)
And you still have free time! Sure, if it has come as a major shock to you that there are, in fact, two 10 o’clocks in a day, then the 9-5 schedule might take some adjusting. But on the optimistic side of things, you no longer have homework or night classes or weekend study sessions to attend. When you’re busy, so are most of your friends. And when you are on vacation, so are most of your friends.
Your dream job won’t be all sunshine and rainbows. Or, so I’ve been told. Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m not saying you shouldn’t devote yourself to securing a dream job that you wake up every morning excited for. I’m just saying that, too often, we put our dream jobs on a pedestal so high up that we manage to lose sight of the fact that it’s going to take a whole lot of hard work — not to mention compromise, to get there. And you know what? We might not love every single bit of it once we do get there. We might even miss some aspects of the job we currently hate. It’s the “grass is always greener” syndrome. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go check out the other field, it just means maybe you shouldn’t piss all over the one you’re on now.
Now is the perfect time to trim the fat, literally. Take advantage of your consistent schedule of normalcy and use it to your benefit. Start sleeping eight hours a night, replace your beer and donut diet with real food and get to the gym, already! We are still so young and malleable and fresh and we should look it. The best is still yet to come, I promise. Just put down that hush-puppy first, K?
Now is the perfect time to trim the fat, figuratively. In college, everyone had that roommate or classmate or psycho-ex that you just could not get rid of because you were stuck within the same square mile of campus as them. Well, guess what? Now is your chance for freedom! If you don’t enjoy spending time with someone, you don’t have to anymore. Cut off that judgmental friend who brings nothing but negativity into your life, delete that guy/girl’s number who only makes you feel bad about yourself, and just stop feeling so obligated to everyone else and their expectations. For once, just do you. And don’t put up with anyone who gives you a hard time about it, because they don’t have your best interests at heart if they do.
There are worse situations to be in …than having a job where you likely sit back in your swivel chair beneath some cool AC and regularly commiserate with you best friend on Gchat. Take, war, for instance. That is a worse situation to be in
All in all, life ain’t so bad, but it sure is short — so get a grip and smile! As CSNY’s Stephen Stills once put it,
“Well there’s a rose in a fisted glove,
and the eagle flies with the dove,
and if you can’t be at the job you love,
honey, go to happy hour after.”