1. Hangovers exist: Long Island Iced Tea Pitchers until 3 a.m. at your favorite college dive bar could quite possibly handicap you for a solid 36 hours. Gone are the days of waking up unscathed and rehabilitated after a night of drinking, with only a pair of bags under the eyes as a consequence. Now, a few beers at Happy Hour with the work crew leaves you tipsy and a few more beers past midnight may eliminate any chance of a Saturday morning run. Adult hangovers, they exist.
2. Your closet shrinks: Exponentially so. Remember that one pair of white jeans that paired well with the turquoise blue chemise top along with the coral, chunky necklace and sand-colored wedges? None of it was yours. And it is now dispersed in various parts of the country as are all of your friends. Go shopping.
3. You actually have to make an effort to see your friends: For the friends that are living in your current city of residence, you actually have to make an effort to see them. This doesn’t mean shooting them a text for what time to meet up at the Chipotle on that main street on your college campus; this means coordinating weeknights that work well with your work schedule, picking a mutually convenient location where public transit is accessible and minimal for both parties, and having the sheer energy to do so and follow through.
4. You re-establish a (very early) bedtime: And become unbelievably irritated should anyone interrupt it. Promptly at 8 p.m., you’ll begin to feel drowsy and droopy and by 8:30 or 9, you’re snuggled in your bed with Netflix and a glass of wine. You are satisfied and proud to hit the sack before the clock hits double digits. Anything past 10 p.m. is just frankly irresponsible.
5. You have to wear real pants: With things like zippers and clasps. Sweatpants have become so obsolete that you’ve shoved them into a corner in your closet or have yet to creak open the drawer that was your default go-to for the entirety of your college career.
6. Working out is much harder than it ever was before: Rationale after a long, tedious day at your 9 to 5 job to avoid the daily workout: You got up really, really early today. You walked to and from the train station—about a mile and a half of exercise, including the trek to the office. It looks like it’s about to rain. You’ll work out really, really hard this weekend. You went running last Monday! You ate carrots for lunch. You’ll eat carrots for dinner. You’re absolutely, positively exhausted, so you deserve to sit on your couch.
7. Dating is much harder than it ever was before: I can’t attest to this, but I can imagine. I have a hard enough time putting in the energy to go to my boyfriend’s let alone making myself look presentable enough to attract a complete stranger at a bar, strike up a casual yet engaging conversation, trust that this casual and engaging stranger is not a psycho-serial killer, hopefully (fingers-crossed) get a date out of it, then go on said date. And do it all over again.
8. Everything is expensive: No more standard flat-rate cab rides to and from your local college bar, no more dollar-beer nights for a whopping 32 ouncer, no more fake parking ticket from a fake campus police officer with fake charges because everything was charged on a student account anyways. It all adds up, not to mention groceries and car insurance and big-kid city drinks and dinners out and rent and utilities and all the rest of responsibility that comes with receiving a bachelor’s degree.
9. PSA: Don’t leave.