5 Things I Assumed I’d Have A Year After Graduating College

It’s the one-year anniversary of my college graduation, and let me tell you — I’m feeling no desire to take my diploma out to a candlelit dinner. In fact, if my degree and I were to actually go out on a date, I imagine I would yell at it over appetizers, apologize profusely over dinner, and then cry on its shoulder throughout dessert. However, since this is clearly nothing but a super weird extended metaphor, I’m left with all I actually know how to do — buy myself a middle-of-the-road bottle of white, call my mother, and write this list of things I thought I’d totally have in the bag by now.

1. Fancy food in the fridge.

I used to think that around this stage, I’d be cooking for reals — dog-tagging pages in hard-cover recipe books, tossing fresh herbs around, owning a cheese grater, things like that. As it turns out, I do three things and three things only at my local Trader Joe’s: rob them of their frozen food supply, spend 20 minutes staring at their collection of artisan chocolates, and make enough stops at the sample section to eat a full-on free meal. I’ve seen adults shop, and it does not look like this.

2. Less free time.

As college came to a close, I started treasuring my student schedule like it was precious gold — I mean, no class on Fridays?? No responsibilities before noon??? Nights when I had nothing to do other than drink bad beer and casually glance at a book???? This must have been Lazydrunkgirl Heaven!!! Well, flash forward to a year later, when I have whole days where I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve even started going to the gym. It wasn’t until I bought my first pair of running shoes that I realized how much I was longing for a sense of purpose.

3. Professional clothing.

Let’s put it this way: the only blazer I own cost me 12 dollars at Forever 21, and I still consider leggings pants.

4. A clearer sense of direction.

To put it bluntly, I kind of thought I’d have my life figured out by now. To continue putting it bluntly, I don’t. But hey, maybe that’s okay. I mean, if I’m gonna stick to this freelance writer/actress/cheese-eater thing I’ve got goin’ on, my life’s inevitably going to be a bit of a rollercoaster — not in the sense that it’ll have its ups and downs, but in the sense that I’ll be scared to near-death half the time and puking up chunks of glittery joy the other half. I hope to eventually master the art of being in both of these states at once — I imagine that’s what it feels like to be totally and completely fulfilled.

5. Less hangovers.

I drank an obscene amount my last semester of college because I was convinced “I’d never be able to live this way ever again.” After a year spent in the real world, my drinking habits have only changed in three identifiable ways: I get drunk earlier than I used to (thanks and no thanks Happy Hour), I actively avoid PBR because it makes my body feel like a fiery trash pit, and the establishments in which I drink are about 12 times smaller than they used to be. I am not what one would call a responsible, one-glass-of-wine-with-dinner kind of adult. TC mark

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image – Thrilsmee


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  • college student

    this makes me sad.

    • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

      You are sad by a list of assumptions about adulthood that aren’t necessarily accurate for everyone? 
      Considering the economic situation that many graduates are facing, you could certainly add things to this list like: A job, my own apartment, satisfaction in life, not depression, a job that doesn’t exploit me and pays me enough money to live modestly but happily and not in my parent’s basement, respect and understanding from my family in regard to my ideologies and goals in life, friends. It goes on and on. 
      If “not having fancy food” depresses you, then fuck off.

      • Rmt5057

        Bro, you’re taking this article too literally, and WAY too seriously.

      • leah

        THANK YOU. but, to be fair, the author did say “things I assumed I’D have.” so if it’s a list teeming with privilege, and that’s the author’s experience, then so be it. it doesn’t say “things i’m so sad that i don’t have” or “things my life is too hard without” or anything.

        but i always appreciate taking time to acknowledge where we each stand and what that means in the context of the whole…perspective is invaluable.

      • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

        I suppose don’t find anything terribly humorous, insightful, or identifiable about one person’s overwhelmingly banal (and poorly written & edited) opinion of privilege  – sartorial (which I don’t feel is the case) or otherwise. 

      • Halle

        Seeing as you’re so obsessed by grammar, she’s sad ABOUT a list not BY a list. Also “not depression”, otherwise know as happiness. Cretin.

      • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

        I was using the absurdness of overwhelming tragedy to emphasize the humor of uncertainty and to (ideally) support comradeship. 

        I’m not obsessed with grammar, but a publisher should be.

      • Halle

        It’s not a publisher, it’s a blog. Give them/her a break.

  • http://raymondthimmes.com/ Raymond Thimmes

    Yeah, I graduated last year also. I am the male equivalent of this shit.

  • http://twitter.com/Penny_Lane410 Sam

    “and I still consider leggings pants.” .. SO glad I’m not the only one!

  • Not much better off.

    Did you think you would also be able to properly number a list?

    • Guest

      I’m a very good cheese “grader”. 

    • Brandon

      sorry, was my bad.

  • Christopher Glemaud

    I love hangovers! It’s a painful reminder I had a blast the night before. 

  • Meg

    this is so accurate. i’m so bored out of my mind and feel so much more lost than when picking my college major. now i have to pick a career! ugh.

  • Shani

    Fewer* hangovers.
    1, 2*, 3, 4, 5. 

    • Ali

      Also, cheese grader.

      • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

        “my life’s inevitably” – should be “life is” – it is not possessive in this case. 

      • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

        hardcover is one word, not hyphenated. 

      • Roger Mason

        For your first point, it’s a contraction. It’s informal, but it’s accepted English. For your second point, that’s a stylistic choice, and it isn’t inherently right or wrong. Stop being a keyboard tough guy.

      • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

        1: you got me there, but i suppose i’d just use “life is” to avoid the vagueness of the contraction (since it doesn’t have a “its” “it’s” sort of variant). 

        Trying googling “hard-cover” and see what comes up. If it is style, then style to what end? And what else in this article supports that style choice? 

      • Roger Mason

        I can’t think of anything you could show me that would make me renege my point. The book has a cover. Said cover happens to be hard. Thus, hard-cover book. It’s not a stylistic choice I’d make, personally; I also prefer hardcover. Regardless, the point stands.

      • Mrb370

        Not possessive but it’s a contraction… how is that wrong? ‘He is’ can become ‘he’s’, ‘life is’ can become ‘life’s’. Or was that just another attempt to be overly obsessive about unimportant grammar problems? I honestly can’t even tell anymore.

  • guest

    i blame ryan o’connell for the  numerical mistakes. he was probably too busy looking for a summer booty call to edit this article

    • http://twitter.com/iamnzane Marissa Zane

      unnecessarily rude

    • Anonymous

      blame me, i formatted it!

      • http://raymondthimmes.com/ Raymond Thimmes

        tags are dumbbbbbb. it’s easy to fuck up.

  • Guest

    You kinda sound like a wreck

    • http://raymondthimmes.com/ Raymond Thimmes

      Put your name on it, bro.

  • http://twitter.com/AriannaSimpson Arianna Simpson

    Perhaps if you’d learned to proofread your work, you’d be in a happier place right now. I certainly hope I won’t be suffering from this sort of ennui in a year’s time. 

    • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

      Oh boy. I’m probably kicking a dead horse here at this point, but the more I read this article to understand its purpose, the more problems I find – spelling, grammar, usage, style. I’m sort of new to TC, but I at least assumed they had a house style guide, an editing process, quality standards, and probably at least a single stage of re-writes before publication. I’m finding anywhere from 2-10+ issues in each number, with varying severity. I understand that there is a certain level of “hipness” implied in the writing style (does “oblivious” count as style, or is that more of the “satire” that I am somehow missing?), but that is not really an excuse for inconsistent comma usage (et al). 

      I mean, I suppose it is highlighting the “About” page’s guideline about “focusing on the good rather than the bad”, but it is certainly missing out on points: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. (Though, I think it is a fallacy to associate “criticism” with “bad”, as point 8 seems to imply). 

      Anyway, fuck it. I’m done.

      • Roger Mason

        Punctuate inside the quotation marks, please. Smug hypocrisy is not becoming of you.

      • http://twitter.com/TimBavlnka Tim Bavlnka

        A publisher should be worried about the editing of a piece. I’m not terribly bothered by an error in a comment. Granted, I’m a pessimist in general, but if I were the editor of this piece, I’d have serious concerns. I understand the importance of voice, but style shouldn’t cripple a piece of writing. Overall, I don’t think it really matches the quality or purpose of the material I’ve read on TC in the past (which is not much, so maybe I’m missing out on all the pieces by pie-eyed 23 year olds who think they know “the real world”). 
        But, your point (and others) holds merit. I’m being an asshole. I need to take a deep breath. Sometimes it takes me a minute to come to this realization. I’m being picky, but overall, who cares? It is a fluff piece. I mean, I could debate the ethics of criticism all day long. Should I care when the rare shitty post appears in an usually fairly good quality site? I’m trying to glance through this writer’s other pieces and I think I just get more and more angry. And to that end, what is the point? Me yelling further at some writer who is trying to do something she likes (her telling the internet why dessert is awesome, the looming horrors of not owning an expensive shirt-blouse, the timeless wraps vs sandwich debate, etc), doesn’t really hold a lot of purpose in itself. Ultimately, I’ll probably never like this writer. It feels like she sneaked in somehow. But really, should I waste my time being mad about it? I was a shitty (shittier?) writer too when I was her age. I was equally as oblivious about a lot of things. I was fortunate enough to cut my teeth in a much less public (and significantly less read) venue. Ultimately, it was the editors and criticism that made me a better writer – I didn’t really realize how bad I was until people I respected took the time to tear me apart. Through that, I improved. In that aspect, while I may be an asshole, I think I’m being an ethical one. 

        In all honesty, I’ll probably never make another comment on TC again. Though, I doubt I’ll really read that many articles in the future, either. 

      • Kelly Burgess

        I don’t usually make these kind of comments but man, get a grip.  You are stressing me out.

      • Dan

        Wow. So, some people were nasty to you as a young writer and now you feel you have the right to do the same to other young writers? Poor little you. The point is, the people who “tore you apart” were your colleagues and editors. You are neither to this girl so it’s not your place to put her down so unnecessarily. I’m sure you feel much better about yourself now.

      • Caro

        You are right on one thing, at least-  You are being a pedantic asshole and no one really cares…

    • Roger Mason

      Your Twitter profile indicates you’re an advocate for positive social change. Ironic, considering your overly negative comment. A little humility goes a long way.  

      • guest


      • Matt


  • salty mccracker

    My cheese grader is awesome. He recently gave my gruyere a B+, which is awesome considering my parmesan failed its last test. My parmesan is also on the Honor Roll this semester.

  • Guest

    I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that I enjoyed this article right up until I read the comments that showed how many errors I didn’t catch…

    Or the fact that I still don’t care and still enjoyed the article.

  • Georgia Olive

    This made me laugh! It’s been 10 months since my graduation, and I’m going through the same shit :) Leggings, man.. they’re SO versatile! 

  • Samuel

    Grow a mustache: the world will become your oyster. If you combine it with the blazer and tights, you’ll be on the road to success in no time at all

  • Wdeanis

    Re: #5. My city has something called Alive After Five every Thursday during the summer and it is awesome. Outdoor band and bar, walking distance from my apartment, and no cover/$2 beers to the dueling piano bar in the same area. The best though is every week you get this sense of “Screw it! Work will NOT dictate my social life, I’m drinking as much as I want!” Considering it begins at 5 though, the devil-may-care attitude carries you to 9:30 and I still get my 8 hours of sleep. A guy’s gotta work in the morning you know…

    • bizybeth

      Oh man is this Stamford CT? Cuz if it is I have so been there and it’s awesome

  • Mr. Joel

    This just sad. I graduated a year ago and none of this applies to my life.

  • http://twitter.com/zrmorris Zach Morrison

    In defense of the authors typos, she did admit to drinking before posting.

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    Reblogged this on nanny prumcious.

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