Everyone has mixed reviews on college. Whether your a recent or long-time graduate or still finishing up your degree, we’ve all undergone some of the same things. Aside from all the last minute assignments and stress-inducing professors, the partying and friendships make the journey worthwhile. After four years of the same routine, many of us are ready to get the heck out of bars and classrooms and into the real world. Despite the excitement for this new stage in our life, soon to be graduates shouldn’t take the little things for granted. The luxuries we don’t acknowledge now will be the ones we reminisce about in years to come.
Here are 5 things your post-graduate self will miss about college.
Until you are completely strapped down by a family, finding babysitters, and lack of desire for a night of drinking, going out probably won’t end anytime soon. However, it will look a lot different. Going out in college is as carefree as it gets. When your girlfriends call you on a Wednesday night for margaritas, you throw on some jeans and join in without question. Getting two Long Island iced teas at the bar is the norm, and that late night pizza spot has everyone you go to class with stumbling up for another slice. This dynamic changes after college. Everyone is on their own busy schedule, and skipping a night class is a lot easier than leaving work early. What this really means, is that the pregames in your friends’ rooms hours before the party disappear. Hangovers are a much bigger deal, and nobody lets loose like they used to. On top of all that, ditch the idea of going out during the week, as most people are too tired when the weekend hits to go out at all. The carefree, drunken vibe evaporates after college, taking the carefree parties with it.
Not caring how you look
Sore from the gym? Sweatpants. Trying to squeeze in a yoga session before or after class? Leggings. Hungover from that fourth shot last night? Sweatpants. You can show up to class, meetings, virtually anywhere wearing whatever you desire. Your closet is filled with party dresses from Forever 21 and cute sweaters from Urban Outfitters. Blazers, work pants, and heels haven’t taken over just yet. Sure there are days where you have to look presentable for an interview or presentation, but most of the time dressing comfy reigns superior. After getting a job following graduation, wearing sweatpants to work is something you could only dream of.
As busy as the college schedule may seem, it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be. Of course some days you have four classes all back to back, with a couple meetings in between and maybe a shift at work. For the most part, however, your itinerary is pretty open. Class gets canceled because the professor is stuck in traffic, and going to your on-campus gym isn’t an obstacle but rather a routine. Try squeezing a spin class into your schedule along with a nine to five job and a two-hour commute. Your social calendar and how often you try and see your boyfriend during the week is what actually takes up your time, rather than work projects, commuting, and crashing on the couch after a super long day.
Everything is in walking distance
Literally everything. The multiple dining halls, gym, parties, and your best friends dorm or off-campus house are all within a couple mile radius of each other. Getting where you need to couldn’t be easier, and because your friends are right across the street or down the hall, hanging out with them is a given. Try seeing your besties every day when one moves to an apartment across the city and sells her car, or your boyfriend when he takes a job offer two-hours away from his current spot. Now the only thing within walking distance is your bathroom, bed, and refrigerator.
The meal plan
If you’re currently in college, this may seem like a sick joke, but think of it in the grand scheme of things. You’re exhausted after three classes or a rigorous gym session. You hit the dining hall with your friends and grab some chicken and mashed potatoes, or fish rice and vegetables. Heck, maybe you’re just in the mood for some pizza and chicken tenders. It’s either already prepared and hot, or they cook it for you within the next ten minutes. No cooking on your behalf. No grocery shopping. No lists. No credit cards or cash, just your swipe. Once you’re thrown out into the real world, cooking becomes a chore after a long day. Frozen foods often take its place, or you end up ordering in and spending twice as much on food as you should be for the week. The food in your dining hall may not be the best, but at least you have the option.