When did I start to worry so much? When did I have two beers and wake up hungover? When did I have to start “dealing with my life”? Does someone want to tell me when that happened?
If you're hyperventilating while reading this because you're a post-grad who feels overwhelmed by possibility or the pressures to get to a "real job", never fear! I'm here to help take your mind off of things for a while and let you in on the lives of some fictional characters in the same place you are (but more miserable and dramatic).
Working from home is a learning experience. Some people thrive in it, they learn how to be productive without having a boss tell them every little step. A very important trait to have in today's workforce. But some people, like myself, are workaholics...and should never be allowed to work from home.
A few months before graduating, I decided to try something totally new and went to work for a non-profit. Although I know I’m doing great work for a worthy cause, giving back to society in my current position doesn’t make near enough to be “big ballin” as they say. So how do I pay my bills AND go out for happy hour? Welcome to the hustle a.k.a. doing freelance work to make some extra cash.
Living on your own in the real world ("real world"), you won't find pledge classes or study groups. Your roommate will be someone you found on Craigslist. Your hallmates will be invisible, except for the 87 year-old woman who owns six cats and listens to Wheel of Fortune on blast. At 5 am. Family, of the non-blood variety, is hard to come by.
So you've made it to the real world and you got yourself a real job. Congrats. Oh, and just a quick head's up before you put in that order for business cards. You're overqualified for your job. No matter what it is, you're overqualified.
The best part of school is not going to school. Or so you thought, back in the days of recess, friendship bracelets and raising your hand to use the bathroom. The stray feigned sick day was enough to hold you over until you hit the real jackpot: summer vacation.
Choosing a roommate in college was easy. Your best friend, duh. But choosing your real world roommate gets a little trickier. Why? Because you're an adult now and you need a roommate who acts like an adult. And sometimes, your very best friend doesn't always act like one-- and there's more than your sleep and study space at stake now, it's important things like your credit.
A picture says a thousand words. So do 1,384 tagged photos on Facebook say? And the 102 you’ve posted to Twitter? And the 46 GPOYs you’ve got on your Tumblr? That’s a hell of a lot of talking before you’ve even opened your mouth to potential employers.
Life in college was pretty carefree. For the most part your friends were happy and full of laughter and smiles and funny stories. Sure there were always those times when you had to console a friends over a break-up or you had to rub another friend's back when she failed out of orgo and realized she'll never be a doctor. But those were minor setbacks.
So we’ve covered a lot of Real World bases in this column. From what to wear on an interview, to how to search for a job…even what to expect socially in the workplace. But one thing I’ve noticed in reading through all of your comments is that you guys want a little help navigating the really tough scenarios.
I know how the scenario goes. They put that college diploma in your hand on graduation day, you walk across the stage with your head held high and you think, “This is it. I made it.” Fast-forward to two months later, you’re sweating bullets selling ice cream cones at the town pool’s snack bar. And they said you needed a degree for this?
When I sat in the back row of my college lecture classes, wearing sweats and a free homecoming t-shirt, I day dreamed abotu office life. How I would waltz into the office in the latest J.Crew line, exchange pleasantries with my co-workers, and eat lunch with a charming male co-worker who plays footsie with me at company meetings.