After spending a glorious 72 hours in the most magical land of all, East Lansing, facing Monday at work was like staring into the eyes of a beastly dragon that my mission was to slay.
Despite arriving home at a decent time last night – which I normally don’t have the sense to do on Sundays when I travel – I couldn’t have been more exhausted at work today. Thankfully my boss works from home on Mondays and didn’t see firsthand how disheveled and lethargic I was today. Homecoming was probably the most phenomenal weekend I had this fall so far, and it felt damn good to be hanging out in the beautiful Mitten State.
I’ll be honest. Being around all my younger friends still in school reminded me of my past four years in an almost painful way. I envy most things about college life but there are some parts of being a real, working adult that you just can’t beat. Kids would ask me, “How is the real world?” and my response was a consistent “Just don’t do it. Don’t ever graduate” and while this did receive more chuckles than not, we all have to grow up sometime. It’s just a rough transition for a year or two, and unfortunately I’m one of the ones caught in the spider web between sweet, simple childhood and complicated, expensive adult life.
Without further ado, here are the best five aspects of being a full-time college student.
- DRINKS. As if this needs further explanation, college students have in made in the alcohol department. The kids have no real responsibilities, so they can drink 7 nights a week if they so please. Additionally, making paradise even more beautiful, they’re never hungover. If I even attempted to drink like I did just six months ago, I’d be throwing up for three days straight afterward. My tolerance is almost embarrassing these days.
- IRRESPONSIBILITY. Okay, so assuming you don’t go to Harvard or something, you really aren’t killing yourself in school. Be honest. You can get by without putting forth hours and hours of work every night, and have plenty of time to watch Breaking Bad whole seasons at a time. College students can run home to their parents house for the night (if they’re as close as I was) if something doesn’t go their way, and jobs are almost always easy, brainless jobs that don’t require actual thought or stress. Golden.
- FRIENDS. This is the only time you’ll have hundreds of friends (and potential friends!) within a 2-mile radius of yourself. Take advantage. Don’t miss out on fun because you’re too lazy or pretending you’re doing homework. You will miss these days when you come home from work and the only exciting thing you have to look forward to is writing a blog post about missing college. Because that’s me right now.
- MOM & DAD. This one really doesn’t apply to everyone, and I know that. I was fortunate enough to have my parents on speed dial throughout my four years in college and they never, ever let me down. I could count on them for absolutely anything from a bump in my checking account balance, to moral support, to a filet mignon every Sunday dinner I spent with them. While this support doesn’t go away, the day will come when your parents will want you to fly on your own. Grow some wings, birdie.
- EASE. I already miss the ease of college life. You can literally spend a day laying in bed, watching a Harry Potter marathon and eating Ben & Jerry’s to absolutely no consequences. This just isn’t the case anymore. College kids who don’t take advantage of this are just plain stupid.
And here we go, with a more brief (yet still accurate) list of the top five parts of post-grad life.
- SALARY. The one word really says it all.
- SCHEDULE. I know I just said it’s nice not having anything to do, and I still miss it from time to time. But I cannot express how good it feels to have an actual schedule. Waking, eating, showering, and going to sleep at similar times every day just feels good and relaxes my body. I get tired around the same time, and never lay in bed restless. Believe me, I may sound super old right now, but you’re gonna love it someday soon.
- HEALTH. This is easily the first thing I noticed once I started my full-time job. It took about three weeks for me to feel extremely healthy and on point. I drink tons of water, work out regularly, get enough sleep every night, and my diet has done a 180. The biggest difference, however, is that I just simply don’t drink as much. I’ll drink two nights a week, tops, and when I do go out, my goal is no longer to get hammered (I do have to get home somehow- DC is a big city!).
- SOPHISTICATED FUN. Gone are the days when I “just can’t afford it.” Although I do make a fairly modest salary (and pay a crapload in rent), it’s nice being able to treat myself to more expensive fun occasionally. A great example is indulging in a massage for myself, or even just getting a craft beer instead of Bud Light. And since they don’t have Labatt Blue Light out here, and I really can’t choke down any other light beer anyway, I do this by default.
- TRAVEL. This is the best. While it is money and time consuming, I absolutely love making plans to travel, see friends, and experience more of the world. I went to Nashville for this first time ever this year, and had one of the best weekends of my life. If I could, I’d go back annually (or more!) simply because it’s one of the most fun cities I’ve ever visited. GO THERE!
Finally, I’ll leave this post with the words of the very, very wise Tom Petty: “You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…”
And if you’re cool, you should root for the Detroit Tigers this fall!