Some wise person once said the hardest thing to do is let go, I could figure out who said that, but in all honesty, ain’t nobody got time for that. Yet truer words have never been said, tweeted, or tumbled. The day after graduation might have been one of the most traumatic and frightening days of my life, almost on par with the day I found out that figure skating wasn’t a “cool” sport or that I did in fact fail my gym requirement (grim). Graduation was frightening because I realized, as well as many of my friends and classmates that we had to let go. Many of us had spent the last four years skirting responsibility, sleeping till noon, excusing our poor behavior on being drunk, or to avoid reality all together, blacking out on the regs. I can personally say I opted to spend my four years participating in the later.
And when I graduated I decided I wasn’t ready to give this up, and it was no fault of my own. Dartmouth made me this way…or at least that is what I keep telling myself. Dartmouth taught me it was not okay to settle, and that I should never be bored, and waiting in line isn’t a thing. So in the name of shortcuts, these are the rude realizations that I’m only slowly learning to deal with as I fail to launch from my shotgunning, responsibility-free, undergraduate experience.
1. Your First Job is Actually Going to Suck…and you will just have to deal
I always knew that my first job wasn’t going to be glamorous; I watched enough low-budget comedies and the Devil Wears Prada to understand this. However, I assumed that while my first job may suck, I’d be able to make it work for me. FALSE, SO FALSE. Realization: there is no making a job work for you. Sad truth, unlike a class, you can’t drop it, or take it another term, or wait until your bestie takes the class with you to make it more bearable. Literally, you just have to suck it up, and in my case, sometimes you realize that a few months too late. Yes, I did say months. Your first job will normally won’t provide any flexibility and your boss will not care that there is a super awesome happy-hour happening, and they won’t buy your excuse that you need to go home because a repair man is coming to check our your non-functioning stove. All of this means nothing to them; it is like trying to talk with the registrar, only every single day.
My first job was a bust, and the fact that my first job only lasted 8 months isn’t rare or abnormal. The majority of 20-somethings will be shifting and switching, as if a job is your schedule for the term. For a lot of us, accepting that we have to work a crappy job that has nothing to do with what interests us, or where we sort of see ourselves in ten years is just not a thing, and we decide to give up, because honestly why kick a dead horse, when you can move on and find a new, prettier horse that is still breathing, at least for the time being. Yes, I may be full of shit, but let’s all be honest here, after our parents and college telling us that we are super special and bright, sitting for 12 hours a day editing an excel document or sorting papers just isn’t how we imagined post-grad life.
2. People will judge you for blacking out or being too drunk
Yes, there were those few people in college that judged others for being too drunk, but the majority wouldn’t think twice if they saw someone pulling their own trigger and then returning to their double stem game of tree. This may be the one fact about the real world that was the hardest to deal with, and I will be honest, I am still trying to figure out what is acceptable and what isn’t. I mean...if you say open bar, I am going to treat it like an open bar. I may fall down and call you a heifer, but you were the one that said open bar. I learned to be an opportunist drinker in college. The idea of the drunkest girl at the party isn’t something every many people in the “real world” are aware of, or okay with, and if my chance you end up that girl at a work event, consider yourself 1) on your boss’ radar and 2) the recipient of negative facetime. Also just another side fact, people don’t laugh in the real world when you say something totally worthy of the overheards. They will generally assume you are spoiled, vapid, or racist, or a combo of the three.
Also drunken sex in the real world is scary.
3. Hanging out…officially not a thing
Yes, there will be a select few who will refuse to change and will be sending out drunk texts at 7:30 pm on a Tuesday about going and getting McDonald Happy Meals, (definition of not moving on). But after graduation, that friend becomes a dying breed. Most of your friends will complain about being tired, or having too much work, and would rather talk about their new client or business trip, than chat about the most recent episode of Made in Chelsea or the latest Lindsay Lohan mishap. For myself this was a complete shock. I figured awesome, I’ll find a job, move to a city where all my betches be at, and it will be like senior spring everyday. Drinks after work, movie nights, black out Thursdays, and boozy brunches on Sunday to rehash our horrible decisions the previous night. Real talk: this never happens. Literally, at one point I went an entire three weeks without a single text from the majority of my homiez, and while this was a complete shock for me, it is completely normal for everyone else. And I for one am not okay with this. I had become accustomed to constant social interaction and binge drinking, and one does not just cut one off from this; it is more addictive than crack.
For someone who can’t let go, you schedule regular Google+ hangouts with your other boozy friends, who also refuse to let go. Number one rule about the real world, as long as you are skyping, texting, or in my case thinking about a friend, it is okay to be drinking. Although, let’s be honest, I’m one Say Yes to the Dress marathon away from being a confirmed wino pre-drunk cat hoarder.
There it is, the top three hard truths, which I personally refuse to accept or have had a hard time adjusting to. In my own opinion I think that if you’re unhappy and you have an out, take it. You don’t owe your first job anything. Like I said: would you rather have a dead or pretty pony? Also, if your friends do decide to hangout, make your more successful friend pick up the tab. (But seriously, you don’t have a job and cable is way more important than three double vodka sodas.) And finally, who cares if you have a problem launching, or giving up the maladjusted habits you adopted while in college. Those four years were great, and honestly, if it weren’t for those immature, kind of drunk, adult children, the entire spirits industry would crumble. Okay, not really, but then again, all the so-called normal, well-adjusted biddies, would have no one to talk about. So carry on, you aren’t even 30 yet, and keep being fabulous, because while it may not be cute to still be stuck in the bubble, it definitely isn’t boring.