Some things will change immediately during the jump from the blissful heaven known as college into the warped, depressing reality we all know as an entry level job. But here are 5 things that definitely won’t change immediately, and might never change at all.
1) EATING HABITS
In college, it was all about the morning bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Chewy bar, a quick sandwich between classes, the mac & cheese and chicken on the grill for dinner (if it was a good night), and the ever-popular 2:00am fully-loaded calzone. Boom. 3.5 square meals a day. Of course if your mother called, you would promise her that you would buy a bag of lettuce the next time you went to the grocery store, and you would. The only problem is you’d buy it, stick it in the beer crisper and forget about it until it was a moldy blob of goo. Sorry, Mom.
Now that you’re living the dream and putting on a pair of pants that don’t have the word “sweat” in their title each day, you still are pretty much eating the same things. Wake up and have that same bowl of cereal and Chewy bar before you catch the train into the office. Bust out your homemade sandwich for lunch because while all the higher-ups are going out to the latest “it” restaurant, you make too shitty of a salary to actually eat out. Go home and grill yourself some simple piece of poultry and throw in some Ramen if you’re feeling extra fancy. If it’s a night where you have cocktails later on with an old friend or of course the weekend, then that’s where the trusted calzone comes into play. This will slowly change as you get older, but for now, it’s a small reminder to you of the great life you once lived.
Sure you will make a few new buddies at the office where you all can go on quietly hating your life and everything you’ve become together, but for the most part your friend circle will remain untarnished. The best part about this is that when you’re all done with your 9-5, you can go out together and give each friend a minute of listening time to hear about why their job sucked more than yours today, then you can all jump back into reliving college moments and planning that total bro-trip to Nashville or Vegas. They are the only ones who can truly understand what you’re going through, because they went through the same college years with you, and now they too think of different unique ways that they could off themselves in their cubes with all the different office supplies lying around. I’m looking at you, staple remover.
Until you’re a suburban parent who throws cheese parties for all your neighbors, you’re going to probably keep up (at least at first) with all the same traditions you maintained and perfected in your college years. These traditions are your:
Fantasy Football League
Townie Bar Trivia Night
Midnight Movie Screenings
So until you go off and trade in that bro tank and gym shorts for a Lacoste polo and a pair of Izod’s, feel free to keep up with these old traditions because they are going to be what gets you through each season until you slowly wither away into a shadow of what you once stood for.
4) BEER OF CHOICE
It is completely true that when I first graduated college and started making (some) money, I was so thrilled with myself that my first few trips out to the bars consisted of ordering Stella Artois and a variety of craft beers that college-me had never heard of simply because I could. Then, like 3 days later, I realized that I couldn’t go on like that. Sure, it felt nice to be holding a real glass bottle while I talked to girls instead of an aluminum can of beer called Beer (sold at your local grocery store on the bottom shelf of the beer cooler), but it just wasn’t time. Not to mention the price of beer in the real world is fucking outrageous.
The general negotiations that go on in my head when deciding what tasty beverage to order typically go back and forth between how a $5 Bud Light is worth it or if I should just pony up and pay the $7 for a craft beer. 8/10 times, Bud Light wins. Prices aside, there is just that old, ratty, quasi-stale Bud Light memory that delights your taste buds to the point of harmony. The first few times you touch that light golden liquid to your lips while out at a work function, your mouth will probably try and betray you for making it think you were back home in your college apartment about to play beer pong, but eventually it will again serve as a kind reminder of simpler times.
5) YOUR BODY
This is a slow decline as can be seen in The Mid-Twenties Fitness Struggle and will not happen drastically. Fear not, you have time. Not a lot of time, but some.
Chances are that if you were somewhat physically active in college, discounting running between bars or humping anything that moves, then you will stay that way at the start of your new amazing life in corporate America. It is a habit that you picked up and, kudos to you, maintained in college. Your thought process on this is that you’re going to have to work that much harder to impress people in the real world with your title of Associate or Assistant, so you might as well overcompensate in the body department.
Like I said, this will slowly start to lose its traction as you realize just how hard it is to maintain a regular gym schedule between getting up and to work every day and whatever you have to accomplish after work. But at the beginning, it will be good to get into a rhythm like you did in college.
Just remember that the harder you work on it now, the quicker you will attract someone of the opposite sex (or same sex, this is a judgment-free zone) and convince them to dedicate their life to you, thus allowing you to drop the dumbbell and pick up the Twinkie and gain the respectable Girlfriend Gut.
So remember that while everything around you is changing, there are at least 5 things that you can hold on to. Now get up and go own the shit out of your meaningless job!