I’ve been out of school for a minute, but to be completely honest, insofar as how I live my life, not much has changed. Sure, I’ve got a full time job, don’t go out as often or as hard as I once did, and I’m certainly more of a responsible adult than I was at 22, but honestly, I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. I’m just not ready to go legit yet.
I have a lot of friends who have gone legit already. Some are even married and a few have kids. I respect their ability to settle down and go full on responsible member of society. While I respect it, I also acknowledge that I am not there yet. I just can’t quit the game.
To me, there’s a certain freedom that I truly enjoy of being able to wake up on a Saturday knowing that I don’t have shit to do all day—and certainly nothing productive. Trips to Home Depot or Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Nah, fam. That’s not my style. I’ve got enough stress at work. I don’t need that in my life.
It’s more than that. The freedom of choice and lack of commitment is one thing. But the general garbage way of life that I live, for lack of a better term, is just easier, albeit certainly not sustainable in the long run. Wing Wednesdays with the boys, spontaneous weekend trips, and a completely unhealthy diet of red meat and frozen foods won’t last forever. I have to get it while I can.
The best move for me, as well as for anyone else in my shoes, is slow progression. If you’re still rocking the undergrad lifestyle full on a few years out, you’re going to crash and burn. Your body just can’t handle it. But if you make minor changes on the path towards going legit over the months and years, your body and mind have time to adapt. I’ve done it. I’m nowhere close to being done, but I’m certainly on the way.
At 22, just a few months out of school, I was definitely living the garbage way of life and living it hard. There was virtually no change from undergrad. Slowly but surely, I started getting my shit together, though. Small changes like doing laundry and sheets more often and trying to keep the house clean came with time. Now I’ve even got real furniture. Legit decorations, though? I’m not ready for that. Beer signs, an eight-point buck, and a framed Ric Flair poster are good for now.
The way I see it, a transition of this importance and of this magnitude needs to be taken slowly and deliberately. If you rush into anything, especially a major lifestyle change, you’re likely to fuck up. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, guys.
The friends of mine who got married weeks after graduating missed out on a lot. The twenties are a pretty rad time to get a lot of shit out of your system. On the other hand, eventually you have to grow up and go legit. My advice is to take it slow, step by step. You don’t want to stumble and find yourself at a Yankee Candle store just yet..
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