Don’t get me wrong–college was an amazing time. It was one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have in your life. You met some people who have already changed your life, for better or for worse, and they will continue to do so for years to come, in ways you can’t even imagine. I mean, that’s what we’re all doing here.
Like all nostalgic trips, though, you only tend to remember the good, the proverbial “nights you’ll never remember with the people you’ll never forget.” Or, you know, the time you got high with your philosophy professor. You fail to remember all the things that, frankly, kind of sucked about college. So, for all of you seniors bawling your eyes out, awaiting the impending doom that is graduation weekend, or for you recent graduates #TBTing to graduation day, let’s take a look at all the things you WON’T/DON’T miss about college. It’ll make you feel better.
1. Not Having Money
Go log into your bank account website. See the money in there? As paltry an amount as it is, it’s certainly better than what you used to have in college, which was absolutely nothing.
If you’re lucky, your parents gave you a monthly budget that you completely blew through in a week or two anyway, forcing you to either beg them for money, or, more likely, use the credit card they gave you “FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY, JAY TAS.”
Of course, more likely than not, your emergencies were gas, groceries, booze, sporting tickets, nice dinners, not-so-nice dinners that you drunkenly consumed off of your own stomach at the end of a drunken night, golf outings, and bar tabs. If your drug dealer would have accepted credit cards, you probably would have used it for that, too.
Really, while it’s nice to be free from paying things like rent, a mortgage, utilities, taxes, and more, it’s nice to not have your parents sit you down at the kitchen table every time you come home and hand you a copy of the credit card bill with all of your charges highlighted, asking you what each one is for. Financial freedom is a BIG plus.
2. Going To Class
Remember those boring things between naptime and party time? Unless you were “that guy”–and no matter who your circle of friends consisted of, we all had a “that guy”–we all had to go to class during the day.
It sucked. In our parents’ generation, they had little to no way of actually keeping track of who was there (hell, you could even have someone take a test for you and no one would be the wiser). These days, technology has turned against us. Professors made us buy expensive clickers for classes to answer “participation questions,” which made up 10 percent of our grade, or they made us respond to “discussion questions” on the hellish software known as Blackboard. Seriously, whoever invented Blackboard must be a masochist.
Then there was homework. You thought you’d be done with homework once you got out of government-mandated schooling, right? WRONG. It just got harder. You had readings from dull, terrible, academic texts that you had to highlight and couldn’t blow off, or else you’d fail the “reading quiz” in tomorrow’s class, which, surprise surprise, was also worth 10 percent of your grade.
Don’t forget about group projects, general education requirements, petitioning to have a class count towards your degree, getting caught up in the bureaucratic red tape of your school’s administrative office, the add/drop deadline, midterms, finals, and all the other things that drove you nearly insane and made you miserable, all in the name of “education.”
Yes, once you graduate, you have to go to work for eight to 12 hours, every day, without nap breaks or time to binge-watch “Greek” or “Friday Night Lights,” but at least you get paid for it. (See #1.)
3. The “College Bubble”
One of the nice things about college is that you can really become the master of your own domain. No matter how big or small your school is, by the time you’re a graduating senior, you know your way around everything and could probably find your way to your favorite booth at your favorite bar blindfolded, even stopping to pick up an Italian Night Club from Jimmy John’s on the way. You knew everyone on campus, from the bouncers at the bar to the woman who works in the parking booth in the faculty lot who smiles and winks at you as you pull in without a parking pass.
But knowing everyone is not always a good thing. As you get older, the bubble gets smaller and smaller. You see a girl you’re interested in, but, oh no, your fraternity brother already slept with her, and her big dated your big’s big, so that whole family hates you and the rest of the sorority isn’t crazy about you simply by association. Maybe you’re a girl who meets a cute guy in your sociology lecture, but he actually sat behind you the entire time you took intro to biology and you basically ignored him the entire time so now he’s dating that girl from the sorority you hate and–oh no, what’s he doing? OH MY GOD HE’S PROPOSING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE QUAD AND EVERYONE’S APPLAUDING THEM. GODDAMN IT, I’M GONNA THROW. THE EFF. UP.
Getting into the real word might seem scary, especially because, thanks to social media, you’ll see pictures of all your friends raging balls in college and having the best time of their lives while you sit in your apartment alone watching Netflix in the dark, eating Spongebob-shaped mac and cheese. Thanks a lot, Zuckerberg. But eventually, all of these postgrads stumbling around in the dark find each other, and everything works out okay. You become friendly with coworkers and neighbors, find cool bars in your neighborhood, and hey, if it doesn’t work out, you can always join a topless book club.
4. Having An RA, A House Dad/Mom, Or A Douchebag College Town Landlord
Remember that Derek the RA guy from UConn? The one who told his residents not to party on his floor when the men’s basketball team was in the national title game, which they ended up winning? In case you’ve forgotten, every RA in America is just as warm, fuzzy, and fun-loving as that guy.
I’m not sure what happens to RAs when they get the position. Perhaps they take an oath of celibacy and un-funness, or maybe they suck out their souls and replace their brains with cybernetics, making them cold, un-feeling automatons with the sole purpose of bringing order to a lawless floor.
Seriously, these are the people who fined you for having candles and a hot plate and made you write a 10-page paper on “the evils of underage drinking” when you got busted for having a rager in your dorm room. Worst of all, they forced you to endure those awful icebreakers and floor meetings–that “rager” you threw in your dorm was a better icebreaker than “the name game” and “mocktails night” will ever be. You (or, rather, your parents) were paying $10,000 or more a year for room and board; I would gladly have paid more for a “no babysitters” option.
So, to all the soon-to-be-graduates who are panicking about their lives being over, put a sock in it. Postgrad life isn’t nearly as fun as being in college, but NOTHING is as fun as being in college. You’re in your 20s, so quit moping and go get wasted, say your goodbyes to your college friends, and go start your new adult lives like BOSSES. Quit sweating the small stuff. You WILL see your college friends again (the ones who matter, at least, because you’ll keep in touch with them for the rest of your lives), you CAN go home again, at least for a weekend, and it’s not like everything immediately goes downhill from here. At least you’re getting paid and don’t have to go to class. That’s a pretty big plus, right?
Grab the real world by the balls, you winners, you.