How College DOESN'T Prepare You For Adulting In The Real World

How College DOESN'T Prepare You For Adulting In The Real World

Okay do I file taxes?

This past May, I graduated from college with the class of 2016. Five months later, it’s the middle of October, and for the first time in my life, I am not sitting in a classroom for most of my week.

Being out in the “real” world is kind of a scary feeling. Scratch that – an overwhelmingly terrifying, throat-gripping feeling. I get why they call it the “real” world now; because college is such a fairy dreamland compared to this place, you’d think it’s almost too good to be true. And I can’t help but feel that I am in NO way prepared to be out in this daunting world of adults. Why didn’t my decades of schooling prepare me for this?

You really have one simple goal in college: don’t fail your classes. Seriously, just do your homework, and study, and don’t go out drinking every single night, and maybe get a part-time job. It’s really not that hard. You get to live near all of your closest friends, and you get a smorgasbord of ready-made meal options laid out for you in the dining halls. You can even wear sweatpants to class if you really want to.

After graduating, I moved back home with my parents. Yes, I share one of the most common generational plights with my fellow millennials. Most of us are tens of thousands of dollars in debt, you know. I took advantage of the opportunity to be a vegetable on my couch for about a month, basking in the glory that felt like summer vacation. After that, I hit the internet hardcore on a job hunt. Of the hundreds of resumes and job applications I sent out – I received ONE interested party. So I tossed the job application idea all together, threw my resumes in the air, and decided to follow my dreams instead. I started my own small photography business, which I hope will one day be successful enough to be my full-time job.

Alright, maybe a business class or two could have helped me with my post-grad entrepreneurial endeavors, because I’m starting to learn about needing a business license, vendor’s insurance and god knows what else the hard way. But the rest of life? I’m sure I can’t be the only millennial that throws her hands up when I’m told I have to find health insurance, dental insurance, car insurance…renter’s insurance???? Basically every kind of insurance under the sun. Because not all jobs just come with those kinds of benefits, especially if you’re a self-starter like me. How does one even go about finding all of that stuff?

And seriously…what are taxes? Why is the government trying to take all of my hard-earned money away? And why are there so many different taxes? Income tax, property tax…a breathing tax? I would honestly not be surprised if the government tried to tax me for the oxygen that I consume. And how in the HELL do I file taxes? Why didn’t anyone teach me about this in school?

How does one balance a checkbook? What does that even MEAN? Do I even need checks? Because I don’t think I have any.

What is a W-4? What is a W-9? What's my tax ID number? Why am I only just finding out that these things exist and are kind of important?

Should I go to a car dealer to get a new car, or chance it with Craigslist? Should I buy or lease a car? How do I get a car loan? OH LOOK – another new payment! So far we’ve got: health insurance, dental insurance, taxes, a car loan payment, rent and renter’s insurance (if we ever all get out of our parent’s houses), a student loan payment…oh, don’t forget you’re beloved smartphones, kids. That’s another payment! Why didn’t school teach me how to manage all of this?!

All of a sudden, my $120,000 college degree is looking less and less useful.

A fellow millennial friend of mine, who now works as an economist since graduating last May, summed up the issue pretty well: “I haven’t used Pythagorean Theorem since high school, and that stuff was covered in like six different grades…but damn do I have to Google what the hell a 401K is.”

And need I mention that college doesn’t really emotionally prepare you for the real world? I’m having a hard time accepting that moving to a new state and starting a “real” life will mean that I’ll live hundreds of miles away from the friends that I lived down the hall from for four years. And you can’t really get away with having Domino’s delivery for dinner twice a week anymore. Ramen won’t cut it, either.

In fact, everything out here is a lot harder than sitting in a classroom and paying attention. I mean, what’s the biggest struggle in college? Rolling out of bed in the morning to make it to your 8am class? That's nothing compared to trying to budget for a big move. Seriously, why didn't college prepare me for the cost of moving to a new place? Or the hardship of making new friends in that new place? Why didn't I learn about office etiquette or fostering client relationships? It’s assumed that some of these issues are just life lessons that you learn along the way. But a lot of people have already learned these lessons, and they could probably teach them to us poor unsuspecting, unprepared souls.

I’m not saying that college is a waste of time, but a lot of universities require you to complete core classes, which leads you to taking ultimately pointless classes that you don’t care about and will never use in the future. To fill my core requirements, I took classes like statistics, biology, and physics – ultimately useless to an English major, and still useless now that I’m a photographer. Obviously, those classes are useful to someone going into a profession related to the sciences – but the core classes like literature and intro drawing are probably equally as useless to them as science classes are to me. Instead of impractical core classes, or even just as possible elective courses, it would’ve been nice to have a couple classes like “taxes 101”, “how to not screw up your finances”, “how to move to a new country”, or really just “how to survive out in the world” – I guarantee those courses would have one hell of an enrollment list.

For anyone else who is as hopelessly lost as I am, check out this handy site that helps teach you how to adult. An actual adulting professor would be preferable, but this is a good start.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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13 Thoughts Broadcast Journalism Majors Have When Piecing Together Their First News Story

Quiet on the set.


So you've decided that you want to be a Broadcast Journalist?

Many different thoughts go through you're while trying to first off figure out what story you want to pursue. After that, it's just a matter of getting everything that is needed for it and then putting it together.

For all clarity and purposes, I have already turned in my first news story, however as I was completing it, some (if not all) of these thoughts (or a variation of them) came across my mind at some point during the process.

1. Ok, so what are the important parts to my story?


And how do I convey those things to my viewers?

2. What b-roll should I get?

B-roll is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot.

3. Do I have all the interviews I need?


Who are the essential figures in this story?

4. What's my angle? How do I stick to it?

camera angle

Who do I need to interview for it?

5. What questions should I ask in my interview?


And more importantly, What type of questions will get me the answers I want?

6. What are the important facts?


Should they all be included?

7. Do my voice overs cover everything that my interviews don't?


What else is needed for this story?

8. Agh, my video is over the 1 minute and 30 seconds allowed time.


Do I reduce it or do I leave it as is? I guess it depends on how much its over.

9. How should I say my tageline at the end of the video?

tag line

The tagline is when the reporter says their name and their station affiliation at the end of their story.

10. Should I include a standup? Where should it be?


What do I want to say?

11. Should I include a graphic?

news graphics

Is there something that can be said in a list form that the viewers need to see? Is it symptoms of a disease? Event details?

12. How do I make my interviews connect with my voice overs?


Does what I am saying make sense?

13. What does my script need to look like?


Should I add a NAT pop here? What SOT (Sound on Tape) do I want to use?

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