Congrats on graduating college! Now that you’ve got the degree AND the job to follow, I’m sure you may have noticed a few differences between university life and working in the corporate world.
1. Your sleep schedule:
At school: You wake up at 10 AM for your 10:45 class, roll out of bed, throw on some norts and a tank with your favorite pair of sunglasses and roll through campus as if you’re the biggest tropical storm since Hurricane Katrina- you look like your life is a disaster and that’s okay because 1) it is and 2) after your three o'clock class, you get to take yourself a nice four hour nap. Once your nap is done and you’ve looked at the three project rubrics you should start, you decide to Netflix it up and text your current bae until 4 AM. Because who needs sleep when you have House of Cards and a cute boy to talk to?
At work: Waking up while it’s still dark outside has to be one of the biggest punishments adults have to face- and we face it on a daily basis. There are no naps or breaks or “let me just lay on the couch and watch this episode (I mean entire season) of OITNB.” You have a full-time job. And there is no rest until bedtime…which is at approximately 8:30 PM.
2. The drinks you’re consuming:
At school: It’s syllabus week and you and all your friends are back in town for the semester. By the time Thursday rolls around, you’re itching for your night on the town. Girl’s night is so on. Wait, someone go grab the bottle of Jose.
At work: Three cups of coffee before nine AM and you can still feel your eyelids drooping and sagging like some 65-year-old lady’s boobs. You can’t tell if your boss and your bosses boss and your bosses boss are working for your company or actually Red Bull representatives because of how religiously they swear by that mini can of death. So basically you’re trying to get the hang of this full-time job thing by drinking about seven cups of coffee a day.
3. Your social life:
At school: You are the Queen of making plans. Your schedule is perfectly highlighted and marked up with all your brunch dates, yoga classes, and trips to the mall with your mom. You’re always looking for the next leeway into what could be next on your schedule- who are you going to get dinner with tomorrow? What time is Lea available next Tuesday to get her nails done with you? When do your friends get out of class so you can go downtown tonight? “When are you going to take time for yourself- just to relax?” ask your parents. “When I’m dead!” You respond in your teenage angst (even though you have graduated from your teen years about 2+ years ago). You now realize it was naive of you to answer the question with that answer. The true answer is when you get a full-time job.
At work: You’ve made work friends but you feel weird about asking them to do things outside of work so you decide to keep your distance and wait for them to make the first move. You guys talk about minor things about what you packed for lunch, where you got your shoes, and what you’re going to do when you get off work. Outside of work, you forgot that you even had friends! You have missed all their phone calls and texts for days and you keep responding (way later than is socially acceptable) and say “I’ll call you when I have a second!” or “let’s hang out later this week when things die down” knowing damn well that both of those statements are bold faced lies.
4. Your bank account
At school: Even though you had a part time job and a paying internship throughout college, there never seemed to be enough in your bank account for that extra pair of leggings, the upgrade on your combo meal at Wendy’s, and the stupid things you picked up while strolling the isles of Target.
At work: You haven’t received your first paycheck yet but knowing that you’ll be making exponentially more a month than you were prior to graduating really excites you. Think of all the dress pants and computer bags you can buy! Now you can order a medium combo at Wendy’s AND buy that glass water bottle (that you have practically no use for) from Target. On the downside, you still have to pay for rent, your car payment, groceries, gas, and your seven coffees a day.
Although there are a couple differences between school life and work life, the one constant in both situations is who YOU are. You are here to do a job and you are here to do it well. You’ll notice that you’re the type of person to include someone if they’re being left out, offer the people around you gum after lunch (major key), buy your friend their coffee because they left their wallet at home, offer to stay later to learn and grow, and you push your limits to see how much you can accomplish. You are independent. You are confident. You can do anything.