I could get in to all sorts of specifics; I miss people and places and Bloomington itself… But I’m going to stick to vagaries this time.
5. Myriad social opportunities.
Believe them when they tell you how difficult it is to make friends outside of college. It’s not so challenging to meet people; there are people everywhere, provided you put in the effort and join an activity or club or just socialize at work. Still, it is difficult to really get to know people well enough to confide in them. Even in college, it took a fair amount of time for me to make real friends, but I get the feeling that it’s going to be a long time before I have a solid “friend group.”
Living in a dorm had its ups and downs, but there was no other time in my life when I could just walk down the hall or to the main quad to find some like-minded, cool people to talk to. After moving, I don’t really have a person to talk who can cheer me up when I’m having an off day, whereas in school, there were people all around me who could cheer me up.
4. Your time being your own.
Here’s a thing I never really appreciated during school. Your time belongs to you. Yes, most of the time you have a million things to do, and not enough hours in the day to get them done, but the only person who watched over whether or not you got all your shit done was you.
Sure, you have two papers due within 20 hours of one another, but if you want to watch a movie instead of working on them, you can. No one is there, standing over you to make sure you get it done. Now, working full-time is like having a lackadaisical babysitter with really high expectations watch over you for 8 hours a day. They don’t pay super close attention to what you’re doing at all times, but you can feel people start to pay attention when you’re not performing as well as you should.
I spend a good portion of my free time trying to figure out what kind of job I can get where I can work whatever hours I want and not have to report to anyone on a regular basis, and so far the only thing I can think of is “author,” so we’ll see how that works out…
3. Staying up and sleeping in late
I haven’t seen the hours between midnight and 4am in a really, really long time. I have, however, seen the hours between 5 and 7am. I used to sleep in until 1pm on a Sunday. Now, I wake up VOLUNTARILY at 9:30am on weekends. Don’t wanna waste that precious weekend daylight.
You groan now when you think about the 150 pages you have to read for tomorrow, but I genuinely miss reading all of those fairly mind-numbing articles and textbooks. There’s something to be said for studying and making connections with your brain. I feel like I never really think deeply anymore, which is one of the saddest realizations I’ve had since graduating. I’m reading more for fun, but I find that the “fun” books I’m reading are not nearly as stimulating as the reading I was doing before. Guess I’ve got to pick up the latest Malcolm Gladwell…
1. Intellectual discussions.
Since moving out here and starting work, I can count the number of real discussions I’ve had on one hand. This being DC, I know that there are plenty of intelligent conversations going on in this city, I just haven’t been able to get myself entrenched in any yet. This is part of the reason I’m incredibly tempted to go back to school, although I have no idea what I want to study (or really, what I want to do with the rest of my life).
Stay tuned for when I’m in a better mood and write “The Things I Don’t Miss About College.” Trust me, there are many.