Stuff Dartmouth Kids Like — Real World Edition
I’m back. Again. Nine months out of college and already on my second job, second city, and third apartment — I sublet a lot because I’m afraid of commitment — and I’m back for Stuff Dartmouth Kids Like’s second return.
Jessica and Chris asked me to write for Dartbeat again, presumably because they think I am in possession of some valuable insight that will enrich all of your lives. They are in luck, because with nine months of real-world experience under my belt, I feel qualified to once again start making sweeping generalizations about life. Without hesitation, I’m coming in hot with everything I’ve learned since graduation.
When it comes to roommates, cleanliness matters more than anything else. I’m not talking about whether you fold all your laundry immediately or if your room looks like a tornado went through it. I’m talking about the two sisters I lived with in August who must have had a maid or something growing up because they literally never took out their trash until it was overflowing. It was disgusting, and I’m pretty sure the walls were covered with radioactive rotting food fumes.
Addendum to that — learn how to clean a bathroom. They get gross really quickly.
If you’re going to cook for yourself — which you probably should, Seamless is way expensive — Erin Abraham ’14 would like to share with you that groceries are cheaper at an actual grocery store than at CVS.
Your first job probably won’t be your last. You might even hate your first job, and that’s okay. You’re not a freak. I can count on one hand (one finger, really) the number of people I know who love their jobs and are planning to stay there for the next year. Literally all of my friends are either on their second jobs, looking for new ones or have plans lined up for grad school next year and are consequently straight chilling.
Forty-hour workweeks are pretty much a myth. I can again count on one hand the number of my friends who work 40 hours a week. Those friends are far outnumbered by the people I know who work more than 70 hours a week. Of course, a lot of those in the latter group are consultants and investment bankers, so it’s not exactly a surprise.
Having a shitty first job gives you perspective. A job doesn’t actually have to be bad for it to be a shitty first job. My first job was with some wonderful people and was objectively interesting. But it wasn’t right for me, and sometimes that’s enough. There is nothing that will light a fire under your ass like spending your entire day doing something that you know you don’t want to be doing a year from now. And nothing will make you appreciate getting to do something you enjoy doing than doing something you didn’t for a while. Like Shonda said, who do you think you are – Prince William? Do something now — and learn as much as you can from it — until you can do the next thing.
Speaking of the next thing, it is much easier to get a job once you have a job. Yeah, it makes no earthly sense. The rate of response to applications for a second job was literally five or six times higher than the rate of response I got for my first job. I’m sure this means that in five years, recruiters will be InMailing me offer letters. I’m looking forward to it.
House parties are more fun than going out. Off nights are still more fun than on nights, especially because on nights now involve being creepily leered at, drinking drinks you have to pay for and paying for an Uber instead of taking a five-minute walk home at the end of the night.
Make friends at the office — it’s important to have people around you that understand what you do all day and why you care because you’re probably not going to be saving the whales. Plus, it’s more fun to go to work if there are actually people you can hang out with there.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have enough energy to go out during the week. For the ’14s who do, I salute you — my once-a-week pub trivia commitment is all I can handle. It’s almost scary how fast I became a Candy-Crush-playing subway lemming because I’m too tired to read a book.
Don’t be afraid. To move to a different city, to change your life, to change your plan. Real life is expensive and scary and exhausting and thrilling, but you are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your soul! I’m only kidding a little bit. Hustle and work hard, and hopefully it will all work out.