the friday five: five perks of post-grad life

Is it just me, or did this week fly by? Although – you won’t hear any complaints coming from me after the last few weeks have felt like they’ve each been twenty days long.

It’s been a pretty good week too, I must say. Mike and I have been keeping up on our promise to spend more quality time together and enjoyed a great date night at Olazzo, full of martinis and arancini. Wednesday I went out for drinks with a few of my colleagues and we had a great night letting loose and not obsessive-compulsively checking our emails. And tomorrow – my mom, dad and younger brother are all coming down to spend the weekend in DC with Mike and I. It will be the first time my parents have been to visit since they moved me in and it will be my brother’s first trip to see me down here ever.

I’m going to keep up with my “Friday Five” trend and will continue to mix it up after last week’s inspiration.

This Friday – I bring you the “Five Perks of Post-Grad Life.” We hear enough about the pitfalls (no more Thirsty Thursdays, no more sleeping in after morning class was canceled, crushing student loan debt, no more being the “big kid on campus”) – so instead I thought I’d share some of the awesome things about life after graduation. I guess I should preface this by saying it only really applies if you have a job…. so…

  • You actually have money for the first time in years. And by money, I mean you have enough to feed yourself something other than ramen and can shop at Target instead of Forever 21. In college, I was living off of the few bucks I earned at my part-time job and the small excess change I’d get back from my student loans. I drank boxed wine, wore clothes that fell apart at the seams and lived off of boxed pasta. While I’m by no means swimming in the dough (the whole student loan, upcoming wedding thing makes that difficult) – I can afford to occasionally buy myself a 2nd shelf French wine, or a new $20 cardigan from Target, even go out to a nice-ish restaurant every now and then – all while paying my bills on my own. Oh and that whole 401k thing is pretty sweet too.

  • For the most part – you work normal hours and have more freedom with your time. In PR – every day certainly isn’t 9 to 5, but at the same time, I’m definitely not staying up until 3 in the morning to finish a paper and cram for an exam….which has done wonders for the bags that were always camping out under my eyes. It’s pretty awesome being able to go out after work to happy hour, or go see a movie and not have to worry about memorizing a stack of a hundred notecards full of dates and facts I’ll never need to know again.

  • Your friends move all over the country for their new jobs, so you automatically have an excuse to take vacations. While not being able to see your friends every day kind of sucks, it makes for a great reason to take a few days off of work and go visit. Your time becomes much more valuable with them while you also get the added perk of exploring places you may have never been before without having to worry about paying for an overpriced hotel.

  • Sometimes your job comes with awesome perks. I work in an office where people can bring in their dogs – so it’s pretty cool to de-stress by walking over to a colleague’s cubicle to give Fido a big belly rub. Sometimes, I’m able to work from home, in the comfort of my fuzzy pajamas. Or – my personal favorite, I occasionally get to attend pretty cool events or seminars to learn more about my craft and industry. While work may be pretty tough sometimes, there are definitely bonuses that make all of that hard work worth it.

  • It’s now acceptable to start drinking as early as 9 a.m. Late night ragers are a thing of your college days past – now it’s all about bottomless mimosas at brunch over eggs benedict with your new fancy post-grad friends. I may not partake in crazy house parties or stay at the bars until closing hours (I’ve always been a bit of an old fart at heart anyways), but there’s nothing that gets me more jazzed than waking up on Sunday morning and throwing on my fake pearls to go sip OJ & champagne while discussing the latest New York Times articles and political debates.

So yes… there are plenty of reasons why post-grad life sucks. I know my stomach goes into knots every time I get an email from my alma matter telling me that study abroad deadlines are approaching or letting me know about the awesome tailgate planned for that weekend. We’ve been in school for the past 14 years… so adjusting will certainly take some time.

If all else fails – just go buy one of those bottles of 2nd shelf faux fancy French wine I was talking about. And read this.

Happy weekend everyone!

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