Thursday, June 18, 2009

A painful truth about the "Real World"

Back when I was in college*, I was pretty busy. I was involved with a whole bunch of extra-curriculars, projects with friends, sports, music; the list goes on. People were always around at meals, roommates across the hall, friends in classes, in architecture studio, at parties and out on the street. The day's activities usually began around 10AM and went until 2AM, and everyday was different. Lectures, precepts, rehearsals, classes, projects, meetings, meals, friends, fun; all of it kept day-to-day life fresh.

Then college ended. The real world picked up where it left off.

Here's the deal with the real world (or at least the one I'm experiencing right now): You wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work. Work ends at 5PM and you go home. Then what? The divide between work/play is clearly demarkated by location and by responsibilities; what you and where you were are totally different than where you live and what you do while at home. The intertwined fluidity of the collegiate lifestyle, in which one activity leads to the next, evaporates once your career isn't the center of your lifestyle. Some would call that a curse, and some would consider the ability to "turn off" work mode refreshing.

I'm not sure what to call it.

For one thing, it's not depressing, though some might see it that way. The hours between 5Pm and midnight are full of possibility and potential. The thing is, getting involved in groups and "extra-cirriculars" once you're out of school becomes more about a pro-active, self-initated attitude to get things happening instead of falling into the banal get-home-from-work-make-dinner-and-watch-TV groove.**

So the painful truth about the real world is that you've really got to work hard after work is over to keep yourself occupied. Now I understand why they invented hobbies, and why people like to read: they have time for both. I didn't have time for "reading" in college, and am regretting my decision to leave my books at home thinking I would be "too busy to actually read." Silly me.


*My cousin and I, both recent college graduates (as of, like, three weeks ago) found ourselves repeating this phrase over and over at a recent family get-together. Not being in college anymore: a painful truth.

**Our cable is not currently functional as a result of the recent switch from analog to digital service. Strangely, the last thing were able to watch on TV (when it was working) was a news story about how people needed install digital receivers to keep watching TV. Go figure.


  1. watching tv is sooo easy compared to doing "stuff", but not very rewarding

  2. "so turn off the tv, cuz thats what others see ..."