Thursday, May 10, 2007


A lot of my friends are graduating today. Welcome to the Real World. And if you're reading this but haven't yet graduated, flunk something so you don't have to. TRUST ME. You spend 4-5 years trying to get out of college, and the rest of your life trying to get back in.

There is a lot that no one tells you about the first year after you graduate... until now.

First of all, if you are able to live at home, do it. Spread your wings, blah blah blah whatever - You cannot afford to live alone. You might think you can, but not if you want to be able to watch TV or have internet (and electricity). Besides, fresh out of school, would you rather spend money on rent, or on wedding presents or cute clothes or a vacation or football tickets (read below)? Bottom line - If you have perfectly comfortable and 100% cost-free shelter, with all the amenities, in the city in which you find a job, you take it. The end. No discussion.

This might make for some uncomfortable nights at home, since for +4 years you did things how and when you wanted to, and now small stuff that your parents do might annoy you. Examples include driving around the Wal-Mmart parking lot for a full 10 minutes to look for a "good" space, or having to share the computer again. These frustrations are a small price to pay for free housing, I say.

Going back to football games will be weird. Unless you have a spouse. I wouldn't know for sure, but I suspect that is easier because then you automatically have someone to ride with, walk around with, tailgate with, sit with and of course to stand in the corner with you and feel old. Also, it is a good idea not to "wear out your welcome." Pick the really big games, maybe 2 or 3 a year, and go back for those. Make your visits rare, and people will be happy when you do. And yes, it is cheaper to sit in the student section, but your pride might be worth a little more. My advice: ask your parents to give you one of their tickets, or marry someone who will.

Speaking of getting married, if you are able to work it out so this takes place soon after graduation, do it. You have two incomes to split the bills, so it's cost-efficient, and best of all: people stand in line to buy you new towels and dishes and sheets, while the rest of us make do with our hot pink and yellow college stuff we've had for coming up on 5 years.

Let's see, what else. Oh yes, you probably will lose touch with some people that you didn't plan on losing touch with so soon after graduation. This is what Facebook is for. But personally, I found that friendships become more about quality and less about quantity or proximity.

Other points of interest: the farther you move from Auburn, the tighter you will hug people in your new city who also are alumni (or is that just me?); it's a good idea to start writing down/documenting some of your favorite college stories because you'll be surprised how quickly you forget them (thank you,; and if you're driving along and having a bad day and the Alma Mater comes on your iPod, it's okay to cry. You won't be the first one.

Fellow alumni - feel free to share your advice in the comments section.


  1. good ideas. i totally disagree on the stay at home thing. i do agree that you should stay in college as long as possible as long as you aren't the last in your circle of friends to leave.

    stay at home??? no way. get out. go be independent. learn who you are. when else in life can you be totally selfish and not have to base your living and career decisions on a sig other or kids? NOW! although sometimes you have that wizard of oz moment where you realize everything you ever wanted from life was in kansas all along. still the journey is alot of fun.

    friends are all about quality. it helps to have a common interest like american idol where you are forced to speak to that person at least twice a week.

  2. I'm confident the alma mater will be in my head all day now. :)

  3. E - Notice I said "in the city in which you find a job." If you want to spread your wings and "learn who you are," then take a job that's far away, say in California. But if you find a job in the same town where your parents live, I say save your money for at least 6 months.
    And I didn't know Idol was the only reason you spoke to me two times a week :)

    J - Me too!


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