Up to my college graduation, I couldn't wait for the "real world" to begin. I'd been working in the service industry for the last five years, and for anyone who's ever served or worked in a restaurant, you know that means working nights, weekends, and holidays. And dealing with shitty people, AKA the general public. I yearned for a life of Monday through Friday 9-5s, lunch breaks, and weekends off. I desperately wanted that structure. Strangely enough, lack of structure was one of the first things I started to miss once I finally landed my first "big girl job."
Having been in the work force for over a year now, I've come to realize a few thaaangs that no one really tells you in college. Or, if you're anything like me, maybe someone did tell you these things, and you chose not to listen. You'll notice a good chunk of these have to do with weekends. Can you tell I have a love/hate relationship with my friends Saturday and Sunday? I mean, how hard would it be to throw in an extra day in between? I'm not bitter or anything...Anyway. I give you:
- You will value your sleep more than ever before. I don't care how many all nighters you successfully pulled off in college. I was the queen of passing exams on three hours of sleep, and I can't even imagine going into work on only five. Even if you're just sitting in a cubicle a good chunk of your day, you will be exhausted come five o'clock. If you didn't clock enough hours of sleep the night before, you'll be struggling well before the two o'clock lag...and you will cry.
- You will live for the weekends. There's a reason for Thursday night "ladies nights" and Monday through Wednesday happy hours: it's because during the work week, everyone is trying to forget that it isn't the weekend. Once Friday rolls around, there's an unmistakable buzz around the work place. Fridays bring the promise of date nights, sleeping in, and an opportunity to finally decompress. Until, of course, Monday rears its ugly head just two short days later. Having a "Case of the Mondays" is an actual thing, and the struggle is so real.
- You will realize that the weekends are not enough. Seriously, who thought two days was enough to recuperate after five stressful days of work? WHO? I desperately want to know.
- Sunday Fundays are actually Sunday Catch Up days. Go on my Instagram and my weekends probably look like a lot more fun than they actually are. You know that whole "people only post what they want you to see" or whatever? That whole "Instagram isn't real life" speech? Insert brunette pinked shirted hands up they're playin' my song emoji: that is the case. Okay, not really, but seriously. Sometimes I get to drink mimosas and go out with my friends and have date nights with my boyfriend, but most weekends I'm just trying to catch up on sleep, TV shows, grocery shopping, errands, laundry. Scintillating things of that nature.
- Your performance really matters. In high school and college, grades are the be all and end all of your life. You study for a good grade on an exam for a higher GPA for a shot at a scholarship or a spot at a top graduate school. If you fail miserably, it falls on your shoulders and your shoulders only; in the workforce, your performance (or lack thereof) reflects on not only on you, but on your boss, their boss, and the company. No pressure or anything.
Don't get me wrong. Living the M-F life has its perks, too. Of course, this is all relative to what field you work in, the nitty gritty details of your job, etc. but generally everyone gets to enjoy the following:
- Weekends off. Heheheeee, bet you didn't see this one coming. Seriously, I can bitch and whine all I want, but there's something special about those two days at the end of the week. Plus, you never have to worry about having to request off work for a friend's birthday dinner/engagement party/bridal shower/grown up thing. Chances are, said occasion will fall on a Saturday or Sunday, and you'll already have it off. Isn't that phenomenal?
- Holidays off. Again with the requesting off...you just don't have to do it! National holidays are paid holidays. Like technically, you're getting paid to open presents on Christmas. Right? Isn't that how it works?
I couldn't be more thankful for my job. I just find it funny how differently life pans out. In college, you day dream about about starting your career; in your career, you day dream about the simple (yes, simple) life of being a college student. The grass is always greener, right?