I’ve officially been a Yale graduate for 148 days. That means 148 days of not being able to swipe into my residential college or check out books from the library, 148 days of remembering to describe myself as a “recent college grad,” 148 days of still receiving emails from the panlists that I’m still too lazy to unsubscribe from.
In other words, I’m still alive. Break out the confetti.
I wouldn’t want the multitude of profound realizations I’ve had across those 148 days to go to waste, so I thought I’d share some observations about life after Yale:
1. Cooking is simultaneously the best and worst thing about post-grad life. It’s the best because it’s cheap and you get to choose precisely what’s on your menu (no tofu apple crisp for this kid!); it’s the worst because you actually have to cook. There’s nothing wrong with Chipotle every day.
2. Unlike class, you actually have to go to a job. And be on time. It’s as awful as it sounds.
3. Start saving money now. When you have to choose between your Netflix subscription and dinner (Netflix, obviously), you’ll be kicking yourself for not entering the real world more financially stable. Unless you’re going into finance, in which case start building up your sleep surplus.
4. Some of you seniors might be freaking out while watching your peers who have already locked down jobs for next year. Relax. Most employers aren’t hiring until the middle of next semester or later; every single one of my friends who graduated without a job was employed by the end of the summer.
5. Once you’re a “working professional,” LinkedIn is the new Facebook.
6. Instead of learning from super smart professors and inspirational peers, you’ll be — hopefully, maybe — learning from super smart bosses and inspirational coworkers. Or, if not, there’s always Coursera.
7. Coffee is still essential. Decaf is a crime.
8. There’s a decent chance you’ll have to learn how to use Microsoft Outlook, the special level of hell reserved for people who overuse the word “problematic” in section.
9. Gym memberships are expensive. Payne Whitney, your residential college gym, IMs … do whatever it takes to get in shape before you have to shell out $59.99 a month to do so. Remember: Summer bodies are made in the winter!
10. On a similar note, seeing a doctor is absurdly frustrating and expensive in the real world. Despite whatever problems you may have with it, Yale Health is free and accessible. Go get every shot, vaccination and test it offers before you have to take off work and spend hours on the phone just to check out a sore throat.
11. Upsettingly, I have been invited to fewer naked parties since graduating.
12. When choosing where you want to live after graduation, you’ll get to take your pick between “it’s way too expensive to live here; a sandwich is literally half my paycheck” and “this place is so boring; I’d accept poverty somewhere else.” Have fun!
13. After Yale, there is no grade inflation. There are also no grades. Interpret as you will.
14. Instead of taking selfies in class, you’ll be taking selfies at work. Probably involving Excel.
15. There is no fall break, summer break, winter break, mid-winter break, March break, spring break, mid-spring break … oh wow you guys get so many breaks. That is so unfair. Enjoy all your time off before you join the enslaved masses with only a week of vacation time — if you’re lucky.
16. All the friends you had, the groups you belonged to at Yale? You’ll still have them, even if they’re a little harder to access. They might even ask you to come back and write a column for them.
So there you have it. No matter where you’re living or what you’re doing, life after Yale does one thing: continues. At least, for 148 days — who knows about day 149?
Also, I was kidding about LinkedIn. Nobody likes LinkedIn. But connect with me anyway.
Nick Defiesta is a 2014 graduate of Berkeley College. He was a columnist for the News and a City Editor on the Managing Board of 2014.