Sometimes, when staring at a bacteria-colonised sink or peeling the last ancient banana skin from under the sofa, you might wish you were finished college. Don’t give into temptation. The real world is a horrible place, and it isn’t until you leave the cocoon of student life you realise why. Here are some of the things you’ll miss about college when you’re gone. (To soften the blow, I’ve decided to tell the whole horrible saga with cute animals…)
- Free time
This is especially true if you did arts in college or didn’t have a part-time job. Your free time in college seems almost limitless. If you have only twelve hours of college a week, then you have 156 hours of free time. Given that you will probably start your assignments the night before, you have plenty of time to learn Japanese, build that model of the Titanic or write the Great Irish Novel. But instead you’ll just spend it in the college bar or watching endless repeats of Friends.
Closely connected with the free-time thing. Some students might have whole days off. Sure, if it’s raining, why get up at all?
College friends are some of the best. Nothing like the shared terror of a presentation to bond you; nothing like the conversations you’ll have at 3am over Supermacs. The only problem with college friends is trying to study with them. In my experience, this only leads to fits of giggles or Facebook creeping marathons. Or, once, Googling Djibouti and finding out everything about it, including the fact that it has the highest global proportion of cinemas per person.
- Location, location, location
Your college friends are generally in one place; college. You might even live with them, or next door to them, or in the next estate. You can all decide after class to go for a nice hot chocolate or early afternoon pint. After college, meeting up with your friends may involve plane journeys.
- Meeting new people
New people are everywhere in college. And you can meet them anywhere or any time. You can go for lunch and get chatting to a friend of a friend; you can join a club or society; you can meet the love of your life at a house party. These friendships are fluid too, as a friend of mine pointed out as I researched this article. You may become best buds or you may never speak again. You might meet in a tutorial in first year and not speak again until third year. After college, things become a lot more predictable. New people are harder to meet, and you’ll wish you joined the tiddlywinks club when you had the chance.
- Trying new things
No, I don’t mean chilli shots, but new hobbies and pasttimes. Always wanted to get into American football but never had much of a chance in rural Mayo? It costs hardly anything to join most clubs and societies and you’ve the chance to try something new. In the real world, joining almost anything costs an arm and a leg.
For many of us, partying halts considerably after college. It’s hard to go out on a Tuesday when you’re expected to be at your desk on a Wednesday. You also have the chance to attend balls and UV parties and Rag Week. Kiss goodbye to it after college, things will never be so crazy again.
- Being a student
Once you graduate, you’ll no longer be able to wave your student card at bus drivers or Topshop assistants. No, you’re expected to pay full price for everything. Also, never underestimate how depressing it feels not to tick “Student” as your occupation, especially if you’re one of our many unemployed graduates.
- Not working
While many students do work, there’s a big difference between part-time hours and getting up and going to work every single day, especially if it’s a job you’re not too enamoured with.
The country may be in a bit of fiduciary trouble at the minute, but at least in college you’re shielded from the worst effects. Unless you’re one of the unfortunate thousands affected by the delay in SUSI grants, you can concentrate on postmodernist literature rather than the troika. After college, the worry of what the hell you’re going to do with the rest of your life every single day.
So take my advice. Do everything you can. Do countless PhDs, but never ever leave college.
*Lead image by caterse via Flickr
Home for the summer and never going back again? Here are some of the things you’ll miss about college, says The Daily Shift’s Roisin Peddle…
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