College is a wonderful time, heavy on debauchery and light on real responsibility and during those four years (or five, or six, or…) you can get away with pretty much anything. Want to wear a tutu to class in lieu of pants? Hey, why not? Want to get blitzed and streak bare ass naked through campus on a random Tuesday afternoon? Screw it, you’re young and people expect you to be wild. But then college ends, and pretty soon you find out that all those quirky things that you got away with in college aren’t looked upon quite so well in the real world. I’m not judging here –- hell, I am guilty of several of the following myself -– but here are nine things that you did in college that you can’t do in the real world without people thinking you’re pathetic.
9 Sleeping until noon every day
With some creative scheduling you can pull this off in college. People will just think you’re a party animal and will mark you as a fun guy. After all, who functions before noon? But in the real world, people will just think you’re a lazy bum, an irresponsible man child incapable of straightening up and flying right. They won’t care that you are a night owl or that you didn’t get to bed until six in the morning because you were up until dawn drunkenly riding laundry carts down a hill on campus with your friends. They’ll just shake their heads and wonder when Johnny will get himself a nice job and a cubicle to call home every morning. Look, I don’t make the rules. Maybe you shouldn’t have insisted on taking that extra class so you could graduate on time. Sucker.
The list goes on below
8 Road trips
In college, it’s acceptable to just bail out for a few days with your buddies, pool your money, buy some, uh, refreshments, hop in the car and see where you end up. After all, school is stressful and you’re entitled to blow off some steam and recharge your batteries. Try doing this in the real world and people will just think you’re an obnoxious flake. Your family will freak out and report you missing and instead of a mildly annoyed professor waiting for you back home you’ll find a furious boss with a pink slip and a security guard with your stuff in a box waiting to escort you out of the building. Hope the trip to the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn was worth it.
7 Looking like a hippie and/or hobo
In college, you can fit right in with a nice dreadlocks/Jesus beard combo. But in the real world, you just can’t get away with looking like a roadie for Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’m not judging. Hell, this is coming from someone who spent the better part of a decade rocking a beard that made him look like a Civil War general. I feel your pain. But in the real world, people will take one look at you and assume that you are either a drug mule for a Jamaican gang or that you live in a shack in the woods and write nineteen page letters to the local newspaper bitching about technology and “the man”.
6 Hooking up with college girls
This is a strange phenomenon. One day you’re in college and no one cares that you’ve been banging that cute nineteen year-old from your econ class. After all, you’re both in college so what’s the big deal? But the day after you step into the real world, you can’t troll the dorms looking for love without coming across like an utter degenerate. Being in the real world changes your social status. Age doesn’t matter. A 22 year-old college senior can hook up with anyone he wants and people will be cool with it. A 23 year-old hitting on hot coeds might as well just show up in an unmarked van with a box full of lollipops and Chris Hansen chasing after him with a bullhorn. At best, people will just think you’re immature and can’t connect with women in your new social milieu. At worst, they will think you’re a creepy old man. Naturally, the key is to stay in college forever.
5 Drinking until you puke
In college, everyone loves the binge drinker. It’s just the mark of a good time. So what if your bathroom/neighbor’s bushes/girlfriend’s blouse had to die in order for you to have some fun? It’s just the sacrifice that is made in college towns throughout this great land and we here at Guyism salute them for it. But start heaving all over your friends in the real world and pretty soon people will be handing you brochures for AA and ambushing you with interventions. Drunken puking stories in college are hilarious and everyone laughs and lightly teases you. Drunken puking stories in the real world are told with concerned faces and everyone shakes their head and talks behind your back about what a drunk loser you are. It sucks but it’s true.
4 Eating like a homeless four year-old
Nobody cares how you eat in college. If anything, people look down on you if you’re eating too well. It’s almost a rite of passage to live off of Ramen noodles and off-brand pizza rolls while you’re in college. A breakfast of Cheerios and beer will get you admiring stares. After all, at least you’re getting some fiber in your diet. But try that in the real world and people will treat you like you’re John Belushi in Animal House. In the eyes of the real world, a 22 year-old doing that is just a college kid doing what he has to do to get by. A 24 year-old doing that is just considered a degenerate who doesn’t know how to prepare meals like an adult. It’s not fair but it’s an unfair world.
3 Showing up to work in your pajamas
In college, no one cares if you show up to class wearing the same clothes you’ve had bonded to your skin for the last three days and a baseball cap covering greasy hair and sunglasses to hide the fact that you are now legally classified as a zombie. After all, half the people in your class are just hoping no one notices that they’re wearing different colored socks or their roommates’ tee-shirt that is two sizes too small. But in the real world, you can’t even walk out the door like that without the paper boy sneering in disgust and the garbage man avoiding eye contact with you because he thinks you’re disgusting. Forget about even thinking of heading to the office like that. Your boss would have you committed and your coworkers would openly gossip about you suffering a complete mental breakdown. After all, that’s what doomed Jesus –- his inability to properly accessorize. Pontius Pilate took one look at him and said “Hey, yo, I know it’s Casual Friday, but at least try to wear some nice slacks.” Later that afternoon he was crucified. It’s in the Bible. You can look it up.
2 Drinking on a random Wednesday afternoon
In college, no one really cares if you can blow a .18 on the breathalyzer at two in the afternoon during the middle of the week. After all, there’s always time for a nap and a shower before diving back into the fray later that night. But in the real world, if you’re caught having a beer at lunch, your boss is on the phone with security before you’ve even finished your sandwich and your friends are throwing AA brochures at you like teenage girls throwing their panties at a vampire Justin Bieber. Sure, it’s cool to mainline caffeine from sunup until sundown and no one will think twice about your eyeballs popping out of your head while you start to shake and sweat while scooping handfuls of Folgers coffee grounds into your mouth, but alcohol during the day is strictly for college students, construction workers and pilots. It’s in the rules. What rules? Who knows, but it’s in there.
1 Living in a hole with all of your friends
It may be acceptable to spend your time in college stacked up like cordwood with your friends in a tiny, overpriced shack with one working toilet and one sickly shrub in the front yard that’s been nearly murdered by a combination of piss and beer, and cleaning the house might involve you just hoping and praying that one of your hookups gets so disgusted that she decides to do the dishes before she scampers out in the morning, and you might be able to get away with using stacked up pizza boxes as a nightstand, but in the real world, that kind of living will either get you on a reality show on TLC or get you a visit from the health department. Maybe both. Sure, a girl will put up with you living in your own filth while you’re in college, because hey, that’s just what college guys do. But if you’ve been out of college for a while and you’re sharing a room with a dude named Brewski while a dude whose real name you don’t know sleeps on your couch and you claim that you’re protected from germs by a thin layer of Cheeto dust, then chances are any girl you somehow manage to bring home will be running for the door like a cheetah on speed. But you just had to graduate, didn’t you?