I really missed college after I graduated. Then, as time went on, I got used to my life as a full-time corporate slave person and I began not to miss it as much. I didn't miss eating at the dining hall. I didn't miss going to the bathroom in another dorm while having a sleepover with a random dude while drunk. I didn't miss the fire alarm randomly going off at 3 a.m. I didn't miss staying up late to work on a group project with a bunch of people I didn't like. I was enjoying my newfound post-grad life full of paychecks, wine and fancy dinners I couldn't afford. Until, that is, I hit a wall and realized wow, I am getting old as fuck. There ARE actually things I miss about college.
Now I'm not saying I want to go back to the days of weekday drunken debauchery and writing papers an hour before they're due... but now that I'm in my mid-20s I realize there were a few things that I took for granted in college. And I miss them dearly. Here are 11:
1. Not having life-altering hangovers.
Okay, maybe there were a few (slash many) bad hangovers here and there when I was in college. But after a while I became immune to that thing alcohol does to you post-drinking. I would wake up, maybe puke, maybe eat a bagel -- and there you have it -- I WAS CURED. But a bagel is not going to save me now. Nevermind the fact that this mid-20s body cannot handle eating a bagel without feeling a mass amount of regret for the next five days (okay, maybe that's just because I'm allergic to gluten), I cannot stomach a bagel after drinking. In fact, I cannot stomach anything. Maybe -- just maybe -- if I'm feeling better in a few hours after the puking is over and the Gatorade is gone, I will start craving eggs and homefries and go out to boozey brunch to start a drunken day again with friends. But most of the time, if I drink just a couple less drinks than I would in college in one night, I will be a puking disaster and my hangover will continue into the afternoon -- sometimes into the night -- and I won't be able to go out. In college, I never skipped going out. Ever. But this mid-20s body needs an effing break. She's frail. I never thought I would say this, but bring back the college hangover... plz?!
2. Being overly active.
I can't believe I used to go to the gym for an hour and then go to cheerleading practice for two-and-a-half to three hours after. Like, I was so active. I put my current self to shame. Now, I go to the gym after a long day of work unless I have plans or my day was too long and the couch is calling my name. Time spent at the gym certainly isn't the same either. I don't have as much energy as I used to when there... and it's not social hour. That's what I miss most about my college's gym, actually. Everyone was there. It was the place to be. Now I don't know anyone at the gym and I have no one to talk to there... or show off in front of. It's in and out and home to the couch. Social hour at my college gym definitely helped my motivation -- despite what I may have thought then. Bring me back?
3. Having friends.
Friends, friends were everywhere. In the kitchen, the den. Hanging out on the stairs. (Yes I just referenced "Just 2 Guyz" by my friends, The Lonely Island) Now, friends are... no where to be found. They're like, across the country doin' that work thang, living at home with their parents because they can't afford their own place, traveling through Europe because they are rich as fuck, living with their significant other being boring, or they just don't live within walking distance of you anymore and you're too lazy to get off your couch to go see them. Oh real life, stopping messing with my social life. I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK. Now, my life is a lot like the "Just 2 Guyz" video... except I'm not a guy and friend number two is my boyfriend.
4. Not having to participate in my daily activities.
Class to college is work to the real world. However, in the real world you have to go to work or else you face consequences such as wasting a sick day, wasting a vaca day, or getting fired. You also might have things to get done that are actually important. In college, though, you could just say "F this -- I'm tired. I'm staying home." You could skip class and not worry about the consequences because you had, like, three free skip-class passes and no one would notice or care if you were there or not anyway. Now, you have to go to work. You actually have things to do there (hopefully) unlike when you would go to class to sit there and play games on your phone. You also have this contract thing where you have a set number of days of freedom in a year, and you need to abide by that because you graduated and your parents can't fund your life anymore. BUT I WANT SOMEONE TO FUND MY LIFE. Post-college mission: find man to fund my life. JK, I'm an independent woman. Leave me alone.
5. It was okay to be poor.
In college it was all like no money no problems because no one had money... Unless of course you rolled in the crew that had (their parent's) money -- but then you had (your parent's) money too so it didn't matter. If you were normal, you bought the cheapest vodka, drank watered down beer, and deemed going out to dinner as going out to the local pizza joint. You didn't have to freak out about impending friends' birthdays because they weren't going to plan a fancy dinner or vacation as their celebration... they were going to plan a pre-game at your apartment with a giant handle of cheap ass vodka that you've been splitting the entire semester with your roommates. Then, you would head out for a night out at the local bar where shots were, like, three dollars and dollar drafts were a thing.
6. Having a routine.
You can say that working the same schedule every day is a "routine" but it's not anything compared to the routine I had in college. Yeah, I'm busy with work and life and whatever, but in some ways I feel like I spend way more time fucking around on the couch and watching TV now than I ever did in college. In fact, I never really watched TV in college. Except for that one week after cheerleading practice ended senior year and I didn't know what to do with myself so I re-watched season 4 of The OC, which was actually better the second time around. Now, I binge watch TV shows all the time, which sometimes goes up against my workout schedule... and my going out schedule... and my sleep schedule... Everything is different every day. Life keeps throwing curveballs. MAKE IT STOP.
7. You could go to certain bars without having to worry about everyone being so young.
I got my first (and only) fake ID when I was 20... and that was considered late to get a fake ID in college. Now, I can't believe there could be teenagers around me pretending to be 21 at the bar. First of all, why do they want to rush their youth? Second, how? Now that I'm in my mid-20s, there are certain bars I just can't go to because everyone is "21" or even worse "underage." So when we go out, we have to cut out all of these prospective going out spots just to avoid the youths. God dammit. But those places were so much fun. Am I going to have to go to lounges and old people bars for the rest of my life?!!?!
8. It was acceptable to take drunk-mess pictures.
It's not that you can't take pictures while drunk now, you just can't actually look drunk in them. I used to take pictures of myself and my friends (and even random people I barely knew) doing ridiculous things. This was fun and when I posted the pictures online the next day, it would make me appear like I was this really fun chick who had a really awesome life. But now, I can't take pictures of myself acting drunk. Not only would it be unprofessional and weird for someone my age to take a picture that screams "I'M DRUNK, MAKING A WEIRD FACE AND SOME DUDE IS TOUCHING MY BREAST LOL," but I don't even want to take a picture like that. In fact, I barely ever take pictures when I go out now. And I used to be that girl who made a Facebook album after every weekend. Now, I'm just a boring mid-20s girl who sometimes Instagrams pictures of her food, cat and herself (I'm a big fan of the #SelfieOlympics -- nbd).
9. Not spending as much money on clothes.
As in, if you were a female, it was okay to have an entire wardrobe from Forever 21. Not that it isn't okay to wear Forever 21 now, it was just easier to shop there when you weren't older than the actual age of 21. Now, it's just fucking depressing. And you don't want to buy an item of clothing that you'll only wear once because... that's a waste of money. And you have so little money that it doesn't make sense to waste it like that. You also have to look like a real person at work. Sure you could just get all your shit at Target, but a girl's gotta splurge sometimes. And a guy? HA. There's no more wearing t-shirts and sneakers to the bar. They have to start spending money on clothes. Real clothes. Even if they're just going to Marshalls and TJ Maxx, they're shopping and spending money on clothes -- something they never actually really did in college.
10. Having more free time.
I was busy as fuck in college, but I wasn't busy with "real life" tasks. I was busy socializing, drinking and participating in extracurricular activities and I actually let that shit stress me out. Do you know how much I would give to have free time to be busy with those things again?! Like please, athletic practice, grace me with your presence again. I will welcome your stress and inconvenience to my social life. I want more free time to spend on my health and my friends. Now, if I want to hang with friends, I have to give up any type of relaxation. It's not okay.
11. Having the energy to go out during the week.
I'm only 25. Why is it so god damn hard to get off my ass and go out on a Wednesday night? Why is it?!?! In college, I could wake up at like 7:30am (aka the same time I wake up now), go to "work" (aka some ridiculous on campus job that I worked at with my ex boyfriend -- what even was that life?), go to class, write a paper real quick, go to class to turn it in, go to the gym, go to cheerleading practice, go home to change real quick, immediately go to the bar, go to sleep, and then wake up to do it all over again. Like what even was I?! And where did that energy go???? If you've seen it, let me know because I really, really miss Blackout Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on Forever Twenty Somethings.
If you miss college too (kind of) and you live in Boston, come pretend you're still in college with people your own age on Friday, February 21 at Brahmin in Boston. We're throwing a party! And giving away prizes!