The 7 Most Painful Differences Between College And Real Life

Don't forget the coffee.

Every year, millions of college graduates are thrown with little ceremony into the shark tank of the "real world." If they are fresh-faced and full of idealism, they quickly have those fatal qualities beaten out of them by the workplace: that cruel and beautiful battleground where the twin tyrannies of time and experience hammer people into productive citizens.

Some of that agony is avoidable. Here are 7 realities that will help prepare you for post-graduate life.

7. There is no adult equivalent of having your 9am class canceled.

That amazing feeling of joyous possibility that comes with a class being canceled all but disappears once you graduate. A day off work just means there"s going to be more work when you get back.

6. The only place you"ll be going in sweats or pajamas is the gym or bed.

For some reason, wearing footie PJs is frowned upon in nearly every industry and profession, except Pajama Modeling.

5. A hangover at work is infinitely worse than a hangover during a lecture.

A hungover workday seems like it will never end.

4. No one cares what university you went to.

Once you"re through the front door and chained to a desk, your alma mater becomes just a detail and a faded sweatshirt that you wear on laundry day.

3. You will most likely be starting from nothing at work.

Hierarchy and oligarchy rule the workplace. Unless your grandfather founded the company and you"ve been groomed for the corner office since you were in the cradle, you"d do well to learn how the CEO takes his coffee…and make it quick.

2. Powerpoint presentations become worse than ever.

Imagine the most boring PPT lecture you ever sat through. Now imagine it soaked in meaningless company jargon, poorly wrought acronyms, and dozens of graphs that have nothing to do with your job. The good news is there"s probably doughnuts.

1. Your most power-mad T.A. is nothing compared to some of the people you"ll report to at work.

Although age and the humiliation of pursuing tenure eventually grinds down the edges of even the most pretentious and insufferable graduate students, sycophants and tyrants are rewarded in the work world, thus creating a positive reinforcement loop for their behavior. All you can really hope is that they"ll move on to another office or department.

Cover photo by Gregg O"Connell on Flickr, labeled for reuse by Google images.

Stay in school as long as possible and share this with your friends to warn them. Happy graduation.


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