I would never ever go so far as to suggest that I’m an expert at advertising. Quite the contrary — I’m still not totally able to give an accurate description of what an account planner does. My elevator pitch could only be given in, like, the world’s slowest and longest elevator.
I do consider myself to be an expert at giving unsolicited advice, having opinions on things I know very little about, and keeping a job for 5 whole months. So if you came to this blog post looking for networking tips (do it), job-searching help (sorry I have no influence anywhere), or personal branding advice (hello, I’ve created a personal brand full of sassiness and gifs) — you’ve come to the wrong place.
But if you’re here for the cold-hard truth about the Real World, keep scrolling.
1. It’s important to look good all the time in the real world because everyone else does. Sometimes I even wear makeup to work out (but only a little bit because I have to look like #iwokeuplikethis)
2. Adding avocado to things makes you look super hip
3. Don’t talk about college because then people will be like “oh when did you graduate?” and you’ll have to say “…………like 5 months ago?”
4. When the attire for something is “casual,” you unfortunately cannot wear gym clothes
5. Use exclamation points sparingly (unless you want to be that girl who’s all “THANKS!!!” when everyone else is all “Thanks.”)
6. Don’t worry if it takes you 3-4 months to answer the question “so what exactly do you do?”
7. When it doubt, the answer is “millennials.” Always. It’s always millennials.
8. If a meeting starts at 2, you actually don’t need to be there until 2. If you’re like me and try to arrive 15 minutes early, you’re going to spend all 15 of those minutes waiting for the room to be empty
9. Beware: free food is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, FREE FOOD! On the other hand, long live the Freshman 15!
10. Just smile and nod when older people tell you to take the year off and go travel because they are not going to then give you the money to take the year off and go travel
11. Podcasts are a thing and you should pretend you listen to them on the subway even if you actually just listen to the soundtrack of Hamilton on repeat
12. People will notice and think it’s weird if you wear your hair in a ponytail every day
13. If you don’t like salad, keep it to yourself. Read Worlders LOVE salad
14. Don’t watch 5 episodes of Criminal Minds during your lunch break. I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure it’s frowned upon
15. Replying all isn’t social suicide after college — it’s the only way to communicate
16. Try not to laugh when your workout instructor tells you to place your intention in front of your third eye and join her in a group “om”
17. If you want to fit in, brag about how busy you are all the time. (Real talk though: why can’t we all just brag about our work-life balance like normal, sane people?)
18. If you need to go somewhere, you can just go. By yourself. You don’t have to wait for 5 of your closest friends to walk with you anymore
19. Go ahead and form a strong opinion about serifs — fonts are like really important
20. Don’t be surprised if you never ever want to go out. In college, you have the energy to go out any night of the week because you literally go to class for 12 hours per week. That is 28 fewer hours than the average work week…
21. When it rains, you are still expected to be a person and it’s the worst
22. “Work hard, play hard” is a nice thing to say, but actually working hard is exhausting and then you’re like “eh I could go out and be social…. but I could also watch Melissa & Joey in my bed and be much happier and oh wait yeah I need to catch up on The Voice and maybe start watching Quantico and I’m so sorry I’d love to come out but I’m actually super busy!!!”
And since #millennials love to get #peerrecommendations because they’re more #authentic, I thought I’d consult the peanut gallery again:
“If postgrad life is all about microwave dinners for one and watching Bridget Jones Diary alone on your couch then I am doing it right” – Shannon
“People expect you to talk to them on the phone. What is that? This isn’t 1990. I’m going to email you because I’m a millennial” – Maddie
“The best desk in the office is not the one by the window but the one closest to the bathroom. That’s a key insight” – Emily (sister)
“When it rains, you still have to wait for the bus and go to work. You can’t sit around and get your friends to take you to class” – Missy
And while the real world has a lot of perks, it can certainly take a lot out of you…
“All day I think: 4 hours til I can go home and get in bed, 3 hours til there is one hour til I can get in bed” – Shannon
“I sat in a bathroom stall with my head rested on the divider for 15 minutes this afternoon. It was a low point but I don’t regret it” – Maddie
But in the end, all that really matters is that there’s no homework in the real world. And there aren’t any exams on my birthday.