From the Email Archives: Reminiscing / Feeling Old
Recently, my friends and I realized that come May, we will have been out of college for longer than we were in college.  In addition to making me contemplate my very existence in this world and how I’m still feel like I’m 18 even though shit, I’m an adult, it also made me recall an email I sent out way back in 2008 to a group of friends who had studied abroad with me.  These four Midwesterners were all a year younger than me in school, and in the infinite wisdom that a year spent working affords, I thought it necessary to impart upon them some gems about what to expect in the “real world,” despite the fact that in hindsight, I certainly had no fucking idea.  I sent this email out to our group of friends in honor of the Marquette students’ graduation.  Dated cultural references abound!
Hi Friends-

For those of you who have been busy camping out for Indiana Jones tickets, or have spent much of the last few weeks wondering where Whitney was for the latter half of the latest season of “The Hills,” or have been living in Idaho, you may have missed a recent glorious event that I think should be brought to our attention: the Marquette branch of our Roman family tree has graduated.  Yes, now there are fully educated former Romans running amok somewhere in the Midwest.  So I figured now is the perfect time to send out one of these emails that we haven’t had in awhile, to find out what the hell are you guys doing with your lives.  Jobs?  More school?  Or, like me a year ago, summer months filled with interviews and reading the entire Harry Potter series in succession, interrupted only by stints overstaying your welcome in friends’ apartments and many aimless trips to the mall.

But then, just as I was teetering on the edge of a quarter-life crisis in October, I finally got myself a job.  And then left it for another one two weeks later, but that’s neither here nor there.  Point is, I got a job and started out on the road toward maturity and adulthood.

Which is, apparently, a really long road.

But, now, a year out of college, I’m here to pass on some of the knowledge that I have collected about life…just like The Giving Tree in human form.  I’ve only learned three life lessons this year.  Well, four, but one I’ve decided to keep to myself because in telling it I would have to admit participating in a certain act that I would rather not admit to partaking in…until I can tell you in person, because then I can also act it out.*

So, here we go:

1.) Beware of office happy hours and company holiday parties.  It was easy enough to not do anything embarrassing at the Christmas party, because consuming all of the beer in Milwaukee could not have made that event any less awkward.  Happy Hours, though, are another beast.  You think because you’re surrounded by other people who are out drinking heavily on a weeknight that you’re surrounded by like-minded people, just as you were in college.  You think that, until you receive this IM from a co-worker the following morning:

mbn1342: so….do you always speak to people in bars using a british accent or was that something special just for us?

2.) Craigslist is great for getting rid of your old shit; not so great for roommates.  My current foreign roommate has effectively turned my living room couch into a French youth hostel for his friends (bathing optional! staying for 2 weeks and eating cheese mandatory!) and every viewing of a reality TV show into a forum on the decline of American culture.  Can’t I just watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in peace?  USA! USA!

3.) You will miss college more than anything in the world, and you will have uncomfortable moments where you feel like a decent human being, followed by acts of responsibility and wise decision-making.
  Examples include staying in and watching a movie, not purchasing big ticket items a week before the rent is due, and the ability to cook something other than toast or pasta.  And it will be weird.  And so then you will go out on a Tuesday and wake up on Wednesday smelling like an ashtray dipped in Absolut and you won’t have time to shower before work so you will shove 9 pieces of Trident in your mouth and purchase a 32-oz coffee and that familiar feeling of shame and regret tinged with pleasure will come creeping back and all will be right with the world.  Until you receive this IM from a co-worker:

mbn1342: so…. do you remember texting me at 3:14 last night asking if I could pick you up in Funkytown and drop you off on Electric Avenue?  And btw, what is a “vigorous handy”?

So, there you have it.


Congrats and welcome to the real world!

Love to you all,

*Spoiler alert: It involves three fingers!