Week 11 often serves as the calm before the storm. The week before everything is due and before exam cramming starts. I use the phrase ‘calm’ loosely, as when everything is due week 12, the week prior is spent crying into your laptop whimpering “fuck this”, as you continue to not in fact ‘fuck this’. At least, that was my experience.
I say it ‘was’ my experience because I actually finished university at the end of semester one. I have tended to write retrospectively to keep up with the all-too-stressed feelings that I know you will be facing. The uni stress I am familiar with – the idea of what I’m actually doing post-uni – less so. Recently, to cement my graduate status, I got my first ever, real-life, proper grown-up job. The thing that seemed so far away as I crawled my way through many week 11s is finally here.
Now that I am here, it is less scary than I expected. I think the unknown of what I was doing after I graduated was the terrifying part. As I got closer to finishing my degree, I couldn’t provide my parent’s friends with a more concrete answer than when they had asked me after my first semester. There are probably plenty of you sitting in the same boat now (hello fellow arts majors). Unfortunately, I am not an oracle, so I can’t tell every single person what they will be doing, however, I can at least tell you about full-time graduate-work life so you know what to expect. I am providing you with the definitive pro/con list of what you are missing and what you will be missing once you enter the grown-up job market.
- Money – I have it. Can be exchanged for goods and/or services.
- Work is left at work – I’m not guiltily avoiding an assignment once I get home. It’s now me time.
- Nespresso machines – a surprising number of workplaces have them and will not judge you for having 3 coffees that you in no way paid for.
- An established routine – no more different schedules for different days. Love a little consistency.
- Waking up before 12pm – it is significantly less ‘optional’ than it was while studying.
- Attendance is mandatory – the biggest privilege of uni is deciding not to go to something you probably should with no consequences.
- You can’t run errands – you can’t do the small things that you need to do because you can only do during working hours, and now those are your work hours.
- “Thank god it’s Friday” – prepare to hear this phrase every Friday, all day, for the rest of your working life.