What Happens in Your First Year of Being a Normal, 9-5 Adult

You get generally depressed about things like paying for cavity fillings. 

Suddenly you’re making 3x what you made in college. You consider switching from shitty whiskey to Jameson and living it up. You join a gym and contemplate magazine subscriptions. What a self-sufficient person you are. But the truth is the amount of money you need to do adult things like pay for sudden car problems, 5 cavity fillings, a random test your doctor thinks you need, coupled with student loans, makes you way poorer than you were in college. 27 seems better.

People start “going to weddings” on weekends.

Suddenly you’re the only person at your work not engaged, and a bunch of your friends have Pinterest boards full of wedding accessories. You start looking at the opposite sex’s hands to see if they are taken. When you date someone, they tell you the cool location where they want to get married, and if they want an open bar or not.

You envy your friends who are always talking about being bored.

Why are you so bored? Oh because you get to sleep till noon every day and then go shopping and then study “Modern TV Politics” for awhile? That sucks so hard. Actually, that is not like real life at all, so don’t get used to it. Soon you are going to be working 50 hours per week and naturally waking up at 7.

You start to get unreasonable demands for how much material stuff you’d like.

In college, you go home to your parents’ house and think, “How silly! They have more than one kind of $12 hand soap! At my house we just have one old bar of Ivory covered in mustache hair” and “They have diet pudding? Why spend money on no calorie food?” Once you are working with normal, sufficient humans every day, you start to want a house with air conditioning, a fancy Bahamas vacation and really expensive heels you saw on Lookbook.nu.

The adults you work with think you are still in “college party mode.”

Either they look down on you or they regard your embarrassing Facebook pictures with cute, nostalgic sentiments about how much pot/acid/cigarettes they used to consume. Every month you feel less and less like going out and start to envy their tales of going to the gym at 8 on a Saturday.

Becky Lang

From The Tangential archives: October 2011