The Things I Learned in the World Post College

by Devina Gunawan

From my perspective, that is.

  1. Being alone isn’t a bad thing. I even wrote about it in If You Think Being Alone is Bad just to talk about what I’ve learned from being alone and how it’s not as bad as we all think.
  2. Sleep is the best gift to your system. People who wake me up from my sleep tend to make it to the black list. Having three hours of sleep a day due to work is not fun, and yes, you mess with the wrong girl if you dare wake me up from my sleep.
  3. Blind dates aren’t really worth your time when you’re working over 50 hours a week and don’t have enough patience to deal with some random person you met on Tinder. It is better to hang out with friends you’d known since high school, just to talk about how frustrating the last meeting at work went and talk about random TV shows you all like and watch. In the end, no matter how much we want romance in our life, after many hours of work and no time to relax, we just cannot afford few hours of awkward silences and no chemistry even with some of the most attractive people on Tinder.
  4. There is almost no time for complaining. I have several times when complaining just feels like a waste of time. When things go horribly wrong, the first thing that comes to mind is: “Map things out, find solutions to these problems.” It is definitely not: “Why? How? This is unfair.” So when people ask if everything is bothering me, I just say everything is okay and move on with dealing with my problems alone.
  5. There is a relationship between you and the entertainment world. Be it games, or TV shows, there is a relationship there. TV shows don’t really disappoint you as much as people do.
  6. College years were the best. And now you miss those years. But wait, you don’t have the time to miss anything right now.
  7. Something feels off when you forget your cup of coffee. Do you feel the need to punch someone in the face? If yes, ask yourself if that is because you haven’t had a single cup of coffee that day. And if the answer is yes, then go get some right now.
  8. Adele’s Hello rings for a lot of people in your life. Friends, classmates, your ex, or that cutie you had a huge crush on in your History 205 class on Mondays in freshman year.
  9. You stop checking Facebook unless there has been a huge number of notification beeping on your phone. I don’t check Facebook unless I have seven or more notifications. Usually, they’re just random notifications of some posts I like. So, bye-bye Facebook.
  10. Being numb is inevitable. I can’t help it. I feel numb. I don’t feel depressed when things go bad, I don’t feel overjoyed when things go well. It’s just because they happened so many times and I had periods of highs and lows so often that I stopped caring. I can remember the days when deadlines from my classes were the death of me. Those days when I had to stop time to study for finals. Nowadays, those rushes don’t happen anymore. Numbness does.
  11. I had to break up with alcohol. Every time I thought of drinking, I always thought, “What if I have a little bit too much and have to deal with hangover tomorrow? What if I can’t get work done because of this?” and it ended up with a polite gesture of, “No, thank you.”
  12. Hanging out with friends went from a weekend of adventures to just dinner, and if we have enough time before one of us freaks out over work, a movie.
  13. A break from routine feels like a holiday. It is a day when you do things differently, and suddenly everything feels different and better. I took half a day off once and walked around with a friend, took a long bus ride, and visited an open house before going back to work and that day felt like a long weekend.
  14. Movies are good ‘me’ time. In a way, even though you are sitting with your friends in a movie theater, you are on your own when it comes to enjoying the movie. It’s the movie and you, not you and your friends that is happening. And you come to appreciate movies more. Well, at least I do.
  15. Stress shopping exists.
  16. A long break from work (more than two days) leads to stress. I miss work when I don’t see it for awhile. Even if it’s a day. I just, can’t.
  17. Metabolism slows down as we age, and this is something we experience.
  18. It is okay to be lost. In fact, we become more optimistic, or numb, as we grow into this new life stage. We start asking what we want to do in life, what life is about, what our passions are, and what the hell has happened to us.
  19. Acquaintances are disposable. Good friends are forever.
  20. Listening to a friend talk about his or her problems has become unbearable at some points. Sometimes, it needs some scheduling, just in case it clashes with our work schedule. We have more problems coming at us as we get to this stage. We haven’t found the place where everything is stable and good and balanced yet, and we are struggling. There is no way that we can help others calm down when we haven’t even found that peaceful center within us.
  21. Life goes on, and we have to go with the flow. Plans end up ruined and more often than not, things take crazy, unexpected turns. We can’t seem to catch a break.
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