Four years ago I started “freshman year in the real world” by moving all my stuff up to the second floor of a stuffy triple decker in Central Square. Each year since has represented consecutive school years “in the real world”.
This year I’m all done. Proud graduate of Real World U. In celebration, here are four pieces of advice for any real world frosh to contemplate.
1. Stay locally informed. Be aware and attentive about the comings and goings in your ‘hood. A working knowledge of community groups, events and issues makes you look wicked smart. And you’ll always have a suggestion when less-informed people are looking for entertainment
2. Do things alone. When you’re aware of all this cool stuff going on there will be times you want to do something and you won’t have any friends around. Luckily, the real world doesn’t care *at all* if you’re rolling 20 deep or flying solo. Just go. Be awkward. You might (probably) meet some awesome new people.
3. Have expensive hobbies. I don’t mean you should take up polo, but go ahead and make a significant financial commitment if you really want to do something. Pay for the class, sign up for the race, buy the equipment. Having cash money committed will make you less likely to blow something off and, once you get into it, new hobbies are awesome.
4. Life hack. Make it a priority to spend some hours once or even a couple times a month thinking about how to make your adult responsibilities less painful. Automate, simplify and organize to lessen the pain of bills and chores. An added benefit is that someday when you have more disposable income you’ll be able to decide what tasks to outsource all together.
Bonus points: Buy stationary. Use it to send thank you notes. It’s not old-fashioned, its awesome.
Also, your hangovers will get worse. Almost immediately. No advice for that, but it’s true. And I’m sorry.