Martes, Pebrero 10

The Real World vs. the Realistic World and Other Anomalies

When I was in college, I used to be told by my parents that I would get my shot at independence when I moved out and got a job. Then I would know the hardships of the real world and appreciate how much they sacrificed to give me a good education and stuff.

Luckily (or depends), I had my shot at independence long before I finished college. I did not have to wait to finish my degree to get pushed into the real world. I didn’t need a diploma to know what it was to starve. I made a deal with my parents: let me do my activist stuff and will not ask for money.

Now that I’m working, I’ve moved out and have generally steered clear of my family’s precarious finances; I would like to commemorate this event by listing down the top ten things that set “Icanmakeitonmyown” from “Buymestuffmommeh”.

10. The consequences of waking up late.

Waking up late in college meant two things: not showing up at class and sleeping the day off or two, spending your day’s allowance drinking, lamierdizing (bwahahahaha) or going to random places.

Yuppie stage: waking up late can mean a number of things. It can mean a salary deduction, it can me you were too drunk the night before to remember you had work the next day, it could mean staying late at the office to finish stuff you could have finished if you’d arrived on time or it could me you take a day off and drink more beer.

Being a yuppie will force you to wake up on time. When you are faced with HR personnel from hell, administrators that make hell seem like a peachy place to be and demanding bosses who can make Hitler cry; you have no choice.

Actually you do: you can quit your job.

9. The consequences of being pissed drunk at 6AM.

Being one of the cool kids in college; I had my share of drunken 6AM, 10AM, 3PM and what am pm (?!) moments. As much as I would like to say that I paid dearly for these drunken festivities, in all brutal honesty; I didn’t. And if I did, I may have been too hung over to remember.

When you’re earning your keep, one of the major consequences of being pissed drunk at 6 AM is no. 10’s consequences. That, and you can’t make heads or tails of anything at the office when you come in (if you do).

8. When you want something, you…

Ask your parents to buy it. Whine till they buy it. Or skip lunch for a whole week so you can buy it. Pretty simple, right?

In the real world, you learn that saving money isn’t a suggestion, it’s a must. Especially if you’ve moved away from you parents, saving up and controlling your expenses can be a real challenge. And by challenging, I mean practicing practical consumerism can drive you to tears. No matter how much or little you make, you will always have to save for a rainy day. Corollary to that; this also means that you can’t just splurge on impulse buys, conditioners in pretty containers, sleek gadgets and foodstuff that strike your fancy.

You have no mummy or daddy to “borrow” extra money for “stuffineedpleaseohplease” You will have to bite the bullet and admit that you may be a little too poor for some things.

7. There will always be food when I get home.

One of the most ignored facts of college life: your parents’ pantry. Getting that degree may throw so much shite at you, you’d wish you stayed in high school. But no matter what happens at school you can be sure you’ll be able to wolf down something when you get home.

Not so when you move out.

6. Your college self uses all the household utilities till kingdom come.

You pay the bills now. Enough said.

5. Explaining why you crawled in at 7AM the next day when your class ended at 3PM.

Moving out and being on your own does have its perks. If you’re like me and you live alone in an apartment, you can crawl in at any time of day or night. You have no one to answer to and conversely, no one to be stressed about.

Living alone means that you have to learn to take care of yourself. This also means you will have to know how to get home by yourself.

A lot of college kids take this for granted. Independence entails getting to places on your own. It also means figuring out how to get home when you’re wasted in a place which seems like another country.

End point: no explanations means no stressing. But it also means keeping up with the wide world out there by yourself.

4. Clean up your own mess.

Robert Fulghum one said: “being grown up means scooping the gunk out of the kitchen sink"

Let me tell you this: grown ups should not flinch at the sight of icky stuff. Or at least, should control their flinching. A big part of growing up is having sufficient gag reflex/strength to clean up your own mess.

We shouldn’t expect the following.

-that mommy will do your laundry

-that daddy will help you get a new job

-that you can run home when you run out of food

-that you can hide behind your parents’ influence/money/glamour/fame/personality when you fuck things up.

Growing up is like acknowledging poop. It’s disgusting, it’s hard to ignore but you can be mature and clean up.

3. Buying Furniture

When you move out, don’t bring all your teenage furniture with you. Leave your baggage at your parents’ house. Similarly, leave parental baggage behind. Just like pushing an old, bulky sofa up a flight of stairs: it is simply not worth it.

Buy new furniture. It will teach you the value of not spilling stuff on the upholstery. Something that your mother tried in vain to teach you when you were young.

2. Balance your life.

Balancing your schedule was hard enough in college (with all the parties, tests, parties and more tests). It becomes doubly harder to sort out your professional and personal schedule when you don’t live at home.

Make sure to call mom every week. Moving out isn’t about pushing your parents away. It is giving you and your parents room to grow.

Kung baga, tapos na paghihirap nila sa iyo. Mwahahahaha.

And lastly, independence means having two things: wisdom and freedom.

You are not supposed to be a wild child at this time of your life. You will just have to accept it. Embrace your freedom with some maturity. Make yo momma proud.

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