In general, I have been pleased with my post-college life. I was able to find a job that actually utilizes my degree; I’m still at living at home, which keeps living costs down; and school writing assignments have disappeared from my life, leaving more room to work on writing projects of my own. There is really no reason for me to complain. But, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, I am still going to.
With everything from kindergarten up to my final day of college being counted, I attended school in some shape or form for sixteen years of my life. Being only twenty-four today, that means that I have spent the majority of my life in a structured institution of learning. Aside from the obvious everyday realities of classes and assignments, the main thing this did for me was create a structure and definitive timeline in my life for those sixteen years. When you’re in school, you know what you’ll be doing in December and you know what you’ll be doing in July.
The school cycle is one that I thoroughly enjoyed while I was in it and it’s one that I often find myself missing now that I no longer have it in my life. On a cold evening in November, I certainly don’t miss having to work on a 9-page paper or having to leave the house for a school newspaper meeting. But on a Tuesday morning in July, you start to miss that school cycle.
Last summer was my first summer without three months all to myself. Sure, I had worked part-time jobs during the summer while I was in college, but that never took up too much of my time. Usually I was working very short shifts at the local library and then having the rest of the day to myself. Last summer it really hit me: I was now in the adult world. The gravy train of summer vacation had come to an end.
This summer has been a little more bearable because my work hours are more reasonable and my commute is shorter, meaning that my evenings are longer. But each morning when that alarm clock goes off, it’s like a reminder that I don’t get to have those languid summer days all to myself anymore.
It certainly doesn’t help that I have a living, breathing reminder of my chains of employment in my house. My brother is still in college, so he has plenty of days filled with sleeping until noon and doing nothing but playing video games.
Sometimes, in the middle of the afternoon at work, I bemoan all of things I could be reading at that very moment if I still had a summer vacation. But would I really be reading? In all honesty, I would probably be scrolling endlessly through Tumblr while watching The L Word for the gazillionth time. So isn’t it better that I’m at work, doing something productive and making something of myself? Yes, probably.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still miss spending mornings in bed and afternoons at the library.