Lies people tell you about post-college life


You’ve heard it a million times: College is the best time of your life. You get to live with the freedom of an adult, but none of the responsibility. Friends abound in close quarters, so finding a person (or people) to hang with is never a problem. Making your own course schedule allows you to sleep in and – in many cases – give yourself long weekends. For many, it just doesn’t get much better than college.

And then when you get out … it’s just not what was promised. We’re here to soften the blow by sharing with you a few of the lies that people tell you about post-college life.

LIE: Your GPA and major matter. No, they don’t. Unless you’re graduating at the top of your class and are applying for some prestigious job – which is probably only 1% of college students – there’s no reason for anyone to ever know or ask about your GPA. So, you were a mediocre student who majored in history? No one will care when you interview for whatever low-level position you’re semi-qualified for.

LIE: Life will be just like Sex & the City/Entourage/[insert unrealistic television show here]. No, you will not live in a ginormous loft like Monica and Rachel on Friends, sit VIP at clubs like Vincent Chase or have Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe. You will more likely be making under $40,000/year and will feel lucky to go on a shopping spree at Forever 21.

LIE: You can climb the corporate ladder and be at the top in five years. No, you will not oust the senior VP with 25 years of experience, no matter how smart you are. Instead, focusing on working hard and earning your stripes – you’ll be respected and noticed for that before anyone gives a shit about how smart you are. The world is full of intelligent people, but dedicated worker bees are hard to come by.

LIE: Your college friends won’t be in your life five years from now. Not necessarily. Friendships certainly evolve and change over the years, and once people start having families, those yearly weekends together might start to vanish. But many people remain tight with their college roommates for years after graduation – it’s just important that you also move on and make new friends, rather than keep a highlight reel of the antics of Apartment 28 playing in your head constantly.

LIE: You are a special snowflake. We get it. You were a great athlete in high school and the president of your sorority in college. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t give a shit. Sure, there are standout people in society, but the majority of us get lumped in with everyone else. There are no blue ribbons for “trying” or “finishing.” In the real world, you have to work for everything you get, including praise from your boss, a trip abroad or – sometimes – even friends. We know it’s an adjustment, but you’ll get used to it.lies people tell you after graduation

Hayden West


  1. in a world without outside influences June 17, 2016 Reply

    How depressing – here’s some optimism from the future

    GPA doesnt matter – BUT the information does
    Its known different professors give different test and grade easier or harder than others. The information you learn in the class might be of use to you in the future. Perhaps your knowledge of something DOES matter. Sleeping in and skipping the class or doing the minimum to pass, you lose the information. It could be a tidbit that you notice 20 years from now on the stock market, a conversation with a future employer started because you had something different to talk about, or a business you start because of something you learned. It could be in your major or in some other class.

    Life will be just like tv or movies.
    There are movies of life after college at all economic levels. Perhaps your not a millionaire to start with, but in your lifetime, if you work 20 years at these subminiumum salaries, less than $50,000 with raises, you’ll make a million dollars. Live frugal, pay your loans, and read about how to make money with the little you have left. If allowed to live without outside influences making choices for you, can make choices toward what you want to live like. Or don’t live frugally, its your choice how to spend your salary.

    You can climb the corporate ladder and be at the top in five years,
    People that want to make things happen for themselves can work toward that goal. Are you working in large corporation or smaller company or did you start your own business? Are you taking part in industry meetings? Do you carve out your place online so that you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable person in the industry?

    You are a special snowflake. You are a unique individual. But after paying the bills and getting adult responsibilites, you learn more about what the world has to offer. In school all things are possible in the future. Re-evaluate your goals every so often, and work towards the things that are important to you.

  2. Marcos Campana July 18, 2016 Reply

    Sorry, but your GPA and major do matter. If you want to go to graduate school at MIT, Stanford, Caltech of Berkeley, your GPA had better be damn near perfect. Needless to say, a real major like engineering, physics or math is a hell of a lot more impressive than business or organizatinal leadership. It is however true that if you have a crappy GPA you can still flip burgers at McDonalds, so if that is your goal, I guess it is a lie that your GPA and major matter. Otherwise, pick your major wisely and work hard.

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