Settling in

During a run this weekend, it occurred to me that soon I will have been out of college for longer than I was in college.

College went from late-August 2004 through mid-May 2008, so if my math is correct, in another month or so, I will have been an adult for longer than I was a college student.


I was one of those people who really loved college. Maybe not as much as Asher Roth, and definitely not for the same reasons, but it took me a long time to get over graduation.

At the 'Cuse-Georgetown game senior year.

If I could go back in time and tell late-2008 Meghan just one thing, it would be this: College was great, but the real world is even greater. Here is why.

1. No homework. Sure, sometimes I need to do work at home (like when the Olympic Marathon Trials need to be live-tweeted), but it’s infrequent. Most of the time, when I’m home, I’m free to watch Netflix and goof off to my heart’s content.

2. A regular schedule. I don’t have different things to do on Mondays and Wednesdays versus Tuesdays and Thursdays. I go to work for the same hours every day. It’s a lot easier to incorporate things like exercise and hobbies into my schedule when it’s consistent.

3. Money. If the weekly paycheck from any of my part-time jobs in college ever topped $100, I was ecstatic. (It also meant I took on extra shifts or something. I didn’t work enough to make that much regularly.) Senior year, I remember getting a $20 bill out of the ATM Friday and trying to make it last all weekend. The days of getting my hand stamped at Chuck’s during happy hour to avoid paying the $2 cover charge later are well behind me, and good riddance. (Not that I’m rolling in dough, but I am compared to college me.)

4. Maturity. I’m not rolling in maturity, either–does that even make sense?–but I certainly have a different perspective on things than I had four years ago. I spent a lot of time festering in college, being a generally boring person without interests or passions to speak of. And I like to think I’ve changed that. I’m a lot happier with myself than I was back then. And I’m a lot happier with where I’ve ended up than I ever thought I’d be when I moved here in 2008.

Things I do miss about college: Impromptu dorm water fights.

About Meghan Loftus
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4 Responses to Settling in

  1. Christine says:

    I had a moment like that just last week. I spoke on a panel of Newhouse alumni for the magazine senior trip to NYC and couldn’t quite get over the fact that exactly five years ago, I was on the other side of that table at Eton Park. Ooof!

    • mgloftus says:

      It is crazy to think about! Seems like just yesterday I was woozy in the Hearst lobby after eating a giant brownie, drinking a giant coffee, and riding the fastest elevators in NYC.

  2. MyOwnPace says:

    Omg, I LOVE this post! I graduated college in May 2009 & it’s hard to believe that’s been almost 4 years ago! How time flies…I too LOVED college and missed it terribly the few months after graduation, but I agree with each of your reason why the real world is better…especially number 1 and 3 🙂

    • mgloftus says:

      I feel like time has flown more since college than it ever did in college…probably because of the whole regular-routine thing. I’d kind of like it to slow down a bit!

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