27 Differences Between College And The “Real World”


1. Food:

College: “God, I wish there was something else to eat besides this never-ending buffet of every food I could wan… oh, Ramen? Nevermind, pass the chili fries.”
The Real World: “Why did I ever complain about endless food that had already been cooked and paid for?! WHY?!?!”

2. Caffeine:

College: “Crapcrapcrap this 15 page paper is due tomorrow and I haven’t even read the books, let me mainline 18,000 Red Bulls because this all-nighter is MINE.”
The Real World: “If you talk to me before I have my morning coffee, I swear to God, I will find what you love and I will kill it.”

3. Authority Figures:

College: You’re aware that your professors have lives outside of the classroom, but unless they offer the details as anecdotes in lecture, you don’t really care to find out.

The Real World: “I’m like, 95% sure part of my job description includes — for the betterment of my sanity — sleuthing out my boss’ personal life.”

4. Sartorial Choices:

College: Rolling into that 8:30 am class in pajama bottoms like you’re the first person to ever figure out this life hack and it’s the most clever version of being lazy ever.
The Real World: Living for the minute you come home, take your pants off, and off they will stay until the last possible second the next morning.

5. Sleeping Over At Someone’s Place:

College: A strategic, James Bond-level maneuver in sneaking one another into your dorm and then disentangling yourself from their twin-sized bed in time to sneak back into your respective rooms so you can get dressed for class.
The Real World: A strategic, James Bond-level maneuver in premeditating how and when you’ll get clothes for the next morning to their place lest you go to the office in the same outfit twice in a row. (Probably why some Forever 21 stores open at 8 a.m.)

6. Parents:

College: Largely regarded as two human beings whose primary function is to provide a place where you can crash during the holidays, if crashing is defined as collapsing into your childhood bed, and only emerge three weeks later when it’s time to go back for the new semester.
The Real World: Largely regarded as two people who somehow — against all odds, and you’re really not quite sure how — paid all the bills, raised you, and had the energy to cook and clean and help you with homework in addition to a full time job — and should therefore be nominated for sainthood.

7. “What You Want To Do With The Rest Of Your Life”:

College: “Well, I mean, I don’t know, but I think something in [extremely competitive, far-reaching field] — I know it’s tough, but I think I can really make it happen.”

8. Drinking:

College: The cheaper, the more wasted, the better — you’ve got a lot of unwinding to do come Fri— okay, Thur… Wednesday.
The Real World: It’s gonna be one glass of wine to be classy and make it to the gym the next morning, and then another glass of wine when you’re home to unwind, and then a third as dessert because like, you NEEEEEED this as you’re watching Scandal and…

9. Money:

College: “Oh god, I have like $3 left on my food card, can you spot me an Odwalla bar and I swear I’ll be good for it next semester?!”
The Real World: “3 payday Fridays this month? AWWWWW YISSSSSSSSSS.”

10. Social Media:

College: “Lololol derpface snapchatting in the middle of class.”
The Real World: Equal parts recon for any and all beer keg photos that might surface of you five years down the line; #selfpromoting your #brand to be more appealing to prospective employers; and pulling your hair out because you’re not sure you’re using LinkedIn “right.” (But really, is anyone?!)

11. How You Meet The People You Date:

College: “Well, there’s that hottie in World History, and maybe that person I see in the quad every day at 4:23 – not like I’m timing it or stalking them, though. No way.”
The Real World: “But like, if I don’t tell anyone I’m on an online dating site, it’s like I’m not really on it, right?”

12. Serious Relationships:

College: Constituted as: anything lasting longer than three semesters and/or one study-abroad session.
The Real World: “I mean, I see my takeout delivery guy like twice a week when he drops off my sesame noodles so…?”

13. Entertainment:

College: Between the on-again-off-again antics of the girl who lives three dorms down and the nonstop gossip of who hooked up with whom at the local college dive, you’re basically living the juiciest of soaps.
The Real World: Only when you have cable that you pay for yourself have you made. it.

14. Being Healthy:

College: “But like, if I get oatmeal instead of a breakfast burrito, that’s sort of a start, right?”
The Real World: “Waiting for the day when someone tells us all that actually, kale causes cancer, but until that moment, yeah, fine, I’ll get the kale caesar salad.”

15. Exercise:

College: Each quarter is comprised of one week of going hard at the university gym, followed by 9 weeks of saying you’re totally going to get back in the game for SPRING BREAK, BABY.
The Real World: Mantra, to be repeated ad nauseam in a grueling powerXcardio class: “I miss my college metabolism, I miss my college metabolism, I miss my college metabolism, I miss my college metabolism.”

16. Splurging:

The Real World: “A Groupon for 2-for-1 massages? There is a god.”

17. How The Media Portrays Adulthood:

College: “I can’t wait to get out there and live my life just like that! It’s gonna be all Cosmopolitans and Manolos and sexy strangers!”
The Real World: “Screw Carrie Bradshaw, that two-timing, rent-controlled, lying liar.”

18. Kids:

College: Cute, but like, from the distance of maybe 20 feet away. Anything closer, and you’d better get paid to handle this.
The Real World: … wait. You’re at the age where it would make sense to ha… no. No way. Since when?!

19. Living With Your Parents:

College: “Lolololololol, not no way, not no how, I am not moving back there, you cannot make me, I will get my own apartment and turn tricks to afford it if I have to.”
The Real World: “Mommmyyyyyyy……. Daddyyyyyyyyy? So I was thinkinggggg that for maybe like, a year tops…”

20. Seeing The World:

College: “Wooooo, semester abroad! I’m gonna do so many questionable things with my life! What happens in Prague stays in Prague, baby!!”
The Real World: Leaving the immediate vicinity of your neighborhood on the weekend counts, right?

21. Career Choices:

College: “It’s okay if I get an unpaid internship, what I’ll learn in experience and connections will more than make up for it!”
The Real World: “But like, maybe being a barista for the rest of my life really wouldn’t be such a bad idea? I’d meet really interesting people?!”

22. The Things You’ll Do For A Chance At Succeeding:

College: Staying up until 4:30 a.m., practicing your trigger finger for clicking on the classes you want to take, and then prepping a speech to your guidance counsellor in the off chance you missed out on that History of Polka Dots seminar by ONE seat.
The Real World: “Look, I will give you my firstborn child if you so much as GLANCE at my resume, please, oh god, PLEASE.”

23. Living With Strangers:

College: A passive-aggressive tango in timing sexual exploits, sleep schedules, and secret stashes of Pop-Tarts and Nutella.
The Real World: “So like, of all the creepy Craigslist options, I guess you’re like, the least creepy, so yeah, I’ll sign onto a lease with you.”

24. Your Living Space:

College: It ain’t home until it has either a: A) Reservoir Dogs; B) Scarface; C) Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster.
The Real World: You’re pretty sure knowledge is saving money by buying IKEA furniture, but wisdom is spending a little of that saved money on delivery and assembly.

25. Bills:

College: A theory of which you have a vague notion twice a year, but like, you’re going to be paying that back YEARS from now, so like, it doesn’t really count as crippling debt, right?
The Real World: Remember when payday meant something other than ‘pay-your-bills day?’ No? Me, neither.

26. Defining “Adulthood”:

College: Someone who has their own apartment, maybe a dog, and the kind of job that offers benefits and vacation.
The Real World: ??????????????????

27. “When You’ll Get Out Of Here”

College: “God, I cannot WAIT until I graduate.”
The Real World: “Maybe I can go back to grad school. I wouldn’t have to pay my student loans then.”

featured image – Girls