By: Evan Gott
College, aside from being a quest for higher knowledge and the world’s most elite hacky sack training ground, is a place to prepare yourself for joining the workforce, frequently referred to as “the real world.” For the last four years we’ve heard endless iterations of “The real world is hard,” “The real world is ruthless,” and “The Real World was a groundbreaking reality show on MTV!” I only heard that last one because I hung out with lots of Film and Television majors, but if riding the T every morning has been any indication, people have definitely stopped being polite and started to get real.
Public transportation complaints not withstanding, my first week at Hill Holliday has been full of challenges, fun, and culture shock, some examples of which I’ve listed below.
1. That bright, round thing that isn’t the moon gets up in the sky early! I mean, it was out when I woke up at 10 AM every day of my senior year, but I figured I was only like a minute behind it. I still don’t think anyone has ever been awake early enough to see where it comes from or how it gets up there, but that’s just a mystery I’ll never understand, like Stonehenge or where the staircase in this office is.
2. Coffee isn’t a drink; it’s a survival tactic. I’m writing this at 9:04 AM and very foolishly skipped drinking coffee this morning. I’ve already experienced sleep deprivation-induced hallucinations and sprained my jaw from yawning. I can feel withdrawal sickness coming, but that may just be my stomach still reacting to yesterday’s coffee.
3. I’m not complaining, but I’m having a tough time figuring out which business is being referred to in the phrase “business casual.” I saw a couple people wearing hats and I figured the business was baseball or mail delivery, but then I saw a leather jacket and assumed the business must have something to do with motorcycles. Regardless, it’s way better than the restrictive “business business” dress code, and the extremely confusing “casual business,” which I assume is when people trade stocks on a golf course.
4. Lunch breaks may be the most stressful part of the day. If you go out, brace yourself to get run over by businessmen walking at a near sprint or to knock shoulders with tourists who move like those street performers pretending to be statues. Staying at your desk for lunch is a whole other beast - a beast covered in crumbs, a beast self-conscious about the way it smells.
5. There’s no more nothing. In college, you do a lot of nothing. I took a course called Watching Paint Dry 101 my sophomore year, and then I took Watching Paint Dry 201 the next semester (this course focuses on paint that has already dried). I haven’t encountered any wet paint here, but if I do, I’ll blow a fan in the paint’s direction to speed up the process while I finish real work. My professor would probably find my style unorthodox, but that’s why he’s an imaginary scholar in a field I made up for this blog post and not working in advertising.
6. Adults aren’t always tired because they’re old. They’re always tired because they’re actually doing things all day other than Instagramming or complaining about how they don’t have time to Instagram.
7. People in the real world think college students don’t do anything other than Instagram.
These have been the most important revelations so far. I’m sure by the time this internship is over, I’ll have made many more. No guarantees I’ll know where the staircase is, though.