Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Note to College Grads

I know a good amount of those that read this blog are still in college, and some of you may be graduating here soon - barring any disastrous finals. College students tend to live their lives in a bubble, and realizing this bubble is going to burse (AKA graduation) can be a very sad, scary realization. Being that I graduated and have been in the working world for about a year, I feel I can offer a couple notes of advice/what to expect/what to look forward to in your post-college lives.

  • Work isn't so bad - There's definitely something to be said for the fact that there's no homework when you're in the work-force. Assuming you're not going to graduate school right away or that you aren't studying for any certifications, it is an amazing feeling being able to leave work and totally forget about it until the next morning. Yes, not all of us worked too hard in college, and a lot of us saved those papers until the last second - but just not having that nagging little voice in your head telling you to get around to that paper is a relief. You'll get into a routine at work and with your free-time, and it usually runs like a well oiled machine.
  • Shabbos - not spending every Shabbos binge-drinking may be a change, but overall, you'll appreciate Shabbos so much more. When in college, students spend a lot of time slacking off - so, when Shabbos comes, "not working" isn't too much of a change from the week. But when you're in the work force, you won't be sleeping, keeping in touch with friends, or doing Jewish things as much as you want to. Shabbos helps out with all of the above.
  • Note of advice - Jewish life in College Park is thrown in your face. Hillel is serving you Kosher food 5 minutes (walking) away, minyanim are right there, and so is the Beis Medrash. Whether or not you are a minyanaire or a learner or not, just being around so many Jewish people in a Jewish environment is amazing. When you join the work-force, all of these decisions are ones that you really need to talk yourself into. It's very easy to say, "I need to be at work early today, I can't go to minyan", or, "I can't learn this week because I'm too zonked from work". However, decisions to refrain from partaking in these Jewish activities can leave you feeling separated from the community. You're working all day and eating lunch with co-workers, so you're only chance for Yiddishkeit may be to wake up 40 minutes earlier and hit that minyan. When I first started working I would daven at work everyday, as I liked to get here very early and leave very early. I am much happier, however, now that I found a minyan that davens very early which still allows me to come to work relatively early and leave relatively early. Sure, you may have skipped minyan in college for any number of reasons - but at least then you would go to Hillel for lunch and still be actively involved in the community. Neglecting davening and learning may mean neglecting your Yiddishkeit for the day.

Sure, it's scary. All of those questions of "what do you want to be when you grow up" are culminating in your entrance into the work-force. Try not too think about that too much, take it day by day (by day by day - hamayvin yavin) and you'll be fine, and actually come to appreciate certain things more.


Anonymous Richard Joel said...

YU makes life easier. Everyone belongs there.

11:25 PM, May 16, 2006


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