Things You Did While Studying But Can’t Do When You Start Working 

Working adults look back to their college and school days when they had more freedom to take their own decisions and were not answerable to a boss or bound by deadlines. They also finally understood the error of wanting to grow up and become an adult. The paradox of holding a job is that you have freedom but don’t have freedom as well. So if you’re studying in college and waiting to get a job, here’s your cue to enjoy yourself a little more.

Just wing it

Things You Did While Studying But Can’t Do When You Start Working 

Plan on attending an exam without studying, hoping to wing it? Absolutely. But heard of anyone who went to an office meeting without preparation? Just winging it is an impulsive decision that you can ace nonetheless.  You can also pull off a pyjama and uncombed hair in college, but the office demands that you are presentable. So you can’t wing your homeless look, either. With little or no preparation, you would be just fine in college. And if it wouldn’t be, you’ll always have a second chance. But when you’re presenting a pitch to your boss and CEO, failing will result in a long unpaid holiday. Yes. We mean, getting fired!

Holidays without consequences

You wake up late, realise you missed the first class, and just lay back and call it a day. Taking holidays whenever you wanted to over a minor cold or your friend’s birthday was the highlight of school and college days. Because once you start working, you are accountable and answerable to your boss. A limited number of sick days and taking more than that quota results in a loss of pay. And if you do want to take a holiday, hours of pre-planning go into it – from submitting a leave letter to covering the work that’ll be undone in your absence and handing out your responsibilities to your coworkers. It’s more complicated than pulling off a money heist

Run home whenever 

Things You Did While Studying But Can’t Do When You Start Working 

You had the freedom to run home in the middle of the day, at the weekends, on public holidays or practically whenever you wanted to. But once you begin working, you are so swallowed up in your duties that you’d have to overwork or work on a holiday. So going home is a trip that needs to be planned, not to mention the permissions you need to seek. And when you’re at home, you don’t have to study or do homework, but working means Zoom meetings and emails from the boss to meet deadlines. You also learn to appreciate home and enjoy every moment at home because it’s not a treasure you can turn back to frequently.

Spend money recklessly 

Life was more manageable when you didn’t have to wait for your salary on the first of the month. As a young adult, your parents ensured you had the needed money. They would send you the amount, and you could always ask them for more if you ran out of money. So you hoarded things from Amazon and squandered money on shopping and food. But once you begin working, you learn the actual value of money, and you finally understand your mom, who compares the price of two different brands before buying groceries. You also begin to learn small ways to save money, like walking, timing the use of AC and taking more care of your things because replacing them is hard. The scare you get should last you your whole month, so impulsive money spending is NOT an option. *inserts the meme of you squeezing the life out of a toothpaste tube*

Also Read: Are Malayalis Financially Literate?

Late night parties 

Things You Did While Studying But Can’t Do When You Start Working 

Whether it was a weekday or a weekend, clubbing and late-night parties whenever you wanted them were an incredible feat. You could turn to college the next day hungover or take a holiday. But when you’re working, you opt out of late-night parties because no one wants to spend their next day in the office hungover. You also begin to grow on the idea of sleeping, which becomes dear to you, and you cannot function on just three hours of it – the price you pay for staying up late at a party. Your fun activities are channelled into the weekends, which you never seem to have enough of it. Cramping partying and shopping essentials into one weekend is hard. No…. It’s uhm not from uh.. personal experience. 


Taking a long unhinged nap and relaxing without anything to do seems like a myth in college. But once you start working, you realise that that’s not the case. The definition of relaxation becomes skewered, and while previously relaxing meant hanging out and partying, it would’ve transitioned into a quiet day at home or a long drive. Further, even while relaxing, your mind wanders around mostly into the nitty gitties at the job, and you may always be called into work whenever. The long lazy afternoons on college grounds are replaced by short periods of relaxation in the office cafeteria. So relax all you want while you’re in college because, despite the assignments, the pressure while you study is less than the work culture pressure. 

Frequent friend hangouts 

Bunking class to hang out with friends or meeting up at the click of a text is more challenging once you start adulting and working. Finding a standard time when everyone is free simultaneously without fear of work emergencies is impossible. Even small groups of friends cannot meet frequently and have hangouts except for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. These make us cherish the time in the college canteens, where we had a ton of time on our hands and took these hangouts for granted. The texting swindles down, and the college group grows silent. The hangouts shift to work buddies, which is more obligatory than fun. It will leave you nostalgic for the good old days. 

Jumping through more hoops to adjust to a hard-working life from the fun college life? Share your experiences and expectations with us in the comments below!

PS: Any resemblances to the writer’s life are unintentional. Or is it?

Shivani Sarat
Content writer and creator. Author of 'Black Daises', a poetry anthology.


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