November 28, 2012

What Cornell Forgot to Tell You

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As first semester draws to a close, it is becoming more apparent with each passing day that, no matter how much I deny it, the transition from college to “the real world” is uncomfortably close. Although I’d like to think that I try to live in the moment (ha!), I can’t help but think about the end of this meaningful chapter of my short life. However, no matter how nostalgic I choose to get, graduation will come and I will be thrown into a world that, whether I like it or not, follows a different rule book than we do here on The Hill. In my contemplations about graduation I have realized — among other things — that there are, quite simply, things that I do (and I know you do too) that are entirely unacceptable in any zip code that isn’t 14853. After graduating from an Ivy League university, I will be ready to face the world (or at least so I’m told), so long as I can break a few nasty habits that have become all too normal during my time at Cornell.

I’ve thought about it, and here is a list of college-specific social conventions that, come May, will be entirely unacceptable.

Sleeping until noon … on a Tuesday

Here’s to hoping I’ll have something to do before 12:00 on Tuesdays.

Not sleeping at all on a Tuesday

I pray that graduating means the end of all-nighters. Maybe it’s the silver lining of that-oh-so-dreaded-thing?

Drinking Keystone Light

I don’t mean to be a snob, but I think that it is safe to say that Keystone Light is college beer and college beer only.

Drinking wine out of bags

Franzia, it was fun while it lasted.

Sweat suits/pajamas in public

In college, looking disheveled says “I’m tired and stressed, and don’t care enough to put on pants!” In adulthood, looking disheveled says, “Don’t take me seriously.” I anticipate having to work hardest on this one. It’s too easy to roll out of bed, and I simply dread the days when it will be looked down upon.


Speaks for itself. Everything about !!!!SPRING BREAK!!!! stays in college.

Drinking so much you vomit or fall asleep on a couch or don’t remember anything

Once we hold real jobs I think we’re expected to hold our liquor, too.

A Capella

I’m a sucker for the stuff, and I’ve been to more concerts than I can count during my run here, but I’m pretty sure A Capella turns into other things in “the real world” (like real bands).



Asking someone what other colleges they applied to

I’d argue that this isn’t even okay to do while in college, but since I’ve been asked it so many times I added it to the list. By May I hope we can all move on and think of more creative ways to figure out whether the person you’re talking to is smart.

High school varsity sweatshirts

The glory days are very much over by now.

Sorority/Fraternity letters

Your shirt means nothing in “the real world.” No one cares that you were in a “top tier” frat.

Napping in public

Now, I’m particularly pro at this (I have favorite spots in every library), but I imagine (again, only speculation) that sprawling out on a couch in the office and taking a quick snooze might be looked down upon. Who knows though?

Napping multiple times a day

See also: “Sleeping until noon … on a Tuesday.” Gone are the days of bizarre sleeping/eating/studying/socializing schedules, unless you’re a freelance artist in which case, rock on.

The term “bursar”

The bursar financial administrator is specific to the university system. The term (in all parts of speech) is thrown around loosely among students (“I’ll bursar it.” “Go to the bursar.” “Use your bursar account”), but will soon mean nothing.


I’ve been there, done that. Living with three people in one room is fun, albeit cozy. While I imagine city living comes in all different shapes and sizes, I think the forced-triple with a bunk bed is unique to the university dorm room.

Thinking 10:10 is early

This will also take a lot of getting used to. By “adult” standards, 10 a.m. is one hour into the workday, and only seven short hours away from happy hour. By college standards, 10:10 is early enough to warrant pajamas in public. And multiple naps in one day … perhaps even in public.

The 12:35 AM text “where r u ;)?”

The booty call is age blind, no doubt, but I pray that with age comes a sense of subtlety.

Three day weekends

I’ve heard that Fridays are included in the work week elsewhere.

So, I have two choices: Anticipate this change in social norms and alter my behavior accordingly. I can, knowing that the end is near, start to practice looking presentable, teach myself to drink beer from bottles instead of cans and throw away the drawer of sorority apparel I have accumulated over the years. Or, alternatively, I can continue to take it all in and deal with “real life” when it heartlessly slaps me across the face. I think I’ll opt for the former … and take a nap in the meantime.

Hannah Deixler is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at [email protected]. Shades of Grey appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Hannah Deixler