It has been approximately three months now that I have been in the so-called “real” world that comes after graduation. Even so, I’m still not really fully living on my own. I am currently staying with my parents for a while saving up some money (and paying off student loans) before I really decide to move out. I have almost no real expenses save gas which takes a chunk out of my monthly income since I have to drive approximately 80 miles round-trip between work and home. Other than that, life does not feel that much different than when I was on co-op and still a student in college. I get up each day, go to work, and then go home. Instead of being paid hourly, I have a salary plus benefits. I still hang out with my friends and go out from time to time.
Adjustment to this “real” world was initially difficult for me. It took me about a month before I started to feel somewhat comfortable with the life I had chosen. Plus I was coming off an entire summer of being free from any responsibilities. I traveled a lot and visited lots of friends. So when I had to buckle down come September (when a lot of people I knew were going back to school), I was very unwilling to face the reality of becoming a true adult.
The worst part of my daily routine is the commute. Driving to work can take at least an hour during rush hour traffic, and that was usually the biggest factor that would leave me in an upset mood every time I came home when I first started working. I would question the choices I made and whether they were right or wrong. I would ponder all the “what if” questions of taking a different path. I felt very lost, because I had no guidance on what to do with my life for the very first time. I’m more used to life now, but I don’t think the commute is something I could do forever. I will have to eventually move closer to work, find a new job closer to home, or both. That is still a ways off from now though.
Adjusting back to my home city has also been weird. In Rochester, you could get anywhere — restaurants, movie theaters, museums, anything — within a relatively reasonable amount of time. Boston has way too many cars; this city was not meant for driving. Friends are all over instead of concentrated in one area (i.e. the university). There is no Wegmans, no Dibella’s, no white hots, no “talking” to the deaf lady who works at the bank every time I go there, and I haven’t had the same customer service experience as I had at John Holtz Honda. I do miss Rochester at times because it was the place where I started to make a life for myself without the protective shield of my parents. In a way, I feel more connected with Rochester in a more community-oriented way. Living and growing up in Boston, I mostly confined myself to my school which is where I grew up the most. I haven’t found that same niche in Boston as the one I carved out in Rochester. There are plenty of things to do and see in Boston, but I just haven’t had the time to really explore all of them.
Of course, there have been positive aspects of moving back home. I’m finally starting to catch up with old high school friends even if I don’t see them that often. I started doing kung fu and tai chi at a school that is run by a friend I have known at the American Red Cross for a while. It’s been nice seeing all the people I missed while I was away at school in Rochester. I feel like it’s a good thing that I moved back home instead of another city where I would have to start another life all over again. The sense of belonging that I get from others is what keeps me going strong in life.
In the future, I don’t know what I will do. Perhaps I will move around to another city, but I think that is not very likely (at least for a while). I just can’t leave Boston yet due to my emotional attachment to people (and the city itself). My original plan was to move back home, stay for a while, then possibly leave. I’m starting to feel like I might not leave unless I had a very compelling reason to do so. I had originally intended my time during the summer to discover more about the world and myself and what I want to do with my life. That plan never came to fruition, and it might never given my habits of laziness.
Life always seems to move more quickly the older we become. The increasing exponential perception of time as we age makes us feel like there is never enough of it. The past five years in college have been so dramatically different that the six years I spent in a college preparatory school. I have changed a lot, but still quintessentially the same inside. I know that whatever choices I will make, good or bad, things usually work out for themselves. That is the one reality I have known all my life.