As if Facebook didn’t already provide a live feed of constant reminders of the post-graduate lives of my classmates, my alma mater takes special care to streamline and highlight all of that news into a very compact, but nonetheless devastating, publication.
The Knightly News is a biannual circular that makes for a compelling hate-read after you’ve finished the latest Huffington Post piece about Snooki’s New York Times Best Seller. It provides the same feeling of inner despair as obituaries or past-due credit card statements, but with rich color photos! As I poured over page after page, enlightening myself as to the foreign studies, internships, and general kick-assness of my fellow classmates’ lives, I became overwhelmed with despondency to the point that my system had to restart. After waking up less apprehensive and slightly sweaty from my anxiety-induced nap, I decided to compile a comprehensive list of my accomplishments, accolades, and achievements since graduation.
1. Switching to a new anti-depression medication. After reading the previous edition of the alumni newsletter I was simultaneously inspired and devastated by my fellow classmates’ bravado for exploration of new places and culture through foreign study. Following their lead, I chose to incorporate into my own life the same sense of adventure they employed exploring Berlin by having very focused sex with a German. I’m completely kidding; it wasn’t that focused. But I did change my prescription needs to combat the deep feelings of inadequacy their travels inspired in my stateside existence.
2. Brightening my smile in 7 days with Crest White Strips. Enamel be damned! I might not have the interview yet, but I’m whitening my teeth for the job I want, not the job I have, and the job I want is a professional smile model. So what if I have to microwave my ice cream now?
3. Paying for my own Netflix subscription. Perhaps the last step towards adulthood and maturity (after buying your first home or becoming a parent) is finally summoning the gumption and $16 a month to pay for all those seasons of ‘The Wire’ on DVD. Besides, sharing a queue can be so embarrassing with all those Katherine Heigl movies Netflix has been recommending. I watched Knocked Up one time!
4. Accruing sizeable amounts of student debt. Perhaps by paying for exorbitantly over-priced liberal arts credits for classes like “The Existential Poetics of 90s Mumblecore,” I can purchase the validation and prestige my fellow alumni seem to have achieved so effortlessly. That, or at the very least, my degree will land me a successful career at J.Crew for a few years after graduation.
5. Having a few hundred followers on Twitter. Though my classmates choose to present their findings and opinions in hefty thesis work, I prefer to keep my neurotic thoughts and overly precious puns to a concise 140 characters. Witty hashtags not included.
6. Losing 5 pounds on a juice cleanse. After a particularly regrettable night of drinking I was awoken by alluring the siren song of Groupon’s daily email advertising that I could “Live my best life today!” through a 3-day juice cleanse and jump start a healthy lifestyle. So for 3 days I briefly experienced what it would be like to have my jaw wired shut and only able to sustain myself through a straw. After triumphing over hunger pains akin to those experienced by Ghandi during his hunger strikes, I enjoyed by a celebratory burrito bowl at Chipotle and proceeded to gain it all back.
7. Keeping up with one tube of chapstick for two weeks. Was and still remains one of my longest, most stable relationships.
8. Not Keeping up with the Kardashians.
9. Buying and constructing my first piece of Ikea furniture. Nothing screams “I’ve just signed a year-long lease — see, I’m not afraid of commitment!” louder than ditching that deflating air mattress and those Sterelite containers in favor of some utilitarian Swedish furniture. Whatever you do, don’t forget that the bed slats are sold separately.
10. Getting a job with health benefits. I can finally stop abusing my netipot and chugging Vitamin C like it’s a vodka cranberry and I’m a Real Housewife on a Monday afternoon. My hands, raw from excessive Purell use, are extended in gratitude to the good folks at Starbucks. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I can finally stop holding my breath on the subway.
11. Developing a healthy relationship with wine. Wine has never betrayed me like vodka or dark liquors. A drink appropriate for brunch, lunch, dinner, or any day that ends with y. Boxed for my convenience, yet no matter the amount you drink, you never become an alcoholic, only a sommelier.
12. Buying reusable bags at Trader Joes. Like the sense of altruism that filled me after my transaction, knowing I was contributing to the welfare of our planet, so too are those reusable bags filled with plastic bags because I’ve forgotten them on every visit since their purchase.
Greg Seals is a guy who writes things. Sometimes he’s a funny person. Indulge his sense of self-importance and follow @GregSeals.
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