Phi Beta Cons

A College Grad’s Guide to the Real World

In today’s Harvard Crimson, I’ve got a tongue-in-cheek look at the big, scary world that faces college graduates after commencement, which for today’s seniors is rapidly approaching. To make the transition as smooth as possible, I offer a few pointers:

First — unlike in class — at work, requirements are mandatory. If you’ve got a job, you’re expected to show up. You’re also expected to be on time. There’s none of this seven-minutes-past-the-hour funny business. Luckily, if you’re quick, you’ll realize that a 7 a.m. wake-up time isn’t so ungodly if you go to sleep the night before.

Second, work has unavoidable unpleasantries — namely, your coworkers. At one point, you may find yourself sitting across from a guy who went to Yale. And if the dude in the cubicle next to yours reeks because he came straight from the gym, you can’t sit somewhere else. There’s nowhere to go.

Third, work has rituals, which you must follow. To be a successful investment banker, for example, you’ve got to stare at your computer screen refreshing The New York Times homepage longer than the rest of your coworkers. The first one to leave loses.

In regard to the second point, the staff of National Review is exempt, of course. You can read more here.

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