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Before I jump into it, I want to make clear that this is NOT a sob story, and I'm very happy with where I'm at! I've been at my current consulting gig for 5 months and gets better by the day. I'm still learning a lot on the job, but I'm finally starting to feel like I'm adding value to my team and not just asking questions throughout the day. That being said, its still nothing compared to the amount of fun I had in undergrad.

Question: To all the bankers, consultants, PE folks, etc, do you feel that life is better now post-grad or when you were in college?

To some, this question is ludicrous and of course you're going to say college was the best time of your life. And like most, I fall into that camp. But are there others who disagree? If so, what event happened in life to make you feel happier? Was it the fat bonus? A significant promotion? Children? Acceptance into an awesome MBA, ensuring the most significant, life changing two years of your life (kidding...please no MS)? Would love to hear thoughts.

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Comments (50)

  • IvyGrad's picture

    I love my life now. College was fun, but it's just much better to be making 75-80k a year working 50 hours a week, get to travel to cool places (I work in consulting), live in the most awesome city in the world (NYC), have access to lots of gorgeous girls, and the best part is I am still in my mid 20's.

    Like half of all my friends from college live in NYC so I hang out with my college buddies all the time. Plus, as of now, I love my gig, since for the weekends, I can get the free airplane tickets to travel to whatever city I want to go. Last weekend, I went to Vegas and met up with my college buddies there and had a fucking blast. Next weekend I am going to LA to visit my another friend from college, with all travel expenses covered by my company.

    Back in college, I was shit broke, thought that over 70% of crap I learned in all classes were boring and useless (and they are), and I wasn't happy with the city that my college was located in (New Haven). Still, I met many fun group of friends while there so no regrets.

    In my opinion, someone's life prime is from early twenties to early thirties. Get a decent paying job, make lots of friends, travel and see the world, party a lot, and date lots of girls. And, don't get married. Try to enjoy your life when you are young & single. From mid-30's and on, it's all downhill.

  • beezle's picture

    I agree. College was fun, but I am so much happier setting my own schedule, making my own money, and spending time with the people I care about the most. I'm glad I got out of banking because my hours are a lot more reasonable now, so I get to spend my nights and weekends travelling or laying on the couch watching football.

    It's interesting you brought up the bonus thing. I read an article about how events like getting larges bonuses or winning the lottery only make you happy for a few months at most, and then most people get back to their "normal" level of happiness. I haven't won the lottery, but getting a top tier bonus only made me happy for about a week. It's the freedom of making my own money, controlling my own time, and finding someone special that makes me happy, regardless of the long hours at work.

  • CompBanker's picture

    I agree with IvyGrad. Life now is WAY better than college. A lot of it comes from the flexibility of being an "adult" combined with enough income to do whatever you please. It is really cool being able to pave your own path in life. IvyGrad talks about travel, but that is just one aspect of it. As a college grad with a good income, you can say: "I think I want to go skiing this weekend, I'm going to rent some skis and a nice condo and just do it." That sort of flexibility to do as you please is amazing.

    CompBanker

  • SECfinance's picture

    I may be different because I transferred schools midway through so I had to start over socially, but I am ready to be done with school. I enjoyed my interning experience this summer and am going back to the same company for FT.

    I want to get out in the world and start making my own money and making my path. There are a lot of things that I want to do/work towards and I need money to do them. I'm nowhere near ready to settle down, just ready to start doing my own thing and walking out of the shadows of relying on other people.

    I understand why people say college is the best time of your life (no responsibilities), and I've had fun, but I'm looking forward to what the future will bring.

  • In reply to CompBanker
    porkbellies's picture

    CompBanker:
    I agree with IvyGrad. Life now is WAY better than college. A lot of it comes from the flexibility of being an "adult" combined with enough income to do whatever you please. It is really cool being able to pave your own path in life. IvyGrad talks about travel, but that is just one aspect of it. As a college grad with a good income, you can say: "I think I want to go skiing this weekend, I'm going to rent some skis and a nice condo and just do it." That sort of flexibility to do as you please is amazing.

    Amen to that. Being an "adult" is the best.

  • AndyLouis's picture

    college was fun, immediately after college was depressing ("the real world sucks" syndrome), then living abroad soon after college teaching english in china was fun and cleared this up, then getting back home and figuring out exactly what i wanted to do with my career for a few years ie "stuck in limbo" wasn't fun, fast forward to ~26 and figuring it out, setting a plan and doing what i'm doing now = best years of my life, and things are just getting better, and don't see why it won't continue to :). So advice for those of you who in that post college depression (or dreading it), things WILL get better, a lot better

  • Extelleron's picture

    I'm in college, so you have to take my response with a big grain of salt, but I imagine whether or not you prefer college or "real life" depends a lot on what sort of resources you had available to you in college; i.e., if you have wealthy parents who pay for a lot of stuff and you don't have to worry about being super frugal, then I'd imagine it has to be a total blast. On the other hand, if you are on your own and have basically no money, you'll be inclined to prefer the real world afterwards because you'll suddenly have the resources to do what you want, something you've never had the chance to do before.

  • In reply to AndyLouis
    ladubs111's picture

    AndyLouis:
    college was fun, immediately after college was depressing ("the real world sucks" syndrome), then living abroad soon after college teaching english in china was fun and cleared this up, then getting back home and figuring out exactly what i wanted to do with my career for a few years ie "stuck in limbo" wasn't fun, fast forward to ~26 and figuring it out, setting a plan and doing what i'm doing now = best years of my life, and things are just getting better, and don't see why it won't continue to :). So advice for those of you who in that post college depression (or dreading it), things WILL get better, a lot better

    Andy your path more or less parallels mine with some substitution of course. But same idea, college was a blast, right out of college real world sucks syndrome kicks in, then just doing whatever job while figuring out what i wanted to do. Fast forward to today: found and got into what I wanted to do.

  • Nefarious-'s picture

    I like how IvyGrad gave a pretty in depth explanation and CompBanker simply mimicked it and received 2SBs for doing so :D

    You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

  • Tommy Too-toned's picture

    Totally depends... But on AVERAGE I thought it went something like: teenage years unhappy, uptick at start of college, back down toward the end of college, up and down at the start of work life, uptick around 30 when you get married, downhill after a few years, and then up again when the kids leave for college

  • In reply to Nefarious-
    AndyLouis's picture

    Nefarious-:
    I like how IvyGrad gave a pretty in depth explanation and CompBanker simply mimicked it and received 2SBs for doing so :D

    michael jordan rule.
  • DonVon's picture

    College was fun, but the "real world" is much better, not even a close comparison. I get to do whatever I want, I'm not constantly worrying about my bank account, and I don't have to constantly think about homework/classes/papers that, while interesting, really don't matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.

    I was _so_ ready to get out of school. I never want to sit in a classroom again. Socially it was awesome, but that's not exclusively why we go to college.

    "An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
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  • Bobby Digital's picture

    Life is great now but you didn't do college the right way if it wasn't the best time of your life. Zero responsibilities, campus atmosphere, spring breaks, tons of coeds in their physical prime, and it's perfectly acceptable to treat every night like the weekend. Sure, I wasn't earning the $ I am now but it was a different mindset. Things were cheaper, life was more modest, and I didn't have a worry in the world. Finances are relative when you could go out and spend $20 comfortably in college.

  • CaR's picture

    I loved every minute of high school. I thought nothing would beat using our fake IDs to buy booze so we could get borderline hospitalization drunk in whoever's basement while their parents were on vacation, or suiting up for varsity basketball games in front of the whole school. I'm still not convinced anything beats the rush of losing your virginity, or watching the female anatomy develop. Holy shit, what a glorious thing. On graduation day, I wondered how anything could possibly beat that.

    Then came college. An absolute blur of growing up on my own, meeting people from a plethora of states and countries and making some of the best friends I'll ever have. A non stop quest to complete basic daily functions after subjecting my body to quantity of booze and aderrall that might make Charlie Sheen blink, but probably not. A sudden realization that the real world was right around the corner, where dad's wallet would be increasingly inaccessible; and thus, my introduction to finance. An true dichotomy of responsibililty and irresponsibility I wouldn't give up for the world. What could be better than that?

    Now, 7 months out of college in a position at a firm I hardly even knew existed four years ago, making enough money in a year to support my $1300 rent and monthly car payments for the 2012 Jeep I just bought on my own. Sure, I work eight times as much as in college, but the only reason I worked in college was to get myself where I am today. Really isn't a more rewarding feeling I can think of (thus far). If you would have told me I'd be working hours like this in college, I would have sat in a corner and cried most likely. But, here I am.

    I guess my point is, there are different stages in life. It's the easiest thing in the world to look back on the 'glory days,' or to look forward to the next stage when you just know things will be better. Each stage requires more sacrifice, but it's only what you make of it. There might be a guy selling necklaces for $10 on the beach in Hawaii who, while not being able to afford his rent, lives the purest, most carefree lifestyle out there. But, that's not the life you're working for, and it's not the life I'm working for. Ambition is an important human quality, but it can ruin you if you aren't true to yourself and your goals. So, realizing that, have a glass of bourbon and make the best with what you've got

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  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    Expected future happiness peaked for me after I got my first bonus.

    I think happiness peaks at 50 hours/week in a general job, maybe 75 hours/week in a job you're really passionate about if you don't have kids or a family. Otherwise, you need to have a strategy for getting to 50 hours/week or a job you can truly enjoy putting those extra 25 hours into.

  • D M's picture

    Once you're out of college, most people are finally really on their own. That's when life gets better, when you have the opportunity to decide exactly what you want to do, what you want to be, and how you want to gether.

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
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  • EURCHF parity's picture

    To paraphrase Paul Graham, in college you are a guest and at work you are a service provider; for sure things change.

    However, there is subtle, but more profound satisfaction in "work", in being productive and building things and making things happen as opposed to just stimulating the pleasure centre of your brain in whatever ways money and time can buy (e.g. going heliskiing, getting drunk and chasing tail, etc.). Surprised nobody here mentioned it ;)

    I've found that with time and experience, the hobby side of life gets less fun (I still remember my first Michelin-starred meal, but nowadays seldom bother with fine dining), whilst the work part gets more and more intense. I guess you expect more from your whisky, but your extra experience allows you to do exponentially more at work. Also why everybody keeps telling you to "find a job you love".

  • prudentinvestor's picture

    Having Money > Being Poor

    Unless mommy and daddy paid for most of your major bills, the real world is always better.

    P.S. Having a job, yet having your parents cover your tuition, housing, cell phone or other major expenses does not mean you paid for your own sh*t.

  • Zweihander's picture

    Like people have said college is easy, and you only really have two duties at college: a) study; b) party. I'm in my final year and I have about 3 hours of teaching every weekday, that plus the 3 hours of individual study I'm supposed to do, and say 6 hours of sleep - gives 12 hours left in the day to do whatever I want.

    Working in banking this summer, I was working at least 9-12 every weekday, plus around 5 hours sleep a night, gives 4 hours left in the day to do whatever I want.

    Even with only a third as much much free time I felt I had much more freedom. Echo what the guys above say - basically comes to down to the freedom of truly becoming an adult, and having no one to "tell you what to do" and there now effectively being no restrictions whatsoever on what you do with your free time. Especially with banking, this feeling of freedom is amplified by having the money to do whatever you please. At college, I feel a bit like a chicken in a battery farm waiting to be processed.

    You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditonal formatting and circular references.

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    I'm not as detail oriented as I wish I could be. Therefore, this truth is a big source of what little unhappiness I have:

    "Greatness is a lot of small things done well." (Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens)

    It's fairly easy to become good at something, although it's somewhat more difficult to become very good at something. Greatness is relative on some level, but the fact is that except for one maybe two people in the world at any one discipline, there is always someone better than you. And I think it's a matter of how OCD you are and how many sacrifices you want to make to achieve greatness.

    There will always be someone better in an area than you. Someone richer than you. Someone smarter than you. Not because they are better overall, but because they choose to make themselves more miserable than you to do that one thing well.

    Most people want to have a life. Ray Lewis's life is football. Bill Gates's life for decades and decades was software. And it shows even now when you see him in interviews.

    The only semi--normal person with any level of greatness is Warren Buffett. And despite his billions, he lives in a $400,000 house, eats at Dairy Queen, and drives to work in a clunker that rivals my rusty Honda. So maybe he's not all that normal...

  • mxc's picture

    I have a dream job but college was better. I had significant responsibilities in college and was one of the most popular kids on campus. I was a poor student at first, but then created a business that made me $100k in my last year, but money didn't make that big a difference.

    I would, however, take my current job over the typical college experience, no brainer.

  • Falcon's picture

    Like CaR said, high school was probably one of the best times of my life, junior and senior year were just amazing, being able to play on the same football team as my blood brother and having the whole school cheering you on. To getting booze during the summer with some of the kids you grew up with was just great, all while getting your work done.

    Last year I went to the liberal arts non target, I had a ton of fun, met some great individuals. Transferred to a semi target this year, and so far it's been going well. I'm an outgoing person so making new friends has not been an issue, but the social scene here is ehh alright. So far this semester I have relaxed with the partying, I'm mainly focus on receiving a high first semester GPA here to put on my transcript so i can officially start reaching out to alums, and have something to talk about.

    Financially, work study allows me to make $60 a week, sometimes I feel rich lol, but that's honestly enough money for me to buy booze, hang with friends and have a good time.

    I still have a lot of time left to enjoy the college experience, but I have always been told ages 18-26 are usually a mens best years, I'm still learning and having fun, hopefully when I enter the real world and have a FT job, I won't become a socially inept office body making money but actually enjoy myself outside of the office and enjoy my earnings with my friends.

    In regards, to what a few posters mentioned in the above post, about being on your own upon graduating. Did any of you guys intern outside of your home state?

  • Thurnis Haley's picture

    I pretty much hate college so I'm hoping once I get away from it life will be better. It really scares me when people say that college is the best time of your life.

  • above_and_beyond's picture

    I hate real "adult" life. Being in the office every day for 15 hours and coming in on the weekend to format some bullshit no one gives a fuck about isn't exactly what I call a good life. Considering this, college and especially the last two years of high school were an absolute blast (we are allowed to drink at age of 18 back home).

    The analyst life in contrast is just stupid, who cares about the money in your bank account if you are not able to spend it properly (no, spending a shitload of money on a free night in a random bar is not what my understanding of "spending money properly" is). At least I have been traveling around the world like a freaking maniac during college.

  • Culcet's picture

    The thing I don't like about these kind of questions is that they presuppose that there's a right or wrong answer. I have friends that studied comp sci in undergrad and think law school is a joke. I also have friends that slacked off during college, consequently had to exert themselves for the first time to find a job, and are now whining about how life sucks. It really depends. Any bad experience we undergo makes whatever follows it seem that much sweeter, so I don't think anyone "won" or "lost" by what their college experience was like.

    Me? I grew up in a ghetto environment and graduated from an incomprehensibly exclusive liberal arts school dominated by prep school kids and international princelings. Truly night and day. Sure, I received the "global experience" by gaining work experience abroad, and brushed shoulders with the kids of diplomats, bankers, and academics. But socially, it was both a step forwards and backwards. I guess you could say the experience was 'satisfying", but I wouldn't say it was as "enjoyable" as that of say, my friends that lived on frat row at USC, were only exposed to people of the same socioeconomic strata, and generally didn't venture too far out of their comfort zone. There were times where I wanted to just drop out, but I'm glad I finished and got myself out of there.

    Back to the original question. I think real-life is more fun at least for me, because most of my friends are out in the real world, and I tend to thrive in more diverse environments (read: not colleges that reject 85% of the applicants). But most importantly, it's been better because I realize life gets better when you MAKE it better instead of just waiting for things to happen. Have a bad relationship with your parents? Call them up and settle things? Dislike your social circle? Find a new one. Overweight? Eat less. Don't know what you want to do with your life? Do as many things as possible or die trying.

    Fuck it. If I were to re-do those 4 years, I probably would have applied for an online degree associated with a university that "sounds prestigious" (think University of London), and spent the 4 years traveling abroad, learning foreign languages, gaining actual real working experience and chasing women of all shapes and sizes. I was at a semi-target anyways, and probably would have saved money too, but lacked the requisite balls at the time. The things you can do when you realize you don't have to follow the pack...

  • In reply to Thurnis Haley
    Art.Vandelay's picture

    Thurnis Haley:
    I pretty much hate college so I'm hoping once I get away from it life will be better. It really scares me when people say that college is the best time of your life.

    Thats my thought process some times. My financial situation sucks, I have had to borrow money from my grandparents a few times to make rent. I have a small circle of friends who are awesome, but besides them the vast majority of people I encounter daily are immature and annoying douches/bitches. No one I'd ever wanna date or be great friends with. I'm hoping that will change in a few years when people are more mature.

    Overall, I'm thinking ages 23-32ish will be better, or at least I hope. Especially the 20s. I'll finally have some money and wont constantly worry about paying for monthly expenses. Granted, I'll only have Big 4 money, not IB money, but I suppose the trade off is I'll have more time to do stuff with that money.

  • In reply to Art.Vandelay
    Culcet's picture

    Art.Vandelay:
    Thurnis Haley:
    I pretty much hate college so I'm hoping once I get away from it life will be better. It really scares me when people say that college is the best time of your life.

    Thats my thought process some times. My financial situation sucks, I have had to borrow money from my grandparents a few times to make rent. I have a small circle of friends who are awesome, but besides them the vast majority of people I encounter daily are immature and annoying douches/bitches. No one I'd ever wanna date or be great friends with. I'm hoping that will change in a few years when people are more mature.

    Overall, I'm thinking ages 23-32ish will be better, or at least I hope. Especially the 20s. I'll finally have some money and wont constantly worry about paying for monthly expenses. Granted, I'll only have Big 4 money, not IB money, but I suppose the trade off is I'll have more time to do stuff with that money.

    I had the same mindset as both of you. My suggestion: change what you can immediately.

    If you're having financial strains due to the condition of being a student with no income, then yeah, that's an aspect that will improve significantly once you start making money. However you should probably re-examine the social aspect of your predicament, and figure out whether that's because of college, or your mindset in general. Have you really done everything you can to improve your situation? Not to be harsh, but those are years that you'll never get back, and by really taking things to the next level you can at least rejoice in a life well-lived.

  • computerized's picture

    You guys all mention chasing women during your early 20s and it's something I've been thinking about lately. I've been in a semi-long distance relationship for a while now. It's going great, but I can't help but think I'm going to regret not dating more girls during college down the road.

  • HowardRoark's picture

    College has been fun, but going to a university with zero school spirit kind of kills the point. I know for a fact I'll enjoy "the real world" more.

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  • In reply to HowardRoark
    Falcon's picture

    HowardRoark:
    College has been fun, but going to a university with zero school spirit kind of kills the point. I know for a fact I'll enjoy "the real world" more.

    Very true.

    It may seem minor but school spirit can really steer how you feel about a school.
    The school I went to freshman year, lacked school spirit, BIG TIME. Going to the basketball games and literally seeing 50-60 people in the stands. Even my high school basketball games had more fans in the stands. And also there wasn't a football team which I believe is big for any college. whether your football team sucks or not.

  • CoochieMane's picture

    Culcet is spot-on.

    I messed around (too much) in high school and my first 2 years of college. I got my shit together this past year and despite not getting into IB (yet), I've gotten a few internships under my belt. Although my time is a lot more restricted now (balancing school + work), I actually enjoy getting real world work experience. It makes me appreciate my free time that much more.

    I hope those in this topic who shun college reconsider; it's really the best time for vaginal activity. Almost done with school, but I'm looking forward to the real world. I'll roll with the punches as they come.

  • In reply to CoochieMane
    IvyGrad's picture

    CoochieMane:
    I hope those in this topic who shun college reconsider; it's really the best time for vaginal activity. Almost done with school, but I'm looking forward to the real world. I'll roll with the punches as they come.

    In my experience, I've had much larger success meeting women of higher quality as a working professional, compared to the time when I was just another broke college student.

    What I realized, over last year, was that quality trumps quantity regarding women. By quality, I am not just talking physical traits of a woman. But, also a woman's personality, intelligence, background, values, etc.

    As a working professional in NYC, I've found that it is very easy to date women of all sorts, and as a result, you can choose to become much more selective with what kind of women you choose to date with. High quality women in large cities are not really interested in flirting and banging a dumb jock college frat boy. They are looking for men with real jobs, real income, ambition, integrity, wit, and humor.

    I really enjoy the part about how now, I get to be in the driving seat when I date women. Back in college, I had to work to get girls. I made efforts to impress girls. I worked on my pick up lines. I tried to fight against the disadvantage of 'not being that rich guy' that all young hot girls seemed to desire.

    Now, I think it's upside down. As a young guy with decent income and career outlook, I feel that women are trying to impress me. When I go out to dinner with women, I feel that women try to talk more than I. I feel that they invite me to their homes even before I ask. Girls text me first before I text them. When I go to a girl's home (by invitation) the girl cooks me her 'dinner special', smiles the whole time, suggests we watch a movie together on her bed, and drops her panties even before I drop mine. Given that you are decent looking and have a decent game to start out, you'd be surprised how far having a decent job/ income/ career will take you with women, especially in NYC.

    Really, it feels damn good to be working. Fuck college, man.

  • prospie's picture

    Looks like this has already been discussed to death, but I will add my name to the list of those who are thrilled to be making money and DONE with school.

  • MFFL's picture

    This might be a bit outside the scope of what you're looking for, but I sincerely believe that human beings are always looking to the future for a time when they think they will be happier. In college, I thought I would be happier working, even though everyone I knew who was already working full time told me that college is the best time of your life. After I graduated I realized they were absolutely correct. But I'm still looking forward to the future, as are most people, and expecting to be happier at some future point.

    Consider the lifestyle of the average middle age American today. Take a 30 year old, making $40 - $50,000. This person has an incredible bed to sleep in, which was likely produced in the past 10 years with a relatively new technology and science. This person has access to any kind of food they would like, from all over the world, at relatively affordable prices. Perhaps not a high end steak house, but lobster and steak and all sorts of delicacies at every Walmart, and the tools they need at home to prepare this food however they would like. He is virtually unaffected by the seasons, as he can control the exact temperature of his living environment, and transportation is incredibly easy, with the ability of traveling at 20x his walking speed while exerting little to no physical effort well within his means.

    This lifestyle and standard of living is far far beyond what KINGS had a thousand years ago. And yet this person probably does not consider their life extraordinary, or anything more than average. Does this mean that everyone from 1,000 years ago was unhappy? No of course not. People just always focus on the things they think will make them happier.

    With the exception of somebody who is currently working 100 hours a week and doesn't have time to do anything with their life outside of work, I would say not to expect your level of happiness to change much in the future. Obviously still set your goals and work towards them, because I think that is part of what makes us happy, but if you're not pleased with how things are right now, start looking at changes you can make to improve them.

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • Otter.'s picture

    Extelleron:
    I'm in college, so you have to take my response with a big grain of salt, but I imagine whether or not you prefer college or "real life" depends a lot on what sort of resources you had available to you in college; i.e., if you have wealthy parents who pay for a lot of stuff and you don't have to worry about being super frugal, then I'd imagine it has to be a total blast. On the other hand, if you are on your own and have basically no money, you'll be inclined to prefer the real world afterwards because you'll suddenly have the resources to do what you want, something you've never had the chance to do before.

    I think Extelleron hit the nail on the head here. My parents paid for all my tuition, room and board, books, etc. in college, for which I am extremely grateful, so I didn't have any responsibilities aside from getting reasonable grades, extracurriculars, not dying, and things like that. I didn't get a nice car or get to travel the world at the drop of a hat or anything like that, but I had everything I needed. Thus, working life for me is a lot less fun because I have many more responsibilities, have to worry about paying bills, and just generally have less time to screw around than I used to.

    Also, I may be in the minority on this, but I actually think going out in NYC is less fun than going out in college. Sure there are more girls and it's generally easier for a guy to date in NYC vs. college, but I think the caliber of girls is also lower in NYC (not in terms of looks, but in terms of the whole package). Maybe I was just lucky in college.

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  • Culcet's picture

    Again, it's fruitless to even compare "girls in college" vs. "girls in NYC", given the plethora of colleges out there and different types of girls and lifestyle configurations in general in NYC. Luck in this field tends to favor guys that are adept at social maneuvering, are good at what they do, and are quick to catch onto whether a girl is attracted to them or not (this is probably the most important). College or not.

    I will say, however, and perhaps smugly, that the so-called "real-world" slowly begins to favor those that are "competent" over those that are "pedigreed". Kids that used to annoy the shit out of me because of how "intellectual" and self-righteous they were are now struggling to pay the bills. It's becoming increasingly clear who has what it takes and who doesn't. This is great for some people, and hell for the rest.

  • Hayek's picture

    College was great, but being poor sucks and it feels good to be out in the world making money.

    I'm 26 now (a few months shy of 27) and in a good consulting job with very set hours and decent pay, but I don't want to do it forever. Planning on taking the GMAT and applying to grad school, likely at the end of this year. 2013 should be a big year for me.

    My first 2 years out of school were essentially college with a large disposable income. Next two years were more settled, and frankly I enjoyed just working and not constantly thinking about my next job, grad school, etc. Now I'm at the point where I really need to get the GMAT out of the way and really make some moves in terms of taking the next step in life. I'm on the late end of my 20's and really can't waste these years.

  • vtech243's picture

    My two cents ....

    I think that college was a blast. When I look back to college, I see a kid that came in knowing maybe about 35% about himself. Coming out I learned HUGE lessons. Fell in love and got my heart broken, did social drugs / drank and learned how to balance these things with responsibilities, networked my ass off and learned the importance of a network/relationships and learned how to do the least work possible and still get the best grades. College was a training ground for the real world.

    I work in NYC now and in my second year as an IB analyst. Would I say that my life is better than it was in college? Well it depends. Things I like about my life now: I have real responsibilities and work on some cool stuff / have interactions with management of companies, I am busy (always liked being busy vs. having nothing to do), I live in NYC and the dating scene is pretty sweet, I know who my real friends are that have stuck with me and my relationships with them have grown stronger, I have money to buy nice clothes and go on cool vacations. Things I don't like: I am micromanaged at work and have very little control over my schedule, hours/culture at my firm make it very difficult to go to the gym, I am in NYC away from my friends from home.

    At the end of the day, I think the answer to this question is outlook. It is important to find balance when you can. Sacrifice of this certainly happens in your early 20s with work, but I am convinced that money does not buy happiness. Find something that you love and be passionate about it. I am sure I am not the first person to say this.

    Yup that's it for now. But, if all else fails, it gets better when you have 5 girlfriends and $10 million in the bank.

  • In reply to Otter.
    beezle's picture

    Otter.:

    I think Extelleron hit the nail on the head here. My parents paid for all my tuition, room and board, books, etc. in college, for which I am extremely grateful, so I didn't have any responsibilities aside from getting reasonable grades, extracurriculars, not dying, and things like that.....

    I'm not quite sure I agree with Extelleron's point. My parents paid for all my college expenses as well, I had a nice car, AND was able to travel during breaks. I still enjoy my life now more, due to the freedom of making my own money instead of using someone else's, and not having to do what I thought were trivial things (like going to class or taking tests). Although if you had asked me this while I was in banking maybe I'd have a different answer, since I did not control my own time (being a slave to the Blackberry red dot sucked....)

  • In reply to beezle
    traps's picture

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    Thurnis Haley's picture
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    Otter.'s picture

    Hi, Eric Stratton, rush chairman, damn glad to meet you.