- October 11th, 2008
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One of the many things I’ve found very different about entering a full time work environment from college is the family progression of many of the people you work with.
The company I work for tends to hire people right after college; this comes with varying definitions of college. There are a number of people, such as myself, who have entered after undergraduate, and there are also people who have completed graduate degrees and are a few years older. Less common are the people older than that, who have worked for a while.
However, I’ve found a surprisingly large number of people, roughly my age, who are at significantly different stages of their lives. There are people my age who are engaged, married, or even have kids of their own.
It introduces a little awkwardness in conversations sometimes. The girls talk about getting pregnant and maternity leave, and the guys talk about their fiancees or kids. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure what to say.
“Er… I’m single, live by myself, and still like to drink and be useless on the weekends like a college kid?”
I know that in reality, there’s no rush. Everyone lives their lives differently.
However, it puts things into a completely different perspective sometimes. I can’t always decide if these people have moved into other life stages early, or if I am running late. It’s introduced a bit of artificial pressure sometimes; that I need to hurry up and move on with my life since everyone else is already there.
College students tend to postpone making advancements in their life like that, with school as the excuse. But as a working guy, I don’t have that excuse. And sometimes I just can’t avoid that nagging feeling in the back of my head. How many more years am I going to spend getting drunk on the weekend by myself?
It’s kind of strange, because I’ve found it’s kind of changed the way I deal with people sometimes. Being social is still something that takes some effort for me. So sometimes in the cafeteria at lunch, sitting with a group of people I don’t know, I’ll just eat quietly and leave. Other times, I’ll be the most talkative guy at the table, cracking jokes, which is something that has never really happened before.
I think part of it has to do with the fact that I don’t really have any friends in this part of the country, and I’m trying to make some. But I think part of it is also this sort of artificial urgency that hangs around sometimes, that as a person who’s graduated and working, I need to find a girlfriend and move on to a different stage of my life.
I always remind myself that there’s no rush and it’s a non-issue, but I have to do so every time the topic of a fiancee, or marriage, or someone’s kid comes up. But the fact that I have to do so is kind of frustrating sometimes.