Post-Grad Reality Check: Living the Cliché

Three months after graduating from college, I feel as though I am on an extended summer vacation instead of out in the "real world." My day-to-day life these days seems like a lengthy internship with the warm cocoon of college waiting at the other end.

But college has closed both its literal and metaphorical gates on me -- I understand this now because I was just switched to an alumni email account. If anything qualifies as a rude awakening, it is waking up to the inclusion of the word "alumni" in your email address.

So I've graduated. I get it. My days of free copying and printing are over. Taking a cue from movies like The Graduate and Post Grad, I should have started a steamy summer romance to adjust with these big changes in my life.

But popular culture depictions are less plausible than they seem. Because I lack Alexis Bledel's startlingly blue eyes, it is doubtful that the quarterback from Friday Night Lights will ever fall in love with me. Romance with a Mrs. Robinson character can also be ruled out -- I live in New York, where I learned in my state-mandated driving course that eye contact is considered an overt act of aggression. Instead of attempting to reenact The Graduate, I would be better off just listening to a Simon and Garfunkel album.

Needless to say, there was no steamy summer romance. I did manage to fall into a couple of post-graduation clichés, however. Along with what seems to be a third of my graduating class, I moved to New York City, mirroring the protagonist in HBO's Girls. I am uncertain of the motivations of my fellow classmates, but there is the possibility that we were all a little influenced by television shows portraying young twenty-somethings.

But the tragedies that befall my fictional counterparts are less amusing when they happen in real life. Within my first month in New York City, I have managed to have both my credit card number and my cell phone stolen. While this could have added drama to a realistically gripping episode of television, I was in a constant state of mild anxiety for about a week until I had replacements for each in hand.

In reality it seems there are no uplifting plot resolutions to life's minor struggles, but perhaps I have been spending too much time comparing myself to these made up characters. At any rate, the other day my Internet provider company called me to ask why I had not also subscribed to their cable service, and I sheepishly admitted that my post-graduation self could not afford a television. Removed from easy access to movies and shows, maybe I will be able to live with peace of mind.