As a recent graduate living in the city of students (AKA Boston), I get jealous on September 1st when all those moving trucks start invading.

Now I’m not talking about your everyday, “Damn I wish my hair curled like that,” kind of jealousy. This is a deep-seeded, grudge-filled jealousy that completely masks my undying love for foliage, pumpkin spice anything and apple picking.

The fact of the matter is, I just want to go back to school. Sept. 1, better known in Boston as Allston Christmas (named for the hordes of boxes, forgotten mattresses and very well-used couches that take up residence on the sidewalks outside apartments in Allston as old students move out and new students move in), is both the best and worst day every year.

On the one hand, fall means less humidity, beautiful sunsets, changing foliage, and an excuse to wear boots and scarves without having to trudge through snow. On the other hand, it means all these bright-faced, eager students get to pick out their classes, learn new things, meet new friends and generally enjoy the best of life with about a third of the responsibility while I get to work.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of things that happen when you’re in college that really should happen in the “real world.”

1. Mid-day naps

Everybody needs their rest! There is nothing quite as awesome as coming home from class and just crushing a nap. I became a very successful napper in college (and by successful I mean I was really good at getting into bed and not so good at getting out…) and it is my belief that I’d be a much better journalist if I was allowed a 20 minute nap each afternoon. I’m not asking for a lot, just a little snuggling and snoozing to reset the battery.

2. Free food

Okay, I realize it wasn’t actually free. But it felt like it. And, sure, now I have the ability to bring my own lunches or buy whatever I want from a hundred different choices of restaurant in the city, but that burrito bowl from Boloco is worth like two-and-a-half Starbucks coffees and I just can’t handle either of those facts.

3. Summer

Does anybody else just really miss summer? The long days on the beach, late nights getting ice cream, sleeping in until any hour. Even summer jobs were a breeze because it was SUMMER and everything was wonderful. I went to the beach one week this summer. One. Week. I grew up on an island. This is unacceptable. And if you are one of those lucky people who gets to take those elusive “summer Fridays,” get out of here with your nonsense.

4. The syllabus

Hear me out, here. As much as it sucked to flip through the thousand-page syllabus on the first day of classes, that was all of the work you had to do for the entire semester. That was it. Can you imagine if when you started your job you were given a syllabus and all you had to do was those things on the list? No surprise board meetings or late-night projects, no impromptu trainings or mundane work trips. Think of all the stress-free time you could spend doing literally anything else!

5. Learning new things

In my line of work, you learn something new every day. Usually more than one new thing. But typically it’s all the same type of information. I miss having the opportunity to take classes completely unrelated to journalism, to learn things to simply expand my mind and make me think instead of just preparing me for my career. (Shout out to Ithaca College, where you could take “History of Life,” better known as the “Dinosaur Class.” That was a real thing.)

What really gets me is I think I’ve reached the point where I’m no longer a post-grad and that is not okay. Now, I’m just a regular old “young professional,” commuting on the train with all the other “young professionals,” begrudging the people who walk too slow down the sidewalk and bolting out to grab lunch in my free 20 minutes, crossing the street while answering work emails on my phone.

September promises crisp breezes and snuggling, and the bittersweet ending to a hot and sunny summer. Now it’s a more comfortable commute and planning weekend trips to enjoy the foliage.

All those Allston Christmasers don’t know how good they have it.


Gillian is a videographer by day and a writer by night. A native of Boston, MA, she is a loyal Red Sox fan, company member of DanceWorks Boston, and lover of baked goods. She does not eat ketchup.

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