So you graduated college. Congratulations! We bet you can’t wait for all the adventures, wild parties, and crazy stories to unfold…

And then reality sets in.

Life is nothing like what we’ve seen on Girls, Sex and the City, Friends, or any other show that depicts life for young adults in New York. But the good news is that through our collective dismay, we’re all in it together.

Here are some of the expectations for life in your 20s thanks to HBO’s Girls, and then the cold, hard reality because tbh, they are not at all the same.


Your Living Situation After College

On Girls:

After graduation, Hannah and her crew dove right into trendy, Brooklyn living. Never mind the fact that none of them had jobs yet, they’re living in the most expensive city in the US. The opening scene of the first episode of the series addresses Hannah’s need for money to pay for her apartment, and is rarely addressed again in the future. BUT HOW DID SHE PAY HER RENT?


You had to live at home with your parents after college until you got a job. And even then, you lived at home until you could afford the astronomical cost of rent in New York City — or any city for that matter. Life is expensive.

girls parents

Your Career

On Girls:

When the job issue is finally addressed, all of the girls on Girls get part time jobs. Shoshanna gets a pass because she was still in school for the first two seasons, but for everyone else, it seems like their jobs in restaurants, coffee shops, and art galleries are just ways to kill some time. Why was no one working full-time?


You work. 9 to 5. or 8 to 6. Unless you have a part time job, in which case you have three or four part time jobs (probably in addition to your full-time job) in order to afford the astronomical cost of rent in New York City.

girls jobs 2


Becoming a Writer:

On Girls:

Hannah is trying to be a writer.

First, Hannah gets a contract to write an e-book (which then falls through). Eventually, Hannah gets offered a job as a writer for GQ. Hannah even goes to the Iowa writers’ workshop to be a writer. It all seems so simple! Hannah wants to do it – Hannah does it. But does she?

Reality: You want to be a writer, but you don’t have anything published. You stay up until all hours working on your pieces, only to be faced with rejection letter after rejection letter for months, or even years. Any writing job you do get is likely unpaid, or pays so low that you need to supplement your income anyway.

You also have a 9 to 5 job in order to afford the astronomical cost of rent in New York City (are you seeing a theme?).

girls jobs



On Girls:

Girls depicts nightlife as one big warehouse party in Bushwick. Every time they go out, the goal is to get as drunk as possible. Maybe do a few lines of coke. Maybe accidentally smoke crack. Sounds great; right?

Reality: A night out usually consists of meeting up with a few friends at a bar, or maybe going to a party where you don’t actually want to talk to anyone. In bed by 2am at the latest.

Drugs are out of the question, as you can’t afford to both buy drugs and pay the astronomical rent in New York City.

And kidding aside, 22% of Americans report being under extreme stress which can lead to things like drug and alcohol abuse. Don’t be like Jessa – if you need help – get it – and don’t hate on anyone else for doing the same.

girls parties


Your Attitude Towards Life As A “Millennial”

On Girls:

Okay, so Girls is not the only culprit for this one. Love and self-interest are still the preferred storylines for most TV shows.

That being said, the degree to which all of these characters are self-absorbed is ridiculous. Hannah is so short-sighted that she actually becomes a bad friend. Marnie has no qualms about stealing a guy from a perfectly nice, cool woman. Jessa just up and marries a guy she met the week prior. Shoshanna is so out of it that she doesn’t even realize she can’t graduate on time.


You, like most millennial women, are ambitious. You want to do good in the world, and want to work towards a better world in multiple areas. You’re concerned with the upcoming election, the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change, and a whole host of other things that are more important than finally getting a date with that super-hot guy from the coffee place.

Plus, you really don’t have time to date anyone because you’re busy working to afford the astronomical cost of the rent in New York City.

girls word around you


What we should take away from this is that despite all the technological and social advances we’ve made, your life will not be like Girls.  *Womp Womp*

But is that really a bad thing?

girls better off


Season 5 of Girls premieres Sunday February 21st at 10/9c on HBO!


Jennifer Landis is a Jersey girl at heart and temper, but enjoys living life in Central PA. She drinks tea like it's going out of style because coffee makes her poop and she needs all the caffeine she can get to keep up with her toddler, puppy, and handsome husband. She loves writing, running, yoga, and peanut butter. You can check out her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or follow her on twitter @JenniferELandis.

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