10 things acceptable in college, but not the “real world”

By Crystal Smith

SC Staff Writer

College is a time for studying, figuring out how to separate whites from colors, and to prepare students for the real world.

Students experience a sheltered transition into adult life and begin to forge their own paths.

While students strive for individuality and maturity, there are a few things they can still get away with in college and not in the real world. For example, classmates won’t care if you are always ten minutes late or if your ringtone is the theme from Twilight, but in the real world your co-workers and bosses will.



In a corporate setting, formal attire is usually required, but in a classroom there is a more relaxed setting. Students can wear anything from jeans and sneakers to sweatpants and flip-flops. They can quickly put on a hat or sweatshirt and hurry off to class while in the corporate world, flip-flops and hats are usually not allowed.



Missing or being late for class is usually frowned upon, but it is allowed at a certain extent. Students are able to miss one or two classes without notice to a professor, and there is usually no punishment. However, in the corporate world missing one or two days of work without notice can be cause for termination.


Vacation Breaks 

Students have plenty of breaks between semesters. It can be a time to relax and regenerate the mind and body before getting back to work. In a corporate setting, there are breaks as well, but not as extensive, and, depending on your position within the company, you may not have any real break.


Eating Habits  

Even with student eating plans, there are times when the need for fuel arises and students reach for the quickest thing. As we get older, our bodies need proper nutrition, so we must change our eating habits to include eating a proper breakfast instead of leftover pizza.


Alcohol Intake 

In college it is very common to consume large amounts of alcohol with friends on any day of the week. When in the corporate world, being alert and active in the early hours of the morning is required. A student in college can skip a class if they feel hungover, but in the real world you must suffer through the early mornings.


Making your own money 

College prepares a student to find a job in the career they desire, but along the way they usually rely on their parents or guardians to help with the costs. Whether it’s for living costs or groceries, it can be a quick phone call home, but after college a graduate must rely on themselves to make a living.



Each semester, a student is required to make their own schedule and it is up to their discretion. A student can have early or late classes, class everyday, or class twice a week — the possibilities are endless. In the real world, your boss tells you when and where to be.


Afternoon Naps 

After a long morning of classes, a student has the option to take an afternoon nap to revive themselves, but in the real world an afternoon nap is replaced with a coffee or an energy drink.


Waiting to Be Taught 

A student sits in a desk and learns from a professor during lectures and takes notes in order to pass, but in the real world you cannot sit and wait for someone to teach you something. If you are struggling with a proposal or presentation, there are no studios to coach you through the process. Therefore, teaching yourself to be confident is extremely important.


Working Independently 

In college, students turn in papers written by themselves and no one else. Plagiarism and collaboration is frowned upon in college, but in the real world bosses are looking for ideas and inputs from the entire team.


It is not easy making the transition into the real world from college but with a confident attitude and a nice pair of dress pants and shoes, anything is possible.

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