Chapter 1 Naive in New York This was me: Wait, I just graduated from college? No more classes? That was my last test? Does this mean I can't do what other college kids are doing now? I want to be with them, eating filth, drinking filth, and living in filththat's my life. I can't stop doing that. Every day, 99-cent hot dogs, 99-cent beers, and 99-cent toilet paper. The 99-cent store rules! I can't leave. Oh man, what about the girls? So many girls! Some of them are actually attracted to me, even with my complete disregard of normal bathing and laundry habits. You know how a shirt is either clean or "college clean"? That's me every day: college clean. Haven't shaved since Easter, either. I am living the perfect life. I am within a short walk of every single friend of mine, not to mention every single bar, and on top of all that, I am financing this utopian lifestyle on my meager income from coaching basketball at the Y. I don't want to get a real job. There are worse lives for sure, but none that I can think of that are better. Damn, I should have stretched this out for five years like everyone else. What the hell am I going to do now? I can't be that guy who sticks around college for no reason. I mean, I can be, but I don't want to be. I hate that guy. Barb the guidance counselor says to go get a real job. Yeah, thanks, Barb. My parents must have called her and fed her that line. A real job? Doing what? It's not like she does anything great. Honestly, I didn't know what my major was until my second to last semester of college. I finally settled on management of information systems. What the Fran Tarkenton is an "information system"? And why does it need managing? That's what I'm majoring in? Barb told me that if I changed my major, I wouldn't be able to graduate in four years. So I'm stuck with it. Luckily, my older friend Clay majored in MIS too, and he coached me through my last two semesters in college. He explained that my major was about computersdatabases, specificallyand that I'd make big money once I was done with school. I decided I could live with that. Like most business students, the prospect of a huge salary could motivate me through anything. I finally graduated two semesters later and was thrown headfirst into full-fledged adulthood. Adulthood is bizarre! All of a sudden I was above couch surfing, started caring about the weather forecast, and was drinking microbrews. What the Fran Drescher was happening to me? I was turning into my dad! Or even his dad. But that's what real jobs do to you. You start earning something above minimum wage for once, and you start thinking like an adult. I had been so happy being a broke guy with an open schedule. Hell, everyone was broke and had an open schedule. Now that I had a job, I couldn't plan anything with anyone. I had entered this whole new world of regular working hours and paychecks. It took considerable self-discipline and self-control for me to handle this awkward transition. Once again, my buddy Clay helped me through it. It took many beers (microbrewed beer), but I got over it. My first real job after college was in Atlanta, building computers for a family friend. It didn't pay a whole lot, but it had perks. No dress code, you say? Then college clean it is! Although I wasn't making big bucks, the job allowed me to buy time to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Believe me, living in my mom's basement (which was the current state of affairs) was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. On my drive to work every day, I would strategize about where my life should go. Rock star? Fireman? Evil genius?Corey, Alan is the author of 'Million Bucks by 30', published 2007 under ISBN 9780345499721 and ISBN 0345499727.