When you're in college, everyone will tell you to relish the years that you have. They will remind you to enjoy waking up late, appreciate weekend library sessions with your classmates, and eat up that "free" cafeteria food. They will say, "make the most of those four years because when you graduate, you will never have that kind of freedom again!"
In some ways, they will be right. You may put in some stressful years establishing yourself and working for the man. You might even need to set an alarm in order to wake up in time for work. You might have to do things you don't want to do, hit deadlines that seem unfair, and (gasp!) cook yourself dinner. When you graduate, you will miss the friends you made in college because, as everyone knows, they are the best friends you will probably ever have.
But, in many ways, they will be wrong. In college, there is always something hanging over you, whether it's that final you could be studying for, that paper that's due on Tuesday, or that pop quiz that could come up at any time. While you have the ability to craft your own flexible schedule in school, I would argue that you have that same ability in the real world. Time management is a skill that you develop throughout your life, and it only gets easier with time and experience. In the real world, you may be expected to work 40 hours a week (or 50 or 60 or, if you're my good friend Tim, 70) but with the right time management you can manipulate those hours to accomplish everything you need to do.
I, for one, am someone who thrives off of being able to set my own schedule, make my own work plan, and create my own to-do lists. In college, I did that with my startup, but felt stifled by the requirements of school. After graduation, I was surprised to find that the real world actually encourages me to be my own planner and my own advocate.When you head home at the end of the day, you have the ability to ensure that there is nothing hanging over you. You have made your to-do list for the next day, which you vow not to look at until the morning, and you are truly done.
No tests, no papers to receive an arbitrary grade on, and no pop quizzes. When you get home, you don't feel guilty putting in that long workout, cooking yourself a healthy dinner, and snuggling into bed with a good book or your favorite TV show.
For those of you who enjoy the flexibility of college, know that there is happiness in the real world too. When it comes down to it, real life isn't as scary as it seems.