The Real Life Rookie Year

The “rookie” is a special spot to be in. In baseball they are often revered for having outstanding talent in their first year of play, and gives the talking heads lots to yammer about in between innings. In football, rookies are a little different. They can throw off anyone’s fantasy teams, sometimes they are terrible, and in college they’re often red-shirted, and they just sit on the bench while we talk about how good they’ll be next year. The discussion of rookies everywhere is always interesting. They’re unpredictable. They all have reputations which are unfounded, based solely on statistics which they amassed in high school or college, and supposition regarding their actual talent is questionable, a risk at best, a tragedy and ruined fantasy team at the worst.

But the concept of a rookie doesn’t stop with sports. There are new guys everywhere (guys used loosely). Recently I’ve discovered the existence and concept of the Real Life Rookie Year (RLRY). There are a vast number of topics which relate to this concept and so I’ve decided to start another series, because I got such a huge kick out of the last one. In this one, to be entitled “Real Life Rookie Year” or RLRY for short, we’ll discuss everything an anything that comes to mind or is suggested to me as an issue for us early-lifers. But first, to whom does the Rookie Year apply? And what the heck does it mean?

Firstly, this kind of rookie year is not necessarily limited to one year or one season of baseball. It can be anywhere from 6 months to one whole year, to maybe a couple years. I consider myself currently to be in my rookie year of life, but since I’ve now been out of college for greater than one year (depressing) this means I have exceeded the one year time limit. So I decided there is no set limit. It’s the first season of our lives as “young people” or “young guns” as we’re called in my office, or “the little one” as I am sometimes referred to, or even “fun sized” like the guy at the bar Saturday called me. [JK on that last one, just wanted to mention that someone called me “fun size” and then tried to get my number. You lose, thanks for playing.]

So what else? I think to be in your RLRY you can’t be married. I know a bunch of people who were engaged and got married within 1 or 1.5 years of graduating from university. Congrats to you for real, but I’m sorry, you’re now a real grown up. Joint accounts and wedding bands will do that to you. Also you can’t be in law or medical school. These kinds of things are structured, make you study and be responsible, and you either have a scholarship or crazy loans now to help you pay bills before you bring home big dollas.  If you’re in the military and are defending our great country against all the bad guys, you’re not a rookie (just a badass).  If you graduated from college and now play for the Denver Broncos or Dallas Cowboys, you don’t qualify either. Paychecks greater than $500,000 need not read this. You’ll be just fine. If you have kids, you’re no longer a rookie. Sorry. Being responsible for another life makes you kind of legit. You might still be immature and childish, but I guarantee we won’t be discussing childcare or anything related to children or raising them in this series. Find a mommy blog. They’re everywhere.

SO. Are you unmarried, not a professional athlete, not a future doctor, employed, trying to network, and younger than 30? I can’t get you a better job, but this jank is for you. I’m still figuring it out. This is not a how-to series. This is not my advice to young people. I’m too young to give advice to my peers, much like Justin Beiber is too young to write a memoir (seriously? Can he even drive?). I can only share the trifeness, write what I see, tell you what is definitely not working for me, and share the things that are definitely worth repeating. And if you keep reading and still feel it doesn’t apply to you, then fine. Go read the news, you silly old person.

Now that I’ve specified who applies and who doesn’t, let’s recant all of that and just say: if you’re reading future entries of this and you’re all like, “omg! this is so me!” and you’re also a 40 year old professional athlete who is in med school with 3 children, cool beans. You know you best, I suppose. And high five for being an old pro-athlete in med school with 3 kids. That must be tough.

So anywho. A quick tally of topics on my head is going something like this: working, networking, not being in college, extracurriculars, drinking, dating, going to bars, being friends with people over 35, adult sports leagues, paying bills, all our friends getting married, awesome / cheap vacations, having a terrible boss, being called a “young gun” or “cute” at work, 401k, having enough money to not drink natty light, health insurance bills, planning reunions, having lower alcohol tolerance, losing your metabolism, having to pay for race entries to motivate you to stay in shape (maybe this one is just me), being the only one carded when you go out (again, possibly just me), eating Ramen noodles just because it reminds you of college, and lastly, being young and fabulous. We are the 20-somethings. We have jobs (or not), we may not like them (or not), we have no idea what the future holds, and we hope we can afford beer (or shoes) this weekend and also a health care plan. We are awesome, and we are still figuring this jank called life out.

Once again, check back every Thursday for a new installment! And more than ever, if you have any suggestions, stories, trifeness, warm and fuzzy successes, awful tragedies, or even if you’re an old guy with some wise advice for us cute little young guns (vom, please don’t call me “cute” or “little” in the office), send it to me @ Smooches!

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