Crib Sheets: The Professional’s Guide to Surviving the School Year

Jon Yarian

Part of Grit's "Crib Sheets" series—Your totally local guide to getting through the back-to-school season. Also check out... 


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Should you channel Van Wilder? Why college kids should hold onto their meal card like grim death



Molly Hutter/Stars


As you may have deduced from the empty red solo cup perched on the hood of your car this morning, the College of Charleston is back in session. It’s an exciting time for eager young minds pursuing a course of studies in the liberal arts that recent research suggests has almost no value in the open job market[1]. It’s also an exciting time for anyone selling Natty Light and/or used mopeds. But for us, the professional class, it can be a challenging transition. Here are a few tips to help you get by while classes are in session.


{ 1. Coffee shops are out as meeting places. }  Too crowded, too noisy, too messy, too…you get it. Kudu and Black Tap are hit hard by the college crowd, while the campus Starbucks on Calhoun now resembles (and smells like) the 42nd street subway stop in Manhattan. Book your meet-and-greets at restaurants like XBB or Fish and brew your java at home.


{ 2. Allow ample time for parking. } And by “ample,” I mean days in advance. Even if you are heading into a totally professional, college-free zone for a meeting, you can bet that every available parking spot (and curb, and lawn, and handicapped space) will be occupied. Plan accordingly.


{ 3. Don’t head to Upper King to celebrate winning that new account. } If you are going out for drinks with people you’ll have to work with the next morning, steer clear of the upper King Street party zone. A quiet celebration at Vickery’s in Mount Pleasant will mark the occasion and leave your office dignity intact.


{ 4. Take the out-of-town client to dinner off the peninsula } Fighting your way through a cluster of Kappa Sigmas only to find yourself in a four-deep scrum at the bar inside The Ordinary is bad for business. Make a reservation at Al di La or Red Drum, get a car, and dine like a grown-up.


{ 5. Don’t let your worlds collide. } Partying with college kids can be a blast and is sometimes the perfect remedy at the end of a stressful week. However, it is rarely the kind of fun that you want your boss stumbling across on Facebook or Instagram. Live your life but don’t document every second of it—you don’t want your party self to murder your career self.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a parking space for my meeting next Thursday.