Having finally adjusted to working life, it has become evident that post-uni life is incomparable to student life. I have swapped “value” for “finest” and now struggle to stay awake past 1am on a Friday night. Comparison was on my mind during the last two weeks of August; is comparison beneficial?

29th August 2014

After I’d moved home, it is fair to say that I was missing my uni pals; three years went far too fast. Friday nights out with the office and a new found (unhealthy) love for retail therapy assisted the adjustment; Saturday mornings now involve a financial hangover in addition to a physical one. Despite this, weekends mean that I can sleep in past 5.30pm and all in “Ericville” is pleasant. Mondays have become a series of struggles between me and my duvet, however dress-down Fridays combined with leave-early and regular company parties mean this is soon forgotten. Largely due to copious amounts of alcohol. This became a truth, to the extent that the weekend my best friend was due to visit (what she calls) “Ericville” she was on the verge of registering a missing person; if I continue talking politics under the influence this may be required. Aside of going missing, emailing ex-tutors to find out responses to a message I’d sent two months previous was always going to be slightly awkward; some things never change. In hindsight it is evident that I had not yet adapted to my new lifestyle; I had barely registered it. Is this a function of comparison?

How helpful is comparison? In theory, comparison helps us to make decisions and adapt to new situations; which method is best? Comparison can lead to generalization, leaving details in the shade in favor of a sunny answer. Gross comparison is a problem; are the costs worth the effects? Political examples demonstrate the costs; the removal of Kosher food from Sainsbury’s as opposed to Israeli produce sent a dangerous message. As if this was going to end the war. Just before this news I had written a column regarding the Israel/Gaza situation; once again, gross comparison used the history of Nazi Germany. In reality, Muslim and Jewish leaders across Britain called for peace in Gaza, as did millions of people of different faith/religious belief/religious identity. Comparison can only be found where division creates difference; does it serve to build a bridge of understanding? Defining what you are not helps to forge identity, and comparison is merely a method used. Although comparison can help us to realize a better situation, it should be used with caution; comparing two things that will never be entirely the same can only ever provide a limited certainty. Are relationships created out of comparison’s answers?

Whilst acknowledging comparisons between life now, and life two months ago, I found myself in London for my best friend’s birthday. Life could definitely be worse. I realized that life is too short to live in comparison, and pledged that I will get over anything that has not joined me in the present. Nobody has got the time to live with the “back then” or “what if I had done this” scenarios, least of all, recent graduates. The Wolf of Wall Street and Blue Jasmine provided much needed distraction from these thoughts, and Notting Hill Carnival meant that I managed to do something social before my first paycheck. How does post-uni life compare? Well if you’re after parties and trips on weekends combined with the ability to afford food, you will understand that comparison is useless.