If there’s two things young people women look forward to, it has to be PGL and PSLs. I’m not a scientist, but I think I’ve discovered that they have much more in common than we originally thought.
Let’s start with some definitions:
- Pumpkin spice latte: A flavored coffee drink released by Starbucks in 2003. Lovingly nicknamed the PSL by basic betches across the country, the pumpkin spice latte’s flavor focuses heavily on the spice rather than the fruit (vegetable?) Until very recently, there wasn’t even a pinch of actual pumpkin in this fall cult favorite. While many other chains (Dunkins, McDonald’s, etc.) have dabbled in the art of PSLs, Starbucks does it best. And whether you like it or not, it’s the reason why half the items in the grocery store for the next 4 months are pumpkin spice flavored.
- Post-grad life: A stage of life some college students dread, while others refer to it as “sweet freedom.” It’s a romanticized version of your twenties, filled with visions of the great jobs straight out of school (and in your field!), Pinterest-worthy apartments, and more avocado toast than your Instagram feed can handle. While reality is harsher than you imagined, glimpses of the rosy future can be spotted if you work hard…or pick up a $10 bottle of wine after work. Your call. You’re an adult now.
You cannot wait for it to get here.
Modern society is stuck playing a waiting game. Not out of necessity, but by choice. We’re always looking to move on to bigger and better things. When you’re in college, nothing sounds as sweet as graduating and no longer dealing with frat boys and group projects. Joke is on you though, your entire career is going to be one group project after another. Seriously, you’re going to be in debt for decades because you spent 4 years learning more about patience than your major. But that’s a rant for another day.
We’re all in a rush to wish those precious years away with an eye roll and an “I’m soooo over it.” Same with summer. It’s cute for 5 minutes, but hot and humid weather make life unbearable (and most of your cute outfits unwearable.) You throw your shaken lemonades and frozen ice coffees to the wind in hopes to snuggle up with a PSL and a cable knit sweater. In both cases, people have countdowns until the special day arrives. And while post-grad life is a permanent state of being, at least you get to fall back to old habits once the PSL is switched out for holiday peppermint.
But it’s not what you were expecting.
Right out of the box, it’s either underwhelming or a punch in the face. To be fair, I don’t like drinking coffee or liquid candles. I’m also not a fan of how suddenly I want to go to sleep by 8:30 on a Friday night. And it’s not like you can call up your best friends for a relaxing night in. They no longer live a few minutes down the hall. Not to mention they’re exhausted too. Nevertheless, eventually you will fall into routine. You’ll switch out your ice coffee for a warm latte and won’t mind waking up before 8:00 on a Saturday.
You can’t get over that it’s expensive AF.
You may be working fulltime, but that doesn’t mean you can afford your daily Starbs run. At about $5 a pop, your PSLs can easily make a huge dent in your budget. If you don’t want to choose between caffeine and getting a second job, become your own barista and just buy a coffee maker. If you thought getting nickeled and dimed for adding dairy-free milks and whip cream, PSLs pale in comparison to PGL. It’s amazing how many things you have to pay for. You have the basics like rent, gas, and groceries. But health insurance, 401ks, and furniture will make you wish you never left kindergarten.
Not to mention that it’s surprisingly unhealthy.
Raise your hand if you blamed the dining hall and weekend fiestas for your poor eating habits. When you’re on your own, you’re going to eat clean and train mean. No, my friends. You will eat whatever your exhausted body can find after a grueling day at work and you’ll find yourself kicking up your feet more than you’ll attend a kickboxing class. You’re not lazy, it just takes time to adjust and form new habits. It’s easier to order takeout and eat frozen Trader Joe’s meals than make dinner from scratch. You don’t need me to tell you that ordering anything other than a black coffee or plain tea from Starbucks is your diet’s worst nightmare. Even if you try to lighten the load, a grande pumpkin spice latte is 260+ calories, not to mention more than 12 teaspoons of sugar.
But no matter what, you’re determined to make the best out of it.
It may not be perfect, but it should never be wasted. Just because they used cow’s milk instead of soy doesn’t mean you should toss your PSL in the trash. Have a mini photo shoot and save those pics for a rainy day. Like when you’re stuck in a job you hate and the only thing that will bring you joy is dozens of people applauding your amateur photography skills. Don’t have the apartment or job you imagined? Be grateful that you have a roof over your head and a gig to pay the bills. Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day. Make the most out of your PGL and PSLs, because they won’t last forever.
- If you had to give up pumpkin spice or maple flavored things for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
- What’s your favorite season?
- What fall ritual can you not live without?