Since entering the "real world" there are a couple especially significant changes to which I have been made aware.
1) Early morning traffic:
Now there are several unsavory aspects to this. First and foremost, let us tackle the time. You've just dragged yourself out of bed at the unholy hour of 5:30. You are not heralded by birdsong, because lets face it, most rational creatures have the good sense to be asleep. You're probably banged your shin at least once finding your way to the bathroom, and if you're me, it's taken you about two weeks to learn how to use the espresso machine after realizing that teacher's do NOT make enough money to afford daily Starbucks.
Additionally, you're making your way to your full-day slog through creeping crawling bumper to bumper traffic, the kind that add another 15 minutes in the car for every extra minute you spend in bed. As anyone with a familiarity with NYC knows, the traffic and pedestrians around the city are some of the loveliest and most accommodating commuters you will ever find.
2) Road renovations
On my fifteen minute drive, currently about ten minutes are taken up by "grooved pavement" the fun form of road makeover that lower class highways sometimes sign up for. Not only are the yellow lines that usually grace the road nonexistent, a fun adult test of spatial awareness, but also, there are exciting three inch drop offs which tempt the bumper of your car to form a close personal relationship with the pavement below.
3) Radio Morning Talkshows
While I love a good dose of gossip and crank phone calls blasting through my radio speakers as much as the next person, when I'm flipping through six pre-set channels to only be greeted with sarcastic snipes and gripes, it can be grating. The most disappointing moment is the Jingle Fake-out, the moment when you're flipping through futilely searching for any strains of music and suddenly AH HA you've found it! I pause my spastic finger Tourette syndrome and settle in, excited for some jazzy tones, only to hear an over-excited announcer advertising GREAT DEALS ON AUTO-INSURANCE. You've been duped. It's a catchy jingle.