Are you ready to be a real person? With graduation just around the corner, you’re probably being overwhelmed with advice and wise words from just about everyone you know, but here are a few things you might not like to hear about entering post-grad life. Whether you’re sad to be leaving or can barely wait another minute, these important points will help as you transition from the care-free college life to the real world.
1. Don’t wait around for a job opportunity to come to you.
Job searching is not a fun thing, but you have to start somewhere. Even if it’s not in the exact field you want to be in, it’s something. You can always continue your hunt for the perfect position, but at least you are getting experience, building your resume, and making a little money along the way. Any job is better than no job.
2. You aren’t defined by your major.
You were asked to choose what you wanted to do with the rest of your life before you could (legally) buy beer. You’re allowed to change your mind, start your own business, or take a job that wasn’t related to your major if that’s what will make you happy.
3. Consider living at home for a while.
Even though you probably can’t wait to live with your friends and be a real adult, it’s not as easy as it seems. If your parents aren’t kicking you out, you might want to spend a few months saving money while you get settled in the real world. That being said, don’t overstay your welcome.
4. Always be networking.
You might have a job offer now, but making new contacts is never a bad thing. Whether you’re meeting friends of friends at a party or joining a recreational sports team, you never know who you might meet. Follow up with the people you meet and help each other down the road. Also keep in touch with professors, classmates, and other acquaintances. You can never have too many contacts.
5. Save money.
Getting that first big paycheck might make you want to buy yourself that new Apple Watch as a gift from yourself, but you never know when you’re going to need that money. Nobody who just graduated is thinking about unexpected medical bills or car payments, but you don’t want to learn the hard way.
6. Take advice, but know that times have changed.
Your grandparents, neighbors, and tons of other people are probably offering you all kinds of advice. Listen to it, but keep in mind that one person’s experience is totally different than the next. Most of all, do what you feel is the right thing to do.
7. Find a mentor.
Ask someone who is in the position that you hope to be in one day for their tips. More than likely, they had someone who helped them get to where they are today and will be happy to pay it forward.
8. Don’t think things are going to get handed to you.
Lots of people graduate college and expect their life to fall together just because they have a degree. Not true. You’re going to have to dedicate yourself to finding a job, establishing good credit, and pulling your life together.
9. Realize your relationships are going to take work.
Pretty soon catching up in between classes or grabbing lunch at the dining hall together won’t be possible. Keeping your relationships that you developed in college takes a lot more effort after graduation. A lot of your friendships will not be as strong as they once were unless you’re willing to take the time.
10. Enjoy your last month in college.
Unless you’re struggling to pass a class, take the final weeks of college to enjoy yourself. Pretty soon your friends will not be living down the street from you and there won’t be parties every night. You might be saying, “I can’t wait to graduate” on a daily basis, but make the most of the little time you have left.
[Graduation Girls Image via Shutterstock]