With Thanksgiving and winter break right around the corner, it’s time for the fall semester to start wrapping up. If you’re about to graduate this semester or in the Spring, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind in addition to exams, final projects, and essays. The stress about finding a job right out of college or starting a post-graduate degree program can overload you, and if you don’t have anything lined up yet, the stress may become way worse.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to prepare for life after college. Whatever your route is, there are basic tips that can apply to pretty much every situation. Keep reading to find out the best way to prepare for post-grad life to keep your stress levels low and your goals in check.
Whatever you plan to do, the best way to keep everything together is to stay organized. If you’re searching for a job, make a Google Sheet or Doc to keep track of the places you’ve applied to, places you plan to apply, and other places that may seem interesting. You can add follow up tasks to these sheets in case you haven’t heard back, and you can keep track of any responses you may get to ensure you don’t forget about a message or request for an interview. This tip also works for applying to graduate school or any other post-grad program.
2. Consider where you want to go
In your job or post-grad search, you may want to narrow down the places you want to live in. If you want to stay in a specific industry, check where your industry is growing and where the best opportunities may be available to you. This can help narrow down your job search.
With that being said, it’s important to remember that while you want to keep your job search concise, be open to other opportunities and moving home. If something random comes up in a city that you didn’t consider living in, make sure you look into that option in case it’s a good fit for you. You can also move back home — it saves a ton of money and gets started on the right foot.
Once you’ve organized your thoughts and began considering your options, stop for a minute. Take a deep breath and relax. Taking this next step in your life is a big change, and it can be overwhelming. You may be nervous that you won’t get hired anywhere or you won’t get into any programs, but the truth is that you will end up somewhere. It’s hard to predict exactly what you’ll be doing after college, in 5 years, or even 10 years. So as you go through this process, keep in mind that no matter what, you’ll be okay.
4. Start thinking about finances
Whether or not you have a job, salary offer, or savings, you need to realize that you may be on your own after college. If you aren’t already familiar with personal finance, start teaching yourself the best ways to budget your money. If you have student loans to pay off, you’ll want to prioritize getting that paid off while saving money for your future.
Learning the basics of personal finance can and will help tremendously as you begin your post-graduate life, and the better you get at practicing healthy money habits, the more you’ll set yourself up for success in the future.
5. Enjoy your time left
College is arguably one of the most influential times of your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re dying to graduate or not quite ready to end the experience — you want to enjoy the time you have left. Personally, I don’t miss the work, exams, and studying, but I do miss college as a whole. A lot of the people you regularly hang out with won’t be in your life anymore, and for those who are, you may see them much less frequently as everybody moves to different places and starts their own lives. Take in what you have left!