For a lot of college seniors May is a great month. They have to opportunity to walk across that stage and get their degree. The years of hard work have finally paid off. You are now a college graduate! Be proud of yourselves. This is a very important time in your life. I want to share with you today 10 things new college graduates should know. I wish I had a list back in 2008 when I graduated.
Things get real.
This might sound cliché, but it is the truth. Things really do get real now. You’re a college graduate and you’re officially an adult. There are a lot of decisions that you have to make now such as your living arrangements. If you went to school in another city do you stay there or go home? If you stay there do you have an apartment yet? Will you have a roommate? Will the bills be in your name? Do you have the money if you need to put down a deposit? Those are just a few of the questions that new grads should ask themselves.
If you took out student loans, they will need to be repaid. Around November you should get your first statement from your lender. Do not look at that bill and throw it away. I know everyone isn’t able to make that first payment, but at least try to work with them. Most loan companies will allow you to get a deferment or forbearance if you are having financial difficulties. There is nothing wrong with having to do that. I’ve done it before. Just make sure you start applying something to the student loan though.
You have the college degree but….
You have the college degree, but now you don’t have a full-time job. You will eventually get it if you keep applying. In the meantime don’t be too arrogant or uppity to work a $9 – $10 an hour job. Any money coming in to help you pay those bills off is good. Remember that the $9-$10 job is only temporary. Better days will be coming soon.
Don’t become a career student.
Don’t just keep going to school if you don’t know what you want to do. Getting multiple degrees and having a plan is one thing, but staying in school because you’re trying to keep your loans deferred or because you’re lost in life is another thing. Being a career student makes you have more debt. Eventually you will have to graduate and do something with your life.
Make an impact at your new job.
If you have a job after graduation, make an impact early. Come to work on time every day. Make sure you do a good job on your work assignments. Be helpful. Those are the type of things that will get you noticed. It could lead to more income and more opportunities within the company.
Network with alumni as much as possible.
Your alumni network can be crucial to your future. I wish I would have look into mines. Many alumni have companies or are CEO’s. By contacting them, they could help you get your foot in the door.
Move back with your parents.
There is nothing wrong with moving back in with your parents for a little while after graduation. Times can be tough. If they allow it, you could stay with them until you get on your feet. Staying with your parents will allow you to save money and get adjusted to life after college.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a plan.
If you don’t have a plan don’t worry. A lot of people would like for you to think that they always had a plan in life after college. Don’t get me wrong some did, but a lot didn’t. Don’t feel bad or stressed out. Hell, I didn’t have a plan until a year or so after school. I was just happy to graduate .
Don’t give up!
Things might not always be the easiest for you once you graduate, but don’t give up. For some including myself going from college life to life after college was a major adjustment. There will be some bumps in the road. That shouldn’t deter you though. Things will eventually work out for you.
Enjoy the moment.
The final item on this list is to enjoy the moment. Unless you decide to go to Grad school this will probably be the last time that you will ever graduate. Enjoy it! The summer after I graduated I went to Las Vegas, Florida and New York. I had to live it up. College wasn’t easy so I wanted to celebrate the fact that I received my degree. If you have the opportunity take some time to travel and enjoy yourself before you have to start life in the “real world”. If you think it costs too much to travel think again. This article gives you tips on how to travel on a budget. If traveling isn’t your thing find a different method, but make sure you enjoy the moment.
There you have it. Those were 10 things new college grads should know. Did I miss anything? What 1 thing do you wish you would have known when you 1st graduated?