2016 college grads - this is for you
When I graduated in 2015 I had no clue what to expect. These are a few things I wish I'd known or done differently@. If this in anyway helps one person ease into post-college life, I'm happy I spent time to write this :)
- •Pause.Seriously, pause. You JUST graduated. Give yourself a few weeks to gather your thoughts and either travel or just relax. Often times when you aren't proactively seeking what to do next is when you get the most clarity.
- •I said pause, I never said come to a complete stop.I am a firm believer that if you aren't traveling after graduation, give yourself three weeks to relax, then figure out where you want to go next. The longer you put off facing reality, the harder it will be to jump in. If you're choosing to get a job, you better learn how to utilize your NETWORK. I'm sure you've heard this 1,000 times, but 90% of my friends got jobs through someone they knew, a friend of a friend, family friend, etc.
- •Choose your friends.This may sound weird, but trust me, you have way less time to stay in contact with people after graduation. For the first 3-months you'll try to stay in contact with everyone. You unfortunately, don't have time to do that. Stay close with those that make you better and you help make them better. You can and should stay cordial with everyone else but you lose a lot of time after graduation and need to spend your time with those who matter most.
- •Adulting is fun, I promise.I thought I peaked in college, absolutely not. Having money (but being responsible with it) makes the weekends so much more fun than in college. Sure I miss the house parties, but now I can afford to go to exciting sporting events and lots of concerts (I highly suggest a festival or two). You'll get super close to a much smaller friend group, but it's arguably a stronger bond than what you had in college.
- •No shame.Don't be ashamed if you don't get a job right away or if you have to live at home for awhile. In fact, if you plan on living in the same city your parents or another family member lives in, TAKE ADVANTAGE. I lived at home for 11 months and have more money saved than most of my friends, even the ones who make more than me. Come up with a budget and stick to it. If you start cheating, you'll cheat a little more each month.
- •You will cry. Often.Although I think I'm the happiest I've ever been. I also cry a lot. Managing money is hard, being hungover sucks, and the changes from college life to being a full-on adult isn't easy. Just remember you aren't alone. I had such a great support system at home and friends that were going through the same anxiety as I was from not being able to drink four nights a week. You'll get through it and by the time you are one year out like me, you'll be writing a li.st for the 2017 graduates.