The period of time right after you graduate college is filled with so much uncertainty. You just spent the last three or four years in a little college bubble, got comfortable with your life in school, and are suddenly yanked right out of it. That’s life, but it does not make the adjustment any less difficult. While we have some responsibilities in college, like going to class, doing homework, and studying, it does not compare to the responsibilities of working a 9-to-5 job.
Adjusting to life after college is undeniably difficult and it is likely going to take a while before you find a routine that works for you. Adulting isn’t easy, but it’s important and necessary in order to grow up. If you are approaching the end of your college experience soon and nervous for what is to come, just follow these 5 adulting tips for recent college grads.
1. Start Your Job Search
Many college students start their job search while they are actually still in school, but it is also perfectly normal to wait until you graduate to start your job hunt. We all have different timelines! If you graduate college without a job lined up, don’t worry, you have your whole life ahead of you. It is never too late to start the job search process. You can network and use connections you already have or you can apply to jobs online through the myriad of job search websites out there.
2. Figure Out Loans, Insurance, and Finances
This might sound intimidating, but figuring out your loans, insurance, and finances is an important step in becoming an adult. If you have student loans, you need to start thinking about how you are going to pay them off. You might need to figure out insurance plans, which will require some research. For instance, if you need dental insurance, make sure you go for a dental plan with no waiting period, so you can have access to the proper care whenever you need it. You also will probably need to open a credit card, bank account, and learn how to file your taxes—and that just touches the surface. Take a deep breath, you will figure them all out with time.
3. Prioritize Self-Care
I know, life after college is stressful, but that does not mean you should neglect your self-care. If anything, post grad is the time when you should prioritize your mental and physical health! Take the time to work on yourself, whether that is exercising, paying off bills, hanging out with friends, or creating a budget. Self-care looks different to everyone, just figure out what you need.
4. Start Saving Money
It is never too early to start saving money! Once you land a job, allocate a certain amount of your paycheck to your savings account. Having backup funds will always prove helpful when you want to take big steps later in life, such as buying a house or getting married. Open up a savings account to help you get started saving money easily and efficiently.
5. Do Not Compare Yourself to Others
Comparison is the thief of joy. We all work at our own pace, and comparing yourself to your friends and family who are in the same stage as you is only going to cause problems. Focus on yourself and what you need to accomplish! Why should you care what everyone else is doing? If your friend lands their dream job or moves out, you can admire and be happy for them, but do not compare yourself to them. It is just going to hurt you in the long run.
Life after college is scary, but it is also new, exciting, and filled with opportunities. Do not focus too much on all the stressful parts, these are all important steps in growing up and becoming an adult. Be confident in yourself and remember that your life after college is completely up to you. Get excited, freedom awaits!