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What to expect your first year out of college
Your first year out of college might sound like a scary time, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what you’re up against. As a recent college graduate I’m facing some obstacles, but for the most part embracing what lies ahead. In the same situation? This advice might ease the transition from student to post-grad life.
It’s easy to think you have a ton of money when you get your first job. News Flash: you probably don’t. If you are living at home with mom and dad, your financial situation may be a little easier, but if you are living on your own -think again.
Making a budget is hugely important to see where your paycheck really needs to go every month. (Not all of it will be in your pocket). Consider the following:
- Laundry (if not included in apartment)
- Cell Phone
- Car Payment
- Gas Money
- Student Loans
- Gym Membership
- Health Costs
Once the allotted money is set aside for all of your expenses, whatever is leftover can then be used for fun money or savings. I recommend saving at least part of every paycheck for future or unexpected bills and emergencies.
Apps, such as MINT, can help you manage your finances right from your smartphone.
You may have previous work experience and internships, but if you don’t, all the more reason to do your “homework”. This NY Times article offers real life first job experiences. Some tips you should gain from the article are:
- Invest in a professional wardrobe
- Take initiative
- Remember you don’t know everything
Don’t forget that being professional applies to both in the office and outside the office. If you have social media accounts-make sure they’re appropriate.
The reality is post-grad life can cause a lot of stress. It is important to keep in touch with friends and do the things that make you happy. Just like in college when you select a major based on what you enjoy, the job that you accept should make you happy too. It is important to find passion in what you are learning. You won’t be happy if you spend your life doing things you hate. Check out this link from Lifehacker.com about choosing a career you actually like.
The University Herald outlines 7 Tips to Thrive in Your First Year out of College. These tips stood out to me:
- Don’t apply to jobs that won’t make you happy
- Avoid stressing about your major and GPA
- Don’t fear the unknown
They’re important tips to remember. It is inevitable to stress about post-grad life, but you can’t let it get the best of you. The future is going to come and the best you can do is be open-minded and ready for new opportunities and adventures that come your way. This time will soon be gone and you’ll have responsibilities that don’t allow the flexibility you enjoy now. Stay alert and have fun.
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