Post-college graduation shock is something that many students go through once they realize that the real world and college are two quite different places. Yes, there are similarities between college and adulting in terms of learning, structure, and commitment to certain goals. However, college is, at best, a bubble that keeps one thinking idealistically.
Real-life, on the other hand, provides the freedom and independence of not having someone or circumstances chart out a perfectly prescribed path for you. While this may be great, some people also fall by the wayside as they often can’t give the same level of commitment and work as they did in college. The transition between college and adulting, usually 6-months to one year, is a particularly important time to create a solid foundation and stability for one’s later life. This period is usually marked by an immense pressure to accomplish much and a feeling that one doesn’t know what they want yet.
If you’re just about to graduate or are already in this transition period, here are 10 tips to get you started properly.
Don’t Get Caught Up in “Rat Race” Essentially Racing Through Life
Grad school is a great way to keep up with the skills demand in your industry; however, there isn’t a rule that you should do it immediately after graduation unless it’s something you really want. Some graduate programs, especially in STEM courses, may provide grants and living stipends, but they are quite competitive to get into, and getting in is not a guarantee.
Instead, you could use the finance to start a small, risk-free business that may even help you be independent faster than transitioning to grad school immediately would.
Start Calling on Your Networks, Both Professional and Personal
Now is the time to reach out to people you know, including professionals you’ve interacted with or companies you interned for. At this point, sending your resume out would probably take on a life of its own, but don’t get discouraged.
Get Out of Your Current Environment and Travel If You Can
A comfort zone can be detrimental to your progress. Just like a gap year does much good for high school students transitioning to college, traveling right after college also has inherent benefits. Travel on a budget, go backpacking if you can, and meet new communities to expand your mind and horizons.
Don’t Settle for the First Thing That Comes Your Way
The pressure to become financially independent may drive some folks to settle for the first opportunity that pops up. However, think about every offer and decision carefully and how it would add to your personal and professional progress as you don’t want the rat race to have its chokehold around you later.
Curate Your Digital Life to Match Your Professional and Personal Life
Remember those posts, pictures, and comments that you’d like to bury for all eternity? Go through all your platforms and profiles, and make them up to date to match what you would like your social connections to see.
Start Tracking Your Income and Expenses
Analyze your habits, spending, and be honest with yourself about how much you use in a month and your income or current savings. This will be the best decision you’ll ever make in your adult life.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Your parents or guardians may be more willing to help than you’d imagine because they’ve probably gone through the same thing. It could be moving back home with them temporarily, funding your trip, or even providing capital for a startup. Ask for help just as you’d ask for help from a write my essay company as a student; you may be surprised with the outcome.
Keep Schedule and Habit Routinely Through Time-Blocking Your Day
College provides a hyper-segmented, easily-understood structure in student life, with the often rinse-and-repeat routine becoming somewhat of a habit. Unless you immediately land a job after graduation, you’ll have all this extra time on your hands. Be careful not to get overwhelmed by the overwhelming freedom of post-graduation life. Use time-blocking as a technique.
Spend Some Time on Charity, Tutoring, or Volunteering
College tends to make most people self-centered. Spending some time on volunteer work will allow you to give back, think about others for a change, and positively contribute to causes greater than yourself.
Find an Alternative Income Source, Even If Just a Few Dollars
Now would be the time to explore any hobbies, passions, or skills that could earn you an extra coin. If you don’t possess these, this is the ideal time to learn something new, for example, a new language.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Leap
In the end, creating the right habits right out of college, reaching out to the right people, and being a bit adventurous will allow you to keep up with past momentum and enthusiasm. All this will certainly aid your transition into the real world.