For a lot of college seniors, May is a great month. They have the 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 yourself. This is a very important time in your life. Today’s post will feature advice for a graduate. I wish I had a list back in 2008 when I graduated. I damn sure needed it.
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.
If you want to possibly lower your payment or your interest rate, you should consider refinancing your student loans. There are many lenders out there to choose from. I refinanced my student loans with Earnest. I was able to get a lower interest rate, and my payment was lowered by 28 bucks. If you are approved for the new loan, Earnest will give you a $200 bonus.
For more information about Earnest visit their site here.
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. As you earn enough professional experience, you can demand higher salary rate when you move to another job. Another path you can take to work your rate up is to take a masters degree. There are online courses available while you keep your day job such as masters degree or doctorate degree whichever is applicable to you.
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
Nest up on the list of advice of a graduate is to network. Your alumni network can be crucial to your future. I wish I would have looked into mines. Many alumni have companies or are CEOs. By contacting them, they could help you get your foot in the door.
Don’t Be Afraid To 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 sad 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 of advice for a graduate 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 living in the “real world.” If you think it costs too much to travel, think again.
There you have it. Those were 10 tips for new graduates. Did I miss anything?
What is your favorite piece of advice for a graduate?