College was great. You made friends, developed your talents, and (sort of, maybe) figured out what to do after you graduate.
Now that the thrill of graduation has settled down, you face one critical realization: You need to start thinking like an adult. Adapting to the real world requires some reinvention but with new habits, you can keep up.
Become independent, feel more grown-up, and build on the awesome person you became in school with these tips.
Your Professional Life
- If you’re still looking for work, research what good resumes and cover letters look like instead of haphazardly throwing them together. Typos and filler words will send your application materials to the trash.
- Clean up your social media accounts; one bad Google search from a hiring manager can eliminate you from the applicant pool.
- Worried about taking jobs outside your industry? Focus on how those positions can build your skill set for future career moves.
- While you may get away with chewing gum or checking Facebook in class, those habits aren’t appropriate in most work environments. Mind your behavior!
- Tackle debt, including your student loans. Working on them now will help build good credit, which you can eventually use for big investments like buying a house.
- Create a budget. Apps and finance websites make it easy. There are great resources to help you pick the right app to help you to manage your spending.
- Save for retirement now — really! If you have a job, look into a 401(k) or a Roth IRA.
- While you can splurge a little, don’t live outside your means; you’ll just have to work harder in the future to pay everything off.
Your Social Life
- Learn how to network. Not only will it open doors in future job searches, but you can also develop meaningful professional and personal relationships.
- There’s nothing wrong with your favorite college hangouts, but explore new places too. Try the gym, a local church, a new club, or even sites like Meetup to make new friends.
- Think about what you want in a long-term partner, even if you’re not ready to settle down.
- Try a new hobby that you were too busy to pursue in college. Duct tape art, a YouTube channel, scuba lessons — your options are unlimited.
- Learn how to cook a few cheap and easy recipes from staples in your pantry. These fallbacks will make you less likely to eat out after a long day at work — and they’re healthier than pizza runs.
- Twenty to 30 percent of college students practice unsafe alcohol consumption, and roughly two-thirds of them reduce their drinking shortly after graduation. Be aware of how alcohol affects you and how your habits may change.
- While it may have been easy to recover after an all-nighter in college, a daily work schedule requires better sleep habits. Develop a routine by sleeping and waking at the same times each day, and avoid bright lights from TVs and phones at night.
Nobody said adulthood would be easy — but reinventing yourself with these habits will make the transition smoother.
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