How to be a Savvy College Grad (even when you don’t feel like one)
by Adrienne Johnson
I graduated from college over a year ago and, needless to say, I’m not where I thought I should be. You know, with my college degree and all. I mean, some of my friends have great jobs that are right in their career path while others are in graduate school or even at home. Yet, here I am – a teller at a bank (for now).
And truthfully, there should be no shame in my game. I have a degree that I’m using, bills that are getting paid, family that loves me and friends that are true. But still, there was a ginormous amount of adjusting I had to do in order to get to this point.
Maybe you’re gravy right now and are doing your best to get in shape, save and invest for your future, and make personal strides. Or maybe you’re like me and you’re not where you thought you would be since you graduated. If so, here are some suggestions to help you get there:
If you’re having trouble paying them, put your student loans in deferment or forbearance. This is usually pretty easy to do. Figure out how much you’re spending on household bills, rent, gas, and food, and then factor in the cost of loan payments. If you can’t stretch it, postpone it. This should be a short-term solution because interest still continues to accrue on each loan daily. When you get a better paying job, get back to paying them quickly!
Get a roommate. It’s a lot easier to pay the aforementioned bills when you’re splitting them. You also don’t have to worry about buying all new furniture. Simple.
Exercise and eat healthy. Stress caused by a transition – like graduating from college – might affect you mentally and emotionally. Keep your body in balance by exercising and eating healthy. You’ll feel better and won’t dread those awkward moments when you run into someone from your alma mater.
Spend some time on your hobbies. When a lot of your time is spent on keeping it all together, it’s tough to stay positive. Find time to let your mind relax and do what you enjoy regularly. It keeps the stress down and gives you pure enjoyment out of life.
Get a part-time job. Along with helping cushion your pockets, a your co-workers at a part-time job can give you ideas of cool new things to do in your city and a work environment that’s not like the office. It’s also nice to have another form of income just in case anything happens with your job.
Continue looking for jobs in your field. Go on interviews. Continue to meet people who do what you want to do. Shake the tree until something valuable comes out and take opportunities as they come. Build your portfolio and network as much as you can handle.
Remember that your co-workers are not your friends. No matter how much you feel you can relate to them, before you share personal details about your life, imagine what it would be like for this person to know these things about you and be your worst enemy on the job. Not so appetizing, is it? As a rule of thumb, never mix business with pleasure and NEVER gossip.
Don’t forget, this period of your life is only temporary. You won’t be here forever, so do your best wherever you are, don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember that with help, you’ll be on your feet in no time!
Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana. A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings timidly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello.