You did it. After four (or more) years of college, you have actually graduated and are ready to tackle adult life. That is definitely worthy of some serious congratulations.
But while you are excited about starting your career and possibly moving to a new city, you are understandably nervous about all of the responsibilities you are about to face. After all, you took plenty of classes in college on a variety of academic subjects, but none of them covered how to be a responsible adult.
Take heed, recent college grad, with some organization and effort, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you might think.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
A great way to be sure that you have enough money to pay your bills each month is to look for multiple streams of income. Most recent college graduates dream of landing a perfect nine-to-five job with an incredible salary, but the reality is that you will probably start at the bottom and work your way up. Network with leaders of direct sales companies through websites like Twitter, and look into finding contract or freelance work opportunities with well-known and established firms. With some hard work and dedication, you may end up with enough income to cover your bills as well as a retirement account and other long-term goals.
Learn to budget
Once you are making some real money, you have to find ways to organize it and avoid blowing half your income on pizza and beer. Using an app like Mint lets you see where your money is going, and it can sync up with your accounts to keep better tabs on things. You can also use a good old-fashioned notebook and pencil to track your income and expenses and see exactly where your hard-earned money is going and where you might be able to cut back if you run out of money before the end of the month.
In college it might have been pretty easy to find time to exercise, and your folks might have reminded you when it was time to go into the dentist for a regular cleaning. Part of adulting is taking good care of your body and keeping tabs on important medical checkups on your own.
Gym memberships can be pricey but walking and jogging through your neighborhood is an affordable way to stay in shape, or you can check out some of the free workout videos on YouTube and get a good cardio workout in your living room.
Most medical offices will send you postcards, emails and texts when it’s time for a checkup, and your insurance company may also do the same. Give your dentist and phyisican a call and ask them to sign you up for these helpful reminders.
You might recall your folks spending time volunteering with causes that they felt passionate about. Now that you are on your own, make time to give back to a cause that is dear to your heart. Look into local organizations and charities that you like. For example, if you are an animal lover, most rescue groups and shelters are always looking for reliable volunteers. In addition to giving back to the community, volunteer work is a valuable addition to any resume, a great way to meet other people and sometimes a roundabout way to landing a paying position in the organization.