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How to adult: 5 ways to survive the real world after graduation

Written by Amanda Nunez

College graduation is an important step for many to accomplish before diving into the depths of the real world. Enjoy the celebration while you can because, after this short period of bliss, there’s a lot of work to be done.

Joining the ranks of adulthood doesn’t always have to be a difficult endeavor. There are plenty of ways to help you prepare for this new stage of life, so keep these key aspects in mind to achieve a more comfortable transition.

Move out

Whether you’re moving home, staying in town after graduation or trying out a completely new city, start fresh by getting your own place. Create your own set of regulations based on your new schedule and start living life the way you dreamed. If you have a roommate, be sure to agree to a list of house rules that will make living together a breeze.

When it comes to filling your home with new belongings, there are several items that you should absolutely replace. It may be tempting to keep that old couch from your college dorm, but resist the urge and wipe the slate clean with a brand new sofa or living room set. Consider purchasing a matching dining set as well, complete with glasses and silverware.

You’ll be saving a lot of headaches and influencing a new course for the adult you’d like to become. Not to mention all of the gross, bacteria-ridden germs you’ll be avoiding by kicking these college wares to the curb. When your home feels more qualified to fit your newfound lifestyle, you’re sure to be motivated towards success.

Update your resume

Your awards, accolades, and accomplishments should be recognized and this is the perfect time to let them shine.

Resumes can be a tricky thing and often times each job application requires something different. If you’re not sure where to start, try utilizing a resume format guide to make sure yours is up to date and appears at the top of every recruiter’s list.

One thing is definitely for sure though: make sure you follow up with the person you handed your resume to. Be sure to reach out in a professional, respectful manner and express your excitement about the position. Other possible applicants may be slacking on this important step, so if your resume doesn’t completely impress HR, following up certainly will.

Make your social media profiles private

In today’s technological world, social snooping is more prevalent than ever. After a quick internet search, maybe the first thing your new boss and coworkers shouldn’t see is you funneling from a beer bong on your college’s front steps in honor of the four years of your dedicated, hard work. Create a separation between your public and private life by blocking unwanted viewers from seeing your social media profiles.

Additionally, avoid other common social media mistakes like badmouthing your employer or posting during work hours. By setting your profile to private, you’re furthering your ability to write your own narrative and ensuring a lot less judgment in a professional setting.

Look for a job with competitive benefits

The workforce is full of diverse, competitive opportunities. Make sure you browse what’s available in your area instead of accepting any offers automatically just to pay the bills.

Accepting the first job offer you receive could be detrimental in several ways. The stipulations that position may require can be unsupportive of a healthy work-life balance. Keep an eye out for common factors that make for a bad professional environment including unsatisfactory benefits (a foosball table isn’t a benefit, trust us), employee burnout and work issues spilling into personal lives.

Luckily, in many areas, providing ample benefits to employees has become a cutthroat industry. Look for jobs that allow remote or flexible hours, 401K matching, abundant healthcare offerings and suitable hours for personal time off.

Balance your budget

Getting your personal finances sorted out is one of the many ways to join the real world and missing payments is a one way street to bad credit. With so many new experiences going on in your life during this transition, make sure missed payments aren’t one of them.

While you may get a little time to work out your finances before student loan bills hit, it’s best to begin paying them as soon as you can. Also, keep in mind the other expenses you’re about to have as well; car payments, rent checks, grocery and gas bills — the list goes on.

There are plenty of ways to get your financial life straightened out so that you can get back to doing the things you enjoy. Start small and get serious by making a list of goals that will help keep your financial responsibilities in check.

And, believe it or not, you don’t have to do it alone! Try using a financial app to get organized and keep your finances in check. While you may make some mistakes along the way, with a little hard work and a lot of self-control, it’s always possible to get back on track.

About the author

Amanda Nunez