Things to know before you graduate

Image courtesy of: Flickr.com

By: Madison Beckman

As a senior who is approximately two months away from being ejected into the real world, I have often wondered what life is like on the other side of the diploma. While it is impossible to learn every single thing you will need to know before you leave, it is good to start prepping with the basics. Here is a list of some ways that will help make the adjustment easier.

Become financially literate. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of functioning as an adult. If you are not already, once you graduate you will take on several financial responsibilities, including student loans. It is going to be stressful regardless, but you can help ease the burden a bit by creating and following a budget. By sticking to one, you will ensure that money has been set aside for your retirement savings, as experts say you need to start saving now, according to Forbes.

Cook something that resembles food. Once you leave college, you will not have The View on 24-hour standby, and it will no longer be socially acceptable to exist on a diet of ramen and Nutella. You should learn how to cook a few simple yet healthy meals. You will not always have the metabolism of a twentysomething, so it is wise to form good habits sooner rather than later.

How to fix things. Have a basic knowledge of how to fix the things in your house and car. I am not saying that you need to become a fully skilled maintenance worker, but you should know how to plunge your own toilet. And if you are not a very handy person, you should at least know whom to call when things stop working.

Take care of your health. Just because you do not have to hand in proof of a physical examination each year for school does not mean you should stop visiting the doctor. Learn how to schedule your own appointment and fill out all the paperwork without your mother’s help. Learn what a deductible is, and how to navigate health insurance. Also, if you somehow made it through college without evolving beyond your lifelong pediatrician’s office, it is time to make that clean break.

Play nice with others. You will encounter people that you do not like. You will have to work with people who are rude, arrogant or just plain stupid. At some point, this will happen. Perfect your “I don’t like you, but I’m going to act like I do” smile, and soldier on.

Find your balance. It’s hard when you are in college, especially if you live on campus, to make the distinction between work and relaxation. Most of the time, we settle for a compromise where we work on homework while we are binge-watching our latest Netflix obsession. In the professional world, however, this is frowned upon. Make sure you find ways to make the distinction, so you can get your work done and still have your sanity.

***

We are going to be OK. In fact, we are going to be even better than OK…at least that what I’ve been told. Good luck out there!