5 Things Every Recent Grad Should Do ASAP
If you recently graduated, first of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!! So many people skip that phrase when speaking to recent grads, and get straight into the "oh so now you get to join the real world" talk. No no, congratulations. You did something remarkable, and whether you barely made it out alive or somehow came out well-rested, you deserve to be celebrated.
But after you're done raising a ruckus and eating ice cream, there are some things all recent grads (no matter what their situation) need to do the summer after college.
1. Network like a crazy person
I hate the phrase "it's who you know" with a burning passion. But as a recent graduate, I know a lot of unemployed, extremely talented individuals. I also know a lot of employed, extremely talented individuals. The main difference between these two? The latter networked more while in college. But here's the thing: College may be over for us old folk (ha!) but the need to network is never going away! Use LinkedIn like a boss, go to networking events, and shake hands with important people. Get to know people in your industry that you admire and would like to be like. Find a mentor and take them out to coffee every now and then. You'll be grateful for the opportunities those connections may lead to.
2. Figure out a budget
Too many college students live paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes it's out of necessity. Sometimes it's because you spent too much money on wine and your friends "forgot" to pay you back. One way of the other, as an adult, living within your means is crucial to your financial success. Blowing the bank isn't cute...it's crippling! Budgeting may sound scary and "too adultish", but hey, budgeting could mean saving for a trip to Greece. It's all in perspective! This doesn't have to be hard; get a cute little budget notebook and you'll be on your way!
3. Read all sorts of wisdom
As I was visiting the Communications department during my last week at Canyon, saying "see ya later" to the professors I so admired, one of my profs told me to read more, because I would have more time without school. Good point, Professor Farmer, good point! While choosing Netflix over a paperback may have become a habit in between study sessions for Intercultural Communication, my ~adult~ self is bringing reading back! Recent grads should not stop learning just because school is over. Talk to your mentors and get their "must-reads" for your list! Continue stretching your mind, increasing your expertise, and gaining new information. Throw in some fiction for the sake of fun (you're a grown-up, you can do that!) and you'll be on the right track.
Want to join me in my reading adventure? Pick up East of Eden by John Steinback and shoot me a message!
4. Declutter your life
Chances are high you have a box or two (or a whole room) of stuff sitting in your parents' house. Sure, you could leave it be if mom and dad are willing, but eventually, you'll have to go through all your stuff and figure out what stays and what goes. I highly suggest doing this ASAP...what 30-year-old wants to have to go through middle school volleyball awards? No, you don't want that future you, you don't! Take a weekend and declutter your life, whether it's the stuff at mom and dad's house, the stack of college fan gear you've collected, or simply cleaning out your closet. You are an adult gosh dangit, you don't need clutter in your life!
Tip: If you haven't used it in six months, you don't need it. As far as sentimental items go, choose wisely, also make sure you check with mom before you get rid of all those old crafts, she may want to hang onto them a little longer.
5. Thank your parents
You just graduated college...you deserve a huge "YOU ROCKSTAR, YOU!" but so do the people that helped you get through years of school, stress, and craziness. Thank your parents. Buy them dinner, bring mom flowers, go watch a game with dad. And don't stop there. Give your grandparents a hug, send a picture of your new digs to your college roommate, read that book your professor mentioned and then email them your review. You've needed help getting where you are, and thankfulness never goes out of style.
What else do recent grads need to do, ASAP?! Comment below, I've got a running list going :)