College graduates are offered advice from a ton of people– parents, friends and so-called “experts” to name a few. As a somewhat recent grad, I can honestly say that I don’t have all the answers – but I do believe I have offer insight into life after college. And let me tell you– It’s fabulous. Here is some advice I can now share as I’m living a post-graduate lifestyle.
Moving in with mom & dad
For some, this thought may be incomprehensible after having spent some time on your own, but the reality these days is that living on your own is expensive, especially if you have loans or other college debt to pay off. If you’re moving back into your old room, you’re not alone– 85% of college grads plan to move back with mom and pop.
So, if you find yourself in this situation, set a goal for when you will find your own place. Having a date in mind will help you be disciplined in saving money for all future apartment needs. In the mean time, embrace the time you have with your family and the free meals that go along with it– it won’t last forever.
Meeting new people
Whether you are moving to a new city or back to your hometown, chances are you will want to expand your social circle. As a young professional, it can be difficult to meet new people to spend time with. Thankfully, there are several resources available to help you branch out, including Meetup.com. Browse the site for groups in your area that share your favorite hobbies, such as hiking or touring museums, then find out how you can join one of the events. There are tons of groups for professionals as well, which can be a great way to network with others in your industry.
Trying new things
College is typically a time to experiment and get out of your comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to end there. If you have always wanted to try something, or have read about some recent fad, now is as good a time as any to do it. I had always wanted to be a runner. So, I recently ran my first half-marathon and though I was not very prepared for it, the sense of accomplishment when crossing the finish line was well-worth the next few days of stiff legs. Having something new to look forward to once out on your own is key.
Be a savvy shopper
Now that you’re in the “real world” it’s important you keep a close and responsible eye on your finances. Being frugal in order to afford business happy hours and new hobbies is important, but don’t let saving get in the way of having fun! Sites like Groupon, which offers daily deals on fun things to do in your area, can help you find new activities or cool restaurants to try at a discount. I’ve scored tickets to professional basketball games and tourist attractions in NYC that I definitely wouldn’t have bought otherwise!
There is plenty more I could talk about, but like I said, I’m still trying to figure out a lot of the answers to life’s most pressing questions myself. 🙂 For those of you who have graduated, what advice would you give to our readers? Leave your tips in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!