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5 Post-College Life Hacks You Need To Know

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You finally did it! You graduated college and the world is your oyster. But, um… Now what? You’ve got to find a job, search for (and eventually furnish and decorate) an apartment, figure out how you’ll pay off your student loans and try to fit an exercise regimen in there somewhere, too. How will you ever organize your life enough to stay on top of all of those tasks? Don’t worry; these life hacks have got you covered.

1. Create a master plan for your job hunt

Though it’s tempting to start randomly applying to every job in your field that you can find on websites like Monster and Indeed, it’s important to keep track of the jobs that you’re applying for. The best way to keep track of all of the aspects of each job you’re interested in (including salary, location, benefits and beyond) is by using Office Online for free to create an Excel document that you can access from any computer, smartphone or tablet anywhere that you go. That way you can compare pros and cons between each job to figure out which would be your best option, and you can prioritize applications.

If you apply for multiple jobs, you can use Excel Online to keep track of the status of each application you’ve submitted – whether you’ve heard back, have scheduled an interview or have simply submitted an application and are waiting for the next steps. This way, when people ask you how the job search is going, you’ll know exactly how to answer for each position that you’ve applied for!

2. Keep track of your student loans

If you had to borrow money through federal or private student loans to pay for your college education, chances are you’re starting to freak out about the debt that you’ve accumulated and wondering how you’re ever going to pay it all back. Using one of Office Online’s pre-made templates, you can keep track of the amount you owe for each loan, the amount you’ve accrued in interest and the amount that you’ll need to pay each month to pay it off in your desired period of time. This way, you’ll never lose track of whether you’ve completed your payment each month, and you’ll know exactly what percentage you’ve paid off at any given moment (and how much remains). Now all that’s left is actually making the payments! Which brings us to…

3. …Budget, budget budget!

The best thing that you can do to maintain your sanity after graduation? Make a budget and stick to it! Worrying about money can completely drain you and take up so much of your time. Instead of getting anxious, get organized! Use one of Office Online’s budget templates so you can figure out exactly how much of your precious monthly paycheck to use for every part of your life, whether for rent, car payments or brunch with friends. Creating a personal budget will give you a sense of calm and control, so long as you stay within the spending limits that you set for yourself. You won’t feel guilty for splurging on that Frappuccino if you budgeted for it at the beginning of the month, and let’s face it: frozen coffee tastes way better without the guilt!

4. Stay on top of your tasks at work

Chances are that you’re being bombarded with tasks and responsibilities at your new real-world job (yay you!). It can be hard to stay on top of so many tasks at once if you don’t keep a list of due dates in one place, though. Keep track of your work responsibilities using a weekly assignment sheet, a project task list and a time sheet to be the most efficient and organized employee ever. Besides, it’s such a relief when you get to check something off of your to-do list!  

5. Don’t forget to stay healthy

With so many new transitions and responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to stay healthy. Though your new job and your finances are definitely important, so is maintaining your health and happiness! It probably seems impossible to figure out a way to balance all of your responsibilities with staying active, but making a personal fitness plan specifically tailored to your schedule and needs can make all the difference. Pair that with a customized meal plan complete with recipes and grocery lists, and staying active and healthy will be a piece of cake!

There you have it! Five easy ways that you can use Office Online to stay organized (and sane) after graduation. And it doesn’t cost you a penny! Now all you need is a template to help you meet the perfect significant other and find a new group of friends (ones that are as amazing as the ones you had in college), and you’ll be all set! 

Alicia serves as an Assistant Editor for Her Campus. She graduated from Penn State in 2015 with degrees in Journalism and Spanish and a minor in International Studies. Before she joined HC full-time, Alicia worked for the editorial team as an intern, editor of the Her Story section, editor of the Career section, standard content writer, viral content writer, and News Blogger. When she's not busy writing or editing, Alicia enjoys attempting to become a yogi, cooking, practicing her wine tasting skills, hanging out with her Friends (you know—Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe & Joey?) and city-hopping her way across the globe. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @aliciarthomas.
Allison is a senior at Emory University studying Journalism and the rather complicated major of Interdisciplinary Studies: Visual Studies and Contemporary Cultures. She is slightly obsessed with magazines and has written and edited for Her Campus since its start at Emory her freshman year. At Emory she can generally be found giving tours to prospies, hanging with her ADPi sisters, DJ-ing with WMRE and om-ing in yoga classes. Allison enjoys music, drawing, and fashion, and like most college students she is completely addicted to coffee. After graduation she wants to work in public relations or marketing, but her secret dream is to become Lena Dunham. Follow her on Twitter: @alldayallison