Now that the spring semester is coming to an end for most college students, graduating seniors have to prepare for the real world, aka actually being an adult. As a society, we have way too many expectations for the just-out-of-college life. You don’t need to land your dream job while living in the most aesthetically pleasing apartment with the best roommates ever right after you graduate.
With that being said, there are still some things you should probably do before you finally get that diploma — you don’t want to give up everything you’ve worked so hard for the past few years.
Graduating college is a big change, especially if you lived at school. You will no longer be surrounded by people your age 24/7. Instead of frat parties and studying for finals, you’re going to have bills to pay and a 40-hour workweek.
Here are some things you should definitely do before you graduate college in order to prepare for the real world.
Figure Out Loan Repayment Options
If you got through college with the help of student loans, then you have to start figuring out how you’re going to pay them back. Depending on what type of loans you took out, you probably have a grace period of a few months before you have to start paying them back. Before it’s too late, you should figure out how much time you have and what your monthly payments need to be. Knowing how much you have to spend on bills each month can also help you budget your other expenses.
Phase Out Your School Email Address
During your four years of college, give or take a few semesters, you’ve probably gotten comfortable with your .edu email address—after all, being a student often comes with a ton of perks and discounts. (Like Spotify and Amazon Prime!) Unless you’ve been extremely organized about what email you sign up with on websites, then this should be a priority.
Go through your inbox and every time you see an important message, be sure to change the email address associated with your account. Think: important newsletters, bank accounts, credit cards, Amazon and other retailers, etc. If you don’t already have a professional email address, now would be a great time to make one! Unfortunately, you can’t use x0CuTiiePiE0x when you’re trying to be A Real Adult™. Instead, opt for something as close to your full name that’s available.
Make a Timeline and Set Goals
Don’t get sidetracked by your new, school-free life. You need to set realistic goals for yourself if you plan on getting somewhere besides your parents’ basement. (Just kidding, there’s no shame in living at home to save money. But, you get the point.)
Maybe you want to apply to 10 jobs every week and find an apartment to rent before September. You’ll be so much more likely to actually reach your goals if you give yourself deadlines and write them down.
Make Good Use of Your Time Off
Was there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time? Whether you dream of traveling the world, volunteering to help animals or starting your blogging career, now’s your chance. It’s one of the only times of your life that you’ll have zero commitments, so take some chances. Like a wise person in my life once said, you have the rest of your life to work. A few months without a job after school won’t kill you.