14 Tips On Surviving Life After College (2023)

According to Facebook I graduated college moons ago! I have such a love for college students (especially my young ladies) because I know that after graduation transition can be rough. Here is a list of things that came to mind on what I would tell my post-college self. Feel free to pass along and chime in the comments! What advice would you give your younger self?

Woman in Black Long Sleeve Dress Standing on Brown Concrete Pathway

Tip 1: Financial Management for Graduates

I regret not heeding all the financial management guidance during my school years. When you’re not accustomed to having money, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overspending. It’s crucial to recognize that a budget isn’t solely for when your income starts flowing; rather, it serves as a valuable tool for establishing a solid financial base both in the present and for the long term.

One of the first real-world challenges you’ll face is managing your finances. Learning budgeting strategies and financial management tips for graduates is crucial. It’s important to establish a post-college budget, understand your income sources, and keep track of both fixed and variable expenses.

Establish a post-college budget

A valuable guideline to follow involves gaining a clear understanding of your monthly income. This includes various sources of revenue, such as your regular salary or any extra income generated through side-hustles or additional gigs that you might be engaged in. By understanding what your monthly earnings are, you lay a solid foundation for effective financial management and budgeting. This knowledge not only empowers you to make informed decisions but also ensures that you can plan and allocate your funds wisely. Unfortunately, it took hitting my head several times to understand the power of a budget. YOU GOT THIS!

Create a detailed list of your monthly expenses

This list should cover both fixed costs (like rent, utilities, and student loan payments) and flexible expenses (such as groceries, transportation, and entertainment).

Free Tools:

Tip 2: Job Search Strategies

Just out of college, you’re stepping into the job market—a mix of excitement and challenges. It’s all about having a plan and using the best approaches. From refining your resume to becoming skilled at networking, new grads have tons of opportunities and a few hurdles. In this part, we’ll go through a bunch of tried-and-true tips made just for recent college grads like you. I will share practical and useful insights to make your start in today’s competitive job market a successful one.

Stepping into the job market is a mix of excitement and challenges. Embrace job search tactics that work for recent graduates, like exploring post-graduate internships, refining your resume, and mastering networking skills. These strategies will position you well in today’s competitive job market.

Look into post-graduate internships

It might be easy to assume that internships are only good for college students. I’m here to tell you that post-graduate internships can be a strategic move for recent graduates who want to gain valuable hands-on experience in their field of study. These internships may offer an opportunity to bridge the gap between what you learned in college and real-world application. As a post-graduate intern, you have the chance to work alongside experienced professionals, further develop your skills, and expand your professional network. The internship experience not only enhances your resume but can also lead to potential job offers. Post-graduate internships are a stepping stone to building a successful career and can provide a deeper understanding of your chosen industry while helping you make informed decisions about your career path.

This is an area I wish I took advantage of during and post college. I’ve had the opportunity to have interns as direct reports and it was awe-inspiring. For myself AND the interns. Find ways to research opportunities in your industry or areas of interest. Not only will it enhance your job search it also looks great on your resume!

Tip 3: Focus on your well-being

Although I was well-informed about wellness and well-being as a health major, it took a considerable amount of time for me to place my own well-being as a top priority. Unfortunately, it was only after receiving a diagnosis that I fully grasped the importance of advocating for my health. While college culture often revolves around late nights and early mornings, the transition to adulthood entails leaving certain habits behind.

Prioritizing your physical and mental health is essential. Consider adopting a fitness routine and finding stress management techniques that work for you. Remember, taking care of your well-being is crucial for maintaining balance in your life after college.

  • When it comes to healthcare and insurance, well, it’s kind of like having your safety net. You want to be sure you’re covered when life throws its surprises your way.

  • And let’s talk stress – we’ve all been there, right? Managing stress and knowing where to turn for support is like a superpower.

  • Last but not least, crafting a fitness and self-care routine? Well, it’s like creating your personalized recipe for a healthy and balanced life. After all, it’s all about making well-being uniquely yours.

Tip 3: Productivity & Time Management

This tip is all about the art of time management and productivity – a topic that’s pretty close to my heart. This is also perfect for those who just finished college. This part of the journey is all about managing your time and being more productive, and let me tell you, it’s a real game-changer. First, there’s setting goals and figuring out what you want to achieve. Think of it like making your own roadmap. Then, we move on to time management tips and tools, which is where the real action happens. It’s all about getting stuff done efficiently and not feeling overwhelmed. And finally, being organized and productive is like your secret weapon. It’s what keeps you on top of things and turns your big dreams into real achievements. Can we say LEVEL UP?

Resources:

  • Todoist: This versatile task management app helps you create to-do lists, set deadlines, and categorize tasks, making it easier to prioritize and accomplish your goals.

  • Trello: Trello’s visual boards and cards system is perfect for project management and collaborative work. It’s an intuitive way to keep tasks and projects organized.

  • Evernote: This note-taking app lets you capture ideas, make to-do lists, and save articles or web pages for future reference, all in one place.

  • Notion: This tool is a game-changer in the world of productivity tools. It’s not just an app; it’s a comprehensive workspace that adapts to your unique needs. (MY PERSONAL FAVVVV)

Tip 4: Navigating Uncertainty

I wish more people talked about the transition after college and how isolating it can feel. It is easy to believe you are the only one struggling, but it is more common than you think. This is helpful to understand as you navigate transition. Embracing change in your career and life is like having a secret superpower. It means you’re not just prepared for change; you welcome it. Mastering transitions and reevaluating your goals becomes second nature, as you understand that evolution is a part of personal and professional growth. But it’s not all about being ready for change; it’s also about fostering positivity and resilience when facing life’s challenges. A positive mindset and resilience make it easier to tackle obstacles, learn from setbacks, and emerge even stronger. This trio of skills forms the foundation for a fulfilling and successful journey, making you well-equipped to navigate the twists and turns that life throws your way.

Tip 5: Simply Laugh

As a post-graduate, life can get pretty demanding and stressful as you navigate the world of work and responsibilities. Amidst these challenges, never underestimate the power of laughter. Trust me when I say it’s a remarkable stress reliever and mood lifter. Case in point: don’t take yourself so seriously. My graduate school education taught me that incorporating laughter into your daily routine can be a secret weapon for maintaining balance and staying grounded. Whether it’s sharing a good laugh with colleagues, enjoying a funny video during a break, or simply finding humor in the little things, laughter can act as a natural antidote to the pressures of post-graduate life. So, don’t forget to embrace the lighter side of life and let laughter be your trusted companion on this new journey.

Tip 6: Embrace Friendships That Change

Welcoming changes in friendships after college is a journey of personal growth and adaptability that I can totally relate to. Life’s twists and turns often lead us in different directions, and it’s only natural that friendships change along the way. Instead of resisting these shifts, I see them as opportunities for self-discovery and enrichment. Some friendships might not be as frequent, but their value remains undiminished. Others may naturally fade, making space for new connections that resonate with where you might be in life. Learn to appreciate the unique role each friend has played on the journey; look forward to the exciting possibilities that new friendships bring. Being open to these transformations will allow you to maintain the depth of meaningful connections while embracing the ever-evolving chapters of life.

Tip 7: Stop Comparing

As a college graduate, it’s easy to fall into the trap of measuring your progress against that of your peers. However, it’s essential to recognize that your academic and personal journey is distinct and personal to you.

Constantly comparing yourself to others can be an exhausting and counterproductive habit. It’s essential to recognize that everyone’s circumstances, goals, and timelines are different. Instead of focusing on how you measure up to others, shift your perspective to one of self-improvement and personal growth.

Use others’ success as motivation and inspiration, but don’t let it define your self-worth. Your journey is unique, and the progress you make should be measured against your own goals and aspirations. By embracing this practical mindset, you’ll find more satisfaction and fulfillment in your personal and professional endeavors.

Tip 8: Rediscover You

After the challenges of graduation, there’s a unique opportunity to rediscover yourself. College, with its structured routine and academic demands, often shapes your identity. Post-graduation is a chance to explore who you are outside of those confines. It’s a time to reassess your values, interests, and goals, and to realign them as you evolve.

Rediscovering yourself may involve experimenting with new experiences, taking risks, and diving into uncharted territories. It’s about reflecting on your passions, strengths, and dreams, and making choices that resonate with your true self. This phase can be liberating and transformative, as you shed the layers of expectation and embrace the authentic YOU.

Tip 9: Embrace Mistakes

Welcoming mistakes is a vital part of the post-college journey towards personal growth. Rather than shying away from errors, consider them as essential lessons on your path to success. Mistakes are not indicators of failure but rather integral parts of the learning process. They offer invaluable opportunities to learn, adjust, and progress. In fact, some of history’s most significant advancements have emerged from mistakes and missteps. Embracing that means acknowledging that you are exploring new frontiers and stretching your capabilities. It cultivates confidence, adaptability, and a positive mindset. By treating mistakes as valuable experiences, you’ll continue to advance your journey as a recent college graduate.

Tip 10: Don’t Stop Dreaming

After completing your college education, it’s time to shift your focus to practical steps for realizing your dreams. This is the phase when your aspirations transition from vision to reality. The pursuit of your desired career or further academic endeavors becomes a tangible goal. While the journey to achieving your dreams may come with challenges and uncertainties, it’s also brimming with opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. By setting clear goals and consistently working toward them, you can begin to transform those dreams into achievable milestones, one step at a time. Remember that your dreams can adapt and evolve as you do, and your post-graduate years are a canvas where you can work to bring your aspirations to life. Through dedication, resilience, and betting on yourself, you can transform your dreams into a practical and meaningful reality during this post-graduate phase.

Because of the responsibilities that come after you graduate many give up on their dreams. Don’t allow that vision to die no matter how challenging things get. Keep dreaming!

Tip 11: Make Fitness Non-Negotiable

While the “freshman 15” phenomenon is common during college, it’s essential to acknowledge that campus life often involves a lot of walking. As we age, we may tend to become less active. However, establishing a regular fitness routine can have a transformative impact on our lives.

Physical activity does wonders to your mental health and helps you to destress as you navigate this transitional time in your life.

Resources:

Tip 12: Rejection is Redirection

As a college grad, dealing with rejection can be hard on the heart. And when I graduated and experienced rejection in many areas where I took it personal. Rejection can stem from those job applications or career choices that didn’t pan out as expected, and it’s pretty disheartening. But here’s the twist – rejection can be our protection. In hindsight, we often see that these rejections were blessings in disguise, steering us toward a future that’s true for our journey. So, remember this nugget of wisdom: “Rejection is protection.” It serves as a reminder knowing that hurdles often lead to even better opportunities down the road.

Tip 13: Network and Build Strong Alliances

At times, your most valuable allies may not necessarily be among your current group of friends. While they are a part of your life, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of branching out and connecting with new individuals as you navigate life after college. I firmly believe in cultivating genuine and meaningful relationships. You don’t have to limit yourself to the familiar; instead, explore the possibilities of expanding your network to broaden your horizons that support your personal and professional growth.

Tip 14: Be Open

Having a vision for your dreams and goals post-graduation is essential, but remaining open to unexpected opportunities is equally important. Some of the most valuable experiences in life may come as surprises, things you couldn’t have foreseen if you only clung to your initial dreams unfolding exactly as planned. Flexibility and adaptability can lead to rich and fun adventures that ultimately contribute to your personal and professional growth.


Reminders from your millennial auntie

  • Your first job may not be the job of your dreams and it’s okay.

  • In addition to above, lack of experience doesn’t mean you need to start from the BOTTOM when it comes your salary.

  • Embrace mistakes – Know that God doesn’t need your perfect to use you.

  • Get to know you – Outside of what your friends like or the person you are in a relationship with. Who are you?

  • Heed advice AND trust yourself (God’s voice)- Your friends are also trying to figure themselves out. Their advice may not be what is best for you. Know what to keep and what to toss.

  • Love your body – Because it may not be the same in 10 years. 😂

  • Go on more dates – every guy you meet AIN’T your husband.

  • You can have fun with boundaries.

  • Don’t stop dreaming.

  • You’ll find your strength in the unseen places, don’t run from it. Your best and greatest revelations will come from there.

  • Call your parents. 💁🏾‍♀️

The transition after college can indeed be challenging, but with the right mindset and strategies, it can become a smoother journey. I hope these reminders are valuable for those who have graduated and for students on the cusp of graduation. It’s hard to pick a favorite tip, as they all have their significance, but if I had to choose, I’d say embracing the idea of “branching out and building authentic connections” (Tip 13) resonates with me the most. Expanding your network and fostering genuine relationships can open up new opportunities and support personal and professional growth.

Let’s capture destiny together,

Des

Similar Posts