For every door closed, a new one opens. College may have been hard, but admit it, you’ve also had the most memorable friendships, the craziest booze-filled Mondays, and everything in between. Now that you’ve graduated rest assured in the fact that adventure is on the horizon. And while adulting can indeed be brutal, it will only be as good as you allow it.
So make a good start, and be sure you’re kicking off with the right foot forward. This checklist for the adult life is everything every graduate needs to set up themselves for success early in their adulthood years.
Business or Employment?
Most people automatically think that life after graduation is all about attending endless interview sessions and earning your first paycheck. While that can be true for so many, it’s not solely the goal to beat.
If your college or university training immersed you in business or creative endeavors, then you may be positioned for innovation. See if the business path is right for you. If you have an idea in your head that you think will be a lucrative solution to a common problem, it’s probably worth taking some shots.
Seek out funding for your small business, or start small and work out your business on the side while you are employed. So many people dream of owning an empire but can’t even dedicate a minute of their day to nurture their creativity. Staying true to your passions is essential.
The Ultimate Graduate’s Checklist for Adulting
That’s not to say that being employed is secondary to being your boss. A lot of people have carved fulfilling careers working for companies whose values they believe in. If you think you can personally and professionally flourish with the right people, then get ready to enter the world of work. Here’s what you should do to ace that job interview and start working for your dream company:
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
- Set your student loan repayment plan.
- Gather your documents.
- Revamp your social media accounts.
- Start hunting.
It’s worth noting that many companies perform pre-employment drug testing on their new hires. Even if you only smoke weed (which is common among the young demographic) and despite the loosening policies on marijuana use in many states in the US, it’s still best to be safe and rid of all traces of drug use in your system.
There are many effective detox products available in the market today for the purpose. Consult the company’s resource personnel if you consume cannabis for health-related reasons.
Graduate’s Checklist for Adulting: Stay Relevant
Just because you’ve had tertiary education and training does not mean that’s the only training you will ever need. In a rapidly shifting work landscape where demands and needs are continually changing, the best you can do to stay on top of the game is to keep upgrading.
Take courses, stay in the loop of the latest trends in your industry, and be sure to actively apply what you learn. This will help you polish your career game so you won’t have to be intimidated with younger talents. The constant challenge to adapt also makes you valuable versatile in the face of change, a skill that is deeply sought after in a system that’s founded on constant revision.
Most importantly, learn soft skills. With tested skills and an ability to communicate, you will be unstoppable.
Take Charge of Your Finances
One of the most important aspects of adult life that needs to be paid attention to as soon as possible is your finances. Establishing solid financial footing provides a buffer for financial emergencies, helps you develop financial independence, and gives you peace of mind, knowing that you can focus on more important things other than constantly worrying about money.
Learn financial literacy and start saving as soon as you get your paycheck. In this case, it pays to establish a monthly budget and set a personal rule not to go over your credit limit. This will require an intensive amount of self-discipline, but the payoff of personal peace is priceless.
The most important financial goals you will have to set for yourself sooner than later include these:
- Your student loan repayment
- Health insurance
- Home/renter’s, auto insurance
- 401(k) plan
Guard Your Mental Health Fiercely
Depression today has almost become a pandemic. In a world where it’s never been easier to compare your life against everyone else, to succumb to social pressures, and continuously realize expectations, it’s no wonder why humans are becoming more anxious and lonely.
There is no definite scientific cause of depression, but the triggers are easy to see. Be the sentry of your mind, and take everything in moderation. It’s easy to get obsessed with social media and find somebody else who has a better life than yours, but remember that life is a journey that can only be lived and understood individually. The competition is pitting people against one another when they should be working together forward.
So instead of looking down, look up. Genius artist Jon Bellion excellently put it when he said, “All we wanna know is where the stars came from but do we ever stop to watch them shine.”
Take time to appreciate what you have, and be grateful for having an aim. This will keep you looking forward to tomorrows. And most importantly, surround yourself with good people. Nothing can replace authentic conversations. The best life, after all, is the life that’s lived.
Work on Yourself
The best investment you are ever going to spend on is yourself. And there’s no better time to start than now. College was fun. But like all things in life, everything has to come to an end.
A new pursuit means new priorities. Having new priorities can easily warrant a change in perspective.
Read books. Get a haircut. Buy clothes that fit well. Find a place to live. This will help you establish a sense of independence and make you feel in charge and empowered. This will also give you the time to introspect about what you want your future to look like and how you intend to get there.
Graduate’s Checklist for Adulting
During these times, it’s tempting to get back your old habits and drink till sundown with money that you finally own because, as they say, you only live once. But that philosophy goes both ways. If you only have this chance to make this life your best, then why waste it away in shallow fantasies?
One day, you will want to look back on this day and say you’ve made the right decisions. Like finely aged wine, let your no now ferment into the sweetest yes of the future.