There is something menacing about the words: POST COLLEGE LIFE….
Whether you started when you were just a level 1 adult at age 18 and finished at 22 or took a less traditional route like me and finished at 26 (shhhh don’t tell anyone) the thought of life after college is actually quite exciting, sometimes to the point of scary. When are student loans due again? Can I still use my discount for pizza? and the most uncertain question of all, will I get a job?
This transition from cushy meal plans, weekly social events and built-in friends to $2 checkers chicken boxes because pay day is 5 days away, Netflix and chillin’ by yourself and a text from your mom if you are lucky because you are poor, tired and a bit cold because your landlord hasn’t fixed the heater- can hit you pretty hard and fast.
But this is the phase where champions are made, post college life is when you will be tested like never before, the rewards and thus the consequences made in this period can help shape the rest of your life.
Financial, emotional and mental stamina is required in order to survive the transition, while it may seem like the perfect time to take a break it is actually the time to ramp up- everything.
Jobs lead to careers, careers lead to financial security, financial security leads to financial independence. The goal is to establish your first income source, preferably from a job you love in your field but do not be discouraged if that is not your first situation, you will learn to identify what makes a company right for you.
Start saving now, you are going to need it to own assets. Make a plan to pay off any debt besides student loans, which can start needing repayment as soon as 6 months after graduation. You will most likely need to use credit for big purchases so do your best to pay bills on time. But whatever you do, avoid payday and car title loans!!
This is the time to be selfish and establish yourself but also nurture the friendships you started in college, these people will help keep you sane. Self love will propel you through these tough times and learning to let go will keep you grounded.
Stay in a student’s mindset and you will benefit greatly. College is the end of formal education but it is not the end of learning. The only real dead ends are when you find yourself in a situation that you do not care to learn anymore about (then you should ABORT! and figure out what stimulates your passion).
Thirsty Thursdays might be your ritual but coming to work hungover is not cute, boo. You may find yourself needing to cut out activities but be sure to replace them with healthier ones- trust me the after effects only get worse the older you get. Get your girl friends together and channel a force to be reckoned with, Girl Power. 2017 is about women supporting women!
As the hangovers get worse, so does your metabolism. Don’t wait until you look like a slightly swollen version of yourself, figure out some healthy routines now. Whether it’s cooking more and eating out less, morning yoga or simply cutting out the sugary chasers, habits made in your 20’s set the foundation.
You will survive your mid-20’s, we promise!