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Advice for New College Grads

Wecome to the Real World, Class of 2008

While my alma mater won't be handing out diplomas for another few weeks, many colleges have already celebrated the class of 2008 and sent them off with motivational words from someone accomplished. I'm not being called upon any day soon to make one of those parting speeches, but I do have some advice for new grads who are headed into their new exciting chapter that's also fondly known as the real world. To see what I think is important to keep in mind as a degree-holding new grad just


  • Whether you decide to travel after college or move home for a couple months while deciding where you'd like to pursue your first job, keep your goals in mind. It's easy to get sidetracked by other people and their ambitions, or lack thereof. Keep yourself on track by writing down your present and future goals.
  • Live within your means, seriously. Now is the time for you to build a good credit history, so that when you're ready to buy a home in a handful of years you'll have the credit you need to get a good interest rate on your mortgage. I know, I know, mortgage is hardly a word on your mind right now. But the future should always be something you're keeping in mind.
  • Perform an exhaustingly thorough job search. You want to get a job as soon as possible so you can bring in enough income to pay the rent on your new apartment, and sending out a résumé here and there isn't going to be enough. If you can't live off the savings you've established from working during college, do something to bring in some money while you're searching for that first job. I had friends who worked at a department store makeup counter in order to sustain themselves.
  • Once you've been offered a position that you can picture yourself doing every day and will allow you to learn important skills to develop your résumé, make sure you research how much you should be paid for the job. I know that when you're offered that first job you think they'll retract their offer if you negotiate. The worst that can happen is they'll say no.
  • Embrace your independence. Live off the money that you earn and try not to think of your parents as a fall-back option to bail you out. Remember the sense of freedom you felt when you first moved away to college? You get the same rush when you graduate and establish a new life for yourself.


ayanaphil ayanaphil 9 years
Great tips. I graduated two weeks ago and I can already say that what I want and what my parents want for me are two different things. I know what I want though and I know that with the five years I was in college, I've grown too independent to move back home.
Lyv Lyv 9 years
I just can't understand why graduation is in the middle of the year in the US and other places. It's so unnatural.
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
I love the point on writing down your short-term and long-term goals. I am just figuring out that what I graduated with isn't really for me, and I have other passions that I want to pursue but my dad thinks that they are a huge set-back for a recent college graduate. I know in my heart that I will someday be using that degree and so much more for my dream job ... even if it means that what I am doing currently IS a huge set-back.
helenahandbag helenahandbag 9 years
Oops! What I meant to say was, "I'll admit, I'm giving myself a week to adjust before looking for a job, but I can't wait to get out on my own."
helenahandbag helenahandbag 9 years
Just graduated on Saturday as well. It's kind of weird right now. I'll admit, I'm giving myself a week to adjust before looking for a job, but . Thanks for the advice!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i'll also be 2009 - but november, not april. :(
JaeB JaeB 9 years
Great things I'll keep in mind for my year. Thanks. Class of 2010 right here! :)
Kazagirl Kazagirl 9 years
Booo...I graduate next May...class of 2009 and I can't wait.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
That's great advice for new grads, Savvy!
calliope calliope 9 years
I just graduated from college on Saturday. Thanks for this advice!!
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