28 Things Every College Graduate NEEDS to Know

POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich
POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich

Graduating from college is your first (and biggest) leap into adulthood. After four years of filling your head with as much knowledge as possible, it's time to take what you've learned and apply it to the real world. If you're graduating from college soon, make sure to read these important tips that will help you transition as easily as possible.

  1. Never give up on finding a job. You may not get your dream career right away, but that doesn't mean you should stop looking. Job hunting often takes time.
  2. Find mentors who can guide you. Whether it be an old professor or family member, it's good to have someone who can be there to give you advice.
  3. Update your résumé. It's important to have a clean résumé that stands out among the rest — have a few people look over yours and be open to suggestions.
  4. Don't forget to start saving money. You never know when an unexpected expense might come up. You will want to be prepared for anything, including future investments.
  5. Network with anyone and everyone. Down the road, one of your connections could have an opportunity for you. Network with anyone you meet; they can help you in the future.
  6. Learn about 401(k) plans. You should start putting money in a 401(k) as soon as possible, so learn about the benefits of it and why it's so important.
  7. Be proud of your skills and don't be afraid to talk about them. Nobody will know how amazing you are if you don't let them know! Don't be shy.
  8. Clean up all your social media. Those party pictures from college? It's time to get rid of them. Employers can and will look at your social media accounts — it's a guarantee.
  9. Don't let your entire life revolve around work. Work-life balance is so incredibly important. You have to find the right balance — don't be at the office all night.
  10. Invest in a suit. It seems like a boring purchase, but you'll be shocked by how useful it becomes. Having it handy for interviews and meetings will be a huge relief.
  11. Keep your relationship with your family strong. As you get busy with transitioning into adulthood, don't forget about the people who got you there — your family! They're your permanent support system.
  12. Even though you've finished college, you still have so much to learn. Having a degree doesn't mean that you know everything.
  13. Read up on the company culture of your new job. Each company will have specific expectations and behaviors that you should understand and embody. It's important to show that you care about your job.
  14. Don't text on the job. It looks unprofessional to constantly pull out your phone and respond to texts. Wait until a break or lunch to catch up with friends, unless it's an emergency.
  15. Take care of your mental health. If you need help, take care of yourself before things get worse. Your top priority should always be your well-being.
  16. Remember to keep doing things that make you happy. Don't sacrifice your favorite exercise class or a mani-pedi because something else is worrying you. Take the time to do things that boost your mood.
  17. Keep in touch with your friends. Life gets hectic, and regularly hanging out with friends can get harder. Set aside time to spend with your pals.
  18. Learn how to make coffee. Trust us, you'll need it often.
  19. Use your college as a resource. Most colleges are more than happy to help their grads with connections and opportunities. They want you to succeed.
  20. Understand your work benefits. Make sure to speak with your Human Resources managers about health and dental insurance. Some companies even provide vision coverage.
  21. Establish and build good credit. You'll need it for renting or buying a home, car, or any other big purchases.
  22. Look after your physical health. Eat right and take care of your skin. You'll thank yourself later.
  23. Find the best place to live for you. You pretty much have the option to go anywhere you want after college. Choose the place that best fits your needs.
  24. Read for pleasure. Because you certainly didn't get to do so in college — it was all assigned homework. Pick something you're excited to read.
  25. Don't put off paying college loans. You can't ignore that you owe money; it won't magically disappear. Even if you have to pay them back in small doses, do it as soon as you can.
  26. Understand both social and fiscal politics. It's your duty to educate yourself on the policies and laws that will affect your entire life. It also makes voting so much easier.
  27. Learn how to cook well. No more Easy Mac and microwavable pizzas. Fuel yourself with food you prepare and create yourself. Your body will thank you.
  28. Know that everything gets a little easier. This is a tumultuous and pivotal time of life! You're still learning, and that can be tricky. Once you get the hang of things, you'll be a pro at adulthood, we promise.

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POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich