Two years later and it is still surreal to me that I really graduated college and received a degree. I honestly don’t remember who the commencement speaker was nor what they were saying because all I could think was I am a college graduate now, so what’s next? In school, we hear professors tells us what you learn in class will prepare you for the real world. Well, I wish someone would have also let me know that you need to take advantage of these six months post-graduation. Check out some tips to help you after the graduation jitters are gone:
1. RELAX!!! Like Drake said “ We made it”
Take a minute and reflect on this major accomplishment on receiving your degree. You can start reading for pleasure now. Try that new hobby you wanted to try, but couldn’t because your class starts the same time. This is the time where you figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. Enjoy this time of uncertainty.
2. Start Saving for Student Loans
You have a 6-month window before student loans become your frenemy (friend and enemy). Start placing $15 to $50 aside weekly or each paycheck to get ahead on your loan payments. Overall, Forbes explains that by saving now you are “reducing debt and saving for your future – and most importantly, starting early.”
Take advantage of your university’s alumni. Attend alumni networking events and network. Alumni are there to help recent graduates so don’t be scared to reach out to someone to learn about their success and career. I truly wish I would have taken advantage of my alumni during my undergrad, but luckily, I am still in graduate school so I’m constantly reaching out to connect with alumni. Create or update your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts so that it is professional. If you are located in D.C., Maryland, or the Virginia area, you can register for The 2017 Amazon HBCU CONNECT Hiring & Networking Event for black representatives to meet with representatives from Amazon.
If you are planning to attend graduate school, you should take the required entrance exams ASAP. A graduate is a little different from your undergraduate career so please pay attention to all of the required documents. Also, check with your potential graduate school to see if they exempt students for having a certain high GPA. Be aware of exam dates for the GMAT and GRE.
5. Travel! Travel! Travel!
If you have not heard the saying, “travel while you are young.” Travel now before marriage, kids, and before your career starts to climb. Don’t worry about money, just save smart and travel smart. Check out Airfordable where it allows you to book your flight now and set up a payment plan for later. I tried it and it works especially if you want to pay when your check comes weekly or bi-weekly.
Originally blogged on Campus Lately