Advice for the New College Graduate

Yesterday was a year since a graduated from Siena College. Ugh, it hurts even just typing those words. I literally remember typing this post about what I’ll remember most about Siena. The only thing is… I remember so much more. Now that I’m a year and a day out of college (sobs into my keyboard), I figured I would tell you a few things I’ve learned along the way since graduating.

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Expect the unexpected and run with it. 

I never expected to do so much after I graduated. I literally thought I was going to dive in deep into finding a job, land one, and then hopefully work my way up. Although that is completely true and exactly what happened/is happening, I never expected to have accomplished so much in one year’s time. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to go see different places through work and my own time. I’ve been able to explore northern Arkansas, Houston, San Diego, Skytop, New York City, Anaheim, and even new places in my little old state of Connecticut. When you start your first job don’t sit idly on your hands. If you finish a task find another one to do or speak up that you need more work. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities fall into your lap if you do this.

Don’t forget to give yourself “me” time.

After college, I’ve ended up landing a job that was an hour commute each way. The commute eats up a good chunk of my time so I cut the commute in half on Tuesdays by going to a pilates studio. This little bit of me time helps me refocus and recharge. This blog and the gym are both vital outlets as well. When you start an “adult job” you need to find a way to escape so whether that is going to the gym, blogging, or riding horses… you need something.  (Also, if you end up having a long commute like me check out this post on how to survive that commute).

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Finding a job right after college might be difficult. 

Some of my friends had jobs lined up right after college, and some of them took seven months to find a job. It really ends up being the luck of the draw when it comes to finding a job after college. Well, I say that but I applied to almost a 100 different jobs before I found the right one. I found the right job because I worked hard for it. Persistence is key so make sure you write a killer cover letter and follow up with interviews. For more advice on what finding a job is like after college read this post.

Start saving money now. 

During college, it is almost impossible to save money but once you land that dream job and you have a steady income coming in, start saving as much money as soon you can. I use two apps: YNAB and Acorns to help keep track of my money.

YNAB is by far the biggest lifesaver. You can create all of these different folders in the app so that you can divide up your new check. I have tabs for future rent (still living with my parents one year out of college), transportation (driving 2 hours each day really adds up), gifts, vacation, fitness, dining out, fun money, and reimbursement (every time I travel for work I keep track of expenses this way). You can also put goals for each folder so that you reach a certain amount in the future. For example, I’m going to be moving out of my parent’s house in a year or two so I put a goal on how much money I want to have saved when I do. Also, when I’m saving for a cute new bag I take money out of my fun money and put it towards a new folder.

As for Acorns, this app automatically rounds up your purchases and invests that money for you! I started this in January and already have $200 saved in the app. Also, if you shop certain stores listed on the account you can get money back from those purchases! This is such a great app to set up and then just forget about it. You’ll be shocked when you open it up and you already have money saved.

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If you’re a recent grad, what are you most excited about being in the “adult” world? If you’ve already graduated, what advice would you offer a recent grad? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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