The first year after graduating college is exciting. After four or five years of working toward your degree, you're ready to start your adult life and career.
Life outside of college might sound glamorous, but things don't always go according to plan. Here are seven things you should know about life the first year after graduating college
1. Your Resume Might Not Stand out
You may have the experience and skills for a job, but you’re also competing with several other qualified applicants. They worked just as hard in college, and some might have a higher grade point average. Therefore, you need to bring something better to the table. You have to wow the employer, so make sure your resume is relevant to the position. Avoid cookie-cutter formats. Look into hiring a professional resume writer.
2. You Might Have to Live at Home
Like so many grads, you might envision moving into your own apartment and living by your own rules. But unfortunately, a lot of new grads have to move back in with their parents. Your starting salary may not be enough to cover rent, utilities and other bills. Moving back home isn't a bad thing. But if you're adamant about living on your own, get a roommate and share the expenses.
3. You Can Defer Paying off Student Debt
If you have student loan debt, you might stress about how you're going to make the payment, especially if you haven't found a job after college. But fortunately, you can defer paying a federal student loan. Contact your student loan provider to see if you're eligible. Although you’re not required to make a payment during this period, interest continues to accrue.
4. Save as Much as You Can Now
If you're living at home after graduating college, use this time to save as much cash as you can. You’ll have less disposable income once you're finally able to move out and get your own place. So now’s the time to build a cash cushion. Aim for an emergency fund that’s 3 to 6 months of your salary, enroll in your employer's 401(k) plan and contribute as much as possible to get the employer match. You can also open an individual retirement account.
5. You Won't Have as Much Free Time
If you're working full-time, expect to be more tired than your college days. For that matter, you might have less time to spend with friends or on personal interests. Hanging out on a workday might become a thing of the past. And depending on the nature of your job, you might have to bring work home.
6. Insurance is Important
If you're in your early 20s, insurance might be the last thing on your mind. But even if you're healthy now, anything can happen. You need health insurance, disability insurance, and don't forget renter’s insurance if you're fortunate enough to afford your own apartment. Shop around and compare rates. If you have enough cash in savings, consider a higher deductible health insurance plan to reduce your monthly premium.
7. No One Has It All Together
Don't beat yourself up just because you haven't figured out your life yet. The truth is, many new college grads haven't figured it out and they don't have it all together. Give yourself time.
Life after college is a big adjustment, but you'll do fine. It might take time to find a job, and you might not start off making the big bucks. Your situation will likely improve in the next few years. What are tips for surviving the first year out of