10 Things Every College Graduate Should Know

Photo: Courtesy of LaurenConrad.com.
Congratulations to all of the recent college graduates out there: You did it! While this is both a momentous and exciting time in your life, some of you are probably wondering what happens next. It can be a bit scary to leave the world you’ve been living in for four years and head out into the workforce. So, because thinking about your future can be daunting, we’re here to let you know that you aren’t alone in trying to figure out where your next chapter will lead you.

Three of our lovely LaurenConrad.com interns walked across the stage to receive their diplomas this graduation season, so we turned to them for some of their best advice on the topic. Jessi, Maddy, and Carly gave us their best tips for leaving college and entering the working world. Even if you still have a couple years of college left, these 10 tips can prepare you for the road ahead. Here’s the best advice our interns have about post-grad life.

1. Be An Active Alum
Give back to the community that you’ve been a part of for the past four years. Joining the alumni association on your college campus can gain you access to the same useful resources that you took advantage of as a student, like the career center, library databases, and on-campus organizations.

2. The Learning Never Stops
You may have heard your favorite professor preach to you about lifelong learning, and we’re here to promise you that it’s a real thing! Now that school is over, consider taking up a new hobby or even registering for a class at the nearby community college. Learning a new skill that you find interesting (rather than taking a class in order to graduate) can be both fun and rewarding.

3. Find A Healthy Balance
Some of you will be finding full-time jobs post graduation, so it will be important to find a healthy balance between personal life and work. Taking care of yourself can easily get swept under the rug, especially when you’re at the office all day. Know when to turn your phone on silent and give your mind a break. Be sure to give yourself a little rest and relaxation every once in a while to unplug and just breathe.

4. Create a Budget — & Stick To It!
It may seem nearly impossible at times, but creating a budget is so worth it. Budgeting allows you to create your own spending and savings plan for all of your hard-earned money. Having a solid financial plan also allows you to feel as if you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck and like you're actually earning toward your future. Think of how rewarding it will be when you have money leftover to add to your savings account (or to treat yourself to those cute shoes you’ve been eyeing!).

5. Don't Quit Your Job Search
Graduating college and taking your first steps into adult life can be daunting. One of the most important tips to remember is to not get discouraged while beginning your job search. These things take time, and a lot of grads do not get their dream jobs straight out of college. Set realistic goals for yourself such as sending your résumé to one company per day, joining a local networking club, or requesting a mentoring session from a professional that you admire.

6. Revise Your Résumé
Now that you can officially add college graduate to your list of accomplishments, you can also add it to your résumé as well. Chances are you'll be sending your résumé out nonstop during your post-grad job search, so it's time to polish that baby up. Be sure to make it short and sweet, highlighting all of your best work experience and valuable skills. One page will do!

7. Learn How To Handle Rejection
Whether it’s a date or a job interview, rejection can feel extremely personal, and tends to really damage your self-esteem. Unfortunately, it’s a part of life that everyone has to go through at some point. Taking it in stride can toughen you up, and will allow you to be more vocal about what you want in the future. Most times, you’ll realize it was for the best, and it will also give you a little fire under your tail to improve. This is the way we look at it: Getting rejected just means that something better is waiting for you down the line.

8. Don't Be Intimidated
It's easy to compare where you are in your post-grad journey with friends and role models you’re following on social media. Our advice? Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end. If there’s something you admire about particular people, reach out to them and see how they made their success happen. That way, you can get useful tips on how to follow in their footsteps or how to improve your own workflow.

9. The World Is Your Oyster
After graduation is the perfect time to explore who you are as an individual and assess where you see yourself in the future. This could even mean grabbing your passport and going abroad all summer or taking a local road trip to clear you mind. It’s also good to get a little traveling done before you start the 9-to-5 life, because it gets harder to take time off when you have a full-time job.

10. Say Thank You
Believe it or not, you did not accomplish this milestone all on your own. Think of your close friends who cheered you on during those grueling all-nighters. Think of the daily phone calls and pep talks from your mom and dad. Think of the professor who took you under his or her wing, encouraging you to be the best student that you could be. Take the time to recognize and say thank you to all of your loved ones that got you to where you are today.

We hope that you find these tips useful as you exit college and take your exciting next steps. Congratulations again!

What advice would you add to this list?

Let us know in the comments!

XO Team L.C.
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