The days leading up to your college graduation are equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. On the one hand, you are thrilled about the idea of using the knowledge that you gained during your schooling in a new career that can help you become the professional you desire to be. On the other hand, after several years of having room and board and only needing to focus on your studies, it can be scary to realize that you will soon be out in the real world.
While it seems daunting at first, you can live a happy and productive life after college if you make the right preparations and get your mind in the right space. Consider these tips for staying healthy, finding a job, and relocating to a great place to live post-graduation.
Start Taking Care of Your Health
While some students watch their weight and exercise throughout their college years, others may not have had the time. That’s normal, but you might be feeling as though you need to present your best self to accomplish your goals. You can get into the habit of exercising every day by waking up early before your first class and getting 20 minutes of cardio or light weights. Not only will you start a healthy routine and feel better, but exercise can help to clear your mind so you can finish your final classes with ease.
Many students also live a more sedentary lifestyle during their college years, and they don’t always have the healthiest diet. It is also not uncommon for many young people to drink a lot of alcohol during this time. It’s a good idea to wean yourself off of beer and binge drinking. If you continue to drink after college, you can experience health problems, including increasing your chance of liver disease, stroke, and malnutrition.
Excessive drinking affects your body in other ways, such as weakening your immune system. Sick days are few and far between after you graduate college, so stay ahead of the game. Alcohol can also lead to weight gain, thwarting your efforts to stay physically fit.
Leaving college can be a bit stressful, so you also need to ensure that you protect your mental health. Take walks and breathe fresh air whenever possible. Get plenty of sunlight because vitamin D can put you at ease. If you are especially worried about graduating then you should talk to a professional therapist. This can be virtually or even through your school, but don’t be afraid to seek the support you need to feel better about your future.
Start Your Job Search
Even if you have not yet graduated, it is still a good idea to start your job search or at least look at the opportunities that may be out there. This way, you’ll have a good jumping-off point once you leave school. You can take little steps today, including starting a LinkedIn page where you mention your college major. While you are there, start to find connections at your school and introduce yourself. You may be able to reconnect with those individuals when it is time to find a job after graduation.
This is also a good time to start building your resume. Since you likely have not yet had a job that connects to your college major, you can instead focus on listing the current skills that you can bring to an organization post-graduation. Try to focus on leadership skills, organizational skills, and soft skills. For example, your sense of empathy will help you better understand the needs and desires of future clients.
You can also take this time to get your foot in the door of a company you would like to work for after college. Start by researching career fairs in your neighborhood. Research the businesses that will be there so you are knowledgeable when you introduce yourself. You can also contact companies and ask about potential internship opportunities. You may not be paid in these positions, but if you impress the management, then you could get hired down the road. There are many online letter templates available that can help you stand out when contacting these companies.
Look at Potential Places To Live
Since you will need to leave the dorms when you graduate college, you will want to start looking for a place to live. If the only option is to live with your parents, then that’s okay. Living at home allows you to have the services that you require and to save money for when you eventually move out on your own. Plus, with the safety net afforded by your parents, you could even try to start your own business and take bigger risks in your search for success.
If living with your parents is not an option, then you will need to look at other options for yourself. If you have a potential job lined up, then you should look for apartments that are nearby, so you don’t have a long commute. Even if you cannot live in your childhood home, you should live close so you can stop by when necessary to have a family meal or do some laundry.
When looking at potential neighborhoods, you should also research important factors such as the economy and crime statistics. If you are a member of a specific community, then you will want to do this and other research that lets you know the atmosphere of the potential locale. Some of the best cities for LGBTQIA+ folks, for example, include West Hollywood, CA., Austin, TX., and Providence, RI. These places don’t have as many issues with housing discrimination, and there is a higher presence of queer-owned and queer-friendly businesses. If you want to move to a welcoming neighborhood, look for similar signs that you are choosing the right place.
As you can see, there are many steps that you can take to make the transition from college to the real world as easy and comfortable as possible. Consider these tips and tactics, and you’ll feel better in the years to come.
SEE ALSO: 3 Tips for Realistically Starting a Business in College