This is what I was waiting for? Transitioning to the real world.

You’re counting down the days until you graduate and dreaming of the freedom you’ll soon have. No more pulling all-nighters. No more Sundays buried under a pile of homework. No more test anxiety or worrying about that twelve-page paper you have due in two days. Life will be glorious, right?

Yes, there is a certain element of freedom involved in graduating from college. It’s a huge accomplishment! However, there are also a lot of difficulties involved in the transition to the real world. For some, this transition will mean moving to a new city or state. For all, this transition will involve a complete shift in your schedule. On top of that, as you start to look for your first real job, you’ll need to put some serious thought into the type of direction in which you’d like to take your career. For many new graduates, this time can be a very daunting transition as you figure out where your money will come from, who your friends are, where you’ll live, what you want to do with your life, how you’ll find your first job…the list goes on and on!

First, know that this overwhelming feeling is completely normal. Second, make an effort to proactively help yourself through this transition. Check out these tips:

1. Be positive. This sounds quite obvious. We’d all like to be positive all of the time. But it’s especially important to be positive during this transition. If you start thinking about your situation negatively, you’ll soon start thinking about yourself negatively. And if you’re thinking in this way, you won’t be able to interview successfully and land a job. This sounds quite dramatic, but it’s true. Focus on your strengths and skills instead of your weaknesses. If you can learn to do this, you’ll be in a much better position to sell yourself in an interview and get yourself a job that will help you out of your current rut!

2. Expand your social network. The transition to the real world can be quite lonely. Depending on your specific situation, you’ll no longer have your dorm roommates or class friends to spend time with. Yes, it’ll be important for you to keep in touch with these individuals, but it will also be extremely important that you start to make new friends in your new home. Research to find out if your city has any young professional organizations, sports clubs, or other group activities that interest you. Finding those with the same passions as yourself is a great place to start a new friendship.

debt3. Make a budget. If you’re anything like the typical newly graduated college student, you’ll be faced with school loans, potentially a car loan, rent and utilities, paying your parents back for helping you through college, and whatever else may be worrying you financially. To put your mind at ease, make a budget that will allow you to take care of all of these finances and budget an allocated amount of money for entertainment, personal items, and social events. Having this financial organization in place will go a long way to settle your worries about money.

Have any other tips that have helped you through your own transition to the real world? Comment below!

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