Have you ever thought about life after college? Many students worry about the transition from college to the real world. Entering the real world can be shocking for recent college grads who have spent their whole lives in school just preparing for this transition.
But before graduation, here are 5 essential things you should do to prepare for the real world NOW!
Start a Savings Account
Yes, we all know that you are supposed to save your money for an emergency, but while you are in college, who’s thinking about emergencies, right? Wrong! Many banks provide opportunities to help college students save. While you are in college you should think: save now spend LATER. The advantage of being a college student is that many banks wave their fees for checking and saving accounts. After college, bills quickly start to accumulate, especially in the form of student loan debts. To help alleviate this problem, Wells Fargo has a program called Way 2 Save, where they transfer $1 from your checking to your savings account after certain transactions. With this helpful tool, you can already have a head start with minimizing your debt.
As they say, “If you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.” Work will always just be work if you don’t buckle down and discover the endless opportunities in your field. After you have made the decision of what you are going to major in, see what internship opportunities your department has available. Internships are crash courses in determining whether or not this is something you love, or if you need to completely change your major. Being able to apply classroom knowledge into the actual field setting helps you get a feel for your career choice. The networking opportunities are endless, and it makes the transition into the work force easier, while also allowing you to have an edge on your competition when you enter the real world.
You hear it time and time again: “practice makes perfect!” And it DOES! Having the opportunity to study abroad gives you the chance to learn and develop skills that will be beneficial in the real world. Is there something specific you want to learn a new language? There is no better nor more effective way to learn a language than to get a crash course from a local citizen in a foreign country who could also potentially show you the time of your life. Interacting with people from different cultures equips you with a head start in the professional world. Also, while seeking employment, your experiences abroad could make you more appealing in the job market.
Not involved yet? What are you waiting for? Realize all student organizations can be useful resources. Many students find success in student engagement activities, which are generally provided on campus. Involved students have more access to networking opportunities. Clubs and organizations are the gateway in gaining experience as young professionals. Not to mention that student organizations are a great way to build up your resume. And always make sure to get help from your peers; they, too, are trying just as hard to go places, and you never know who will end up on TOP. Make those connections NOW!
Start applying to jobs EARLY! You should be applying for jobs in the last semester of your collegiate career. If you prepare correctly, everything you have done prior to this moment in college will make this step seem like a walk in the park. Dedicate time each day filling out applications to your desired position(s). Know that employers are eager to hire recent college grads who are serious about finding employment. What better way to end 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears than to have a job waiting on you when you get your diploma!
– Stashia Fore, Blog Contributor