How to Make the Frightening Transition From College to Adult Life

Adulting, Author: #NAMB Guest Author

Making the transition from college life to adult life can be difficult, especially if you were one of the partiers who stayed up all night and then crammed for the exams in the final hours. Adult life may seem like it is fun, but it’s filled with responsibilities, stress and sometimes even anxiety as you learn to handle all types of situations on your own. But, there are some ways to make transitioning from college life to adult life just a little bit easier for you.

Cut back on parties
In your college days, you may have partied from dusk till dawn, but those days are now just a distant memory. As you enter adult life, you do not want to party that entire time because, after all, you do have to wake up and go to work in the morning. While you do not have to stop partying altogether, you should at least not party throughout the week. Save it for the weekend when you can go out and enjoy the company of your friends. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a cold one on Wednesday night, you should do so in moderation to ensure that you can still handle your responsibilities in the morning. You’ll save money, too!

Get on a routine
Not everyone can be on the same routine, so you need to figure out what works for you and stick to it. While you do not have to plan your day down to every minute of every hour, you should have an idea of when you need to do things. For example, you go to bed every night between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. and you wake up every morning between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. The more you stick to a routine, the more time you will have throughout your day. Make sure you plan for time to exercise, laundry and other activities that may be part of your daily life.

Keep your home free from clutter
If you have a lot of clutter in your home, it can cause you to feel anxious and distract you from the things that you need to do. Take some time to clean up that clutter and keep your home as organized as possible. The less clutter the better. If you never knew that clutter could affect you, a 2011 study out of the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute showed that when people are surrounded by stuff they do not want or need, it has a negative effect on the brain’s ability to process information and focus.

Turn off the electronics
From smartphones to TVs, electronics exist in just about every home. While you may have been stuck to the side of your phone in college, now that you have transitioned into the adult world, you need to make sure you unplug these devices and take time for yourself. Too much time on electronic devices can negatively impact your mind and ability to focus on the things you need to. Step away every day for about an hour or two and do something that you want to do. Some great activities to consider include walking, heading to the gym, reading a book or even interacting with your friends in a face-to-face setting.

Get your student debt under control
Did you know that the average graduate in the Class of 2017 has over $20,000 in student debt? If you are anything like me, you are probably trying to wrap your head around your student loan bill. Student loans can be complicated. But the first thing you should do is create a spreadsheet where you document the different types of student loans you have. Do you have federal student loans? What about private student debt? What is your interest rate? In your spreadsheet, you should outline the type of student loan, interest rate, monthly payment and total interest cost. Next, setup auto-pay so that you never make a late payment. Lastly, don’t be afraid to prepay student debt. Both federal and private educational loans do not have prepayment fees.

You’ll have to take care of yourself
In your college life, you were used to your friends waking you up, having someone always by your side and being able to eat ramen noodles in your dorm. Now that you no longer live in your dorm room, you are responsible for yourself and taking care of yourself. This means that you will need to grocery shop and cook food day in and out to make sure you receive your nutrients and stay hydrated. In addition, you will have to worry about waking yourself up for work in the morning because there will be no one else nearby to do it for you. The things that you were once used to in college are now going to be things that you must do on your own.

Once you graduate college, a lot is going to change as you transition into the real world. It is important that you not only understand what to expect, but that you are ready to make the changes necessary to help you grow and prosper in your new adult life. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you will be responsible for your actions and also responsible for making sure that you show up to work every day and handle all of your obligations — something you may not have needed to do in college.


About the Author:

Lauren Davidson is a millennial transitioning from college to adult life, working to pay down her student loan debt through freelancing.


What I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

There I was, a glimmer-eyed college graduate excited about the world before her…

JK who am I kidding, I was petrified. I loved college, and I didn’t want to leave.

I guess it hasn’t been that bad since I left. I am beyond grateful for my job, I continue to utilize my vacation days, and I even have a couple of side hustles.

But, that doesn’t change the fact that I had no clue what was next when I got my diploma in my hand. And if you’re a recent college grad who also doesn’t know what’s next, well, that’s normal. Here are some things I wish I knew then though, and hopefully it helps you too.

You don’t need to have your life planned at 22 
I was such a different person at 22 years old than I am now in my later 20s. You think differently, you act differently and you have such a different perspective on life. Plus, as much as we want to have control over this thing called life, we don’t. We’re here for the ride, folks, and to see where life takes us.

Take advantage of (appropriate) opportunities in your path
Don’t think that anything is below you. You never know what the experience will teach you, or who you may meet while doing it. Everything can be a resume or cover letter enhancer, if you word it right. You’re still young, there’s plenty of time to change careers or move on to something else if this opportunity doesn’t work out.

Utilize your social media 
And no, I don’t mean this in terms of using it to keep in touch with your college friends. Use it to network. Engage in conversations with people in your field. Look for great opportunities you can act on. Show off your knowledge on a specific subject. And, of course, college graduation is a perfect time to untag yourself and delete all of those pictures from a frat party.

It’s okay to take time off
You may feel pressured to, but you don’t have to go right into working 9-5. Take the summer off. Travel. Go to the beach. Lounge around the house. You just worked your butt off to get a degree — you deserve it.

You will get rejected
And it’ll suck. The job hunt in general sucks. You’ll ask yourself why all your friends are getting jobs, but you’re not. This is all normal. We all get rejected. It just means that the job wasn’t meant to be, cliche but true. Remember, a career doesn’t define you.

You will miss college, and that’s okay
But at the same time, you’ll see which friendships are meant to last; who you’ll still see after being out of college for four years. But, instead of being wasted together at 3a.m.,  you’re now drunk at 6p.m. at Happy Hour… and that’s okay.