By the end of this month, thousands upon thousands of college students will have snatched their diplomas from the hands of their school president, thrown their caps into the air and patted themselves on the back for graduating.
But the minute they walk off the stage, the real word will be waiting on them with a handful of bills, hard decisions and disappointments.
Here are eight tips that should help new graduates make the transition to working class stiff a little easier.
1. Pizza is no longer your only option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You have to eat actual meals at some point. "College graduates, you’ve heard many speeches about how your degree marks your entrance into the “real” world," said the writer of 10 go-to recipes for new college grads. "And while this real world means exciting things such as your career, your future, and your own place, it also includes less exciting things such as, well, “your own responsibility to feed yourself.”
2. Knowing every character from "Game Of Thrones" is not a skill set to list on resumes. Make sure it highlights skills that can actually help you get a job. "t's deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it," Peter Vogt wrote in Avoid Top 10 Resume Mistakes. "So prevention is critical, whether you're writing your first resume or revising it for a mid-career job search."
3. The moment you start calling your parents roommates, you've overstayed your welcome. Find your own place to live as soon as you can. Living at home may save money, but nothing makes you feel less like an adult. According to Gallup.com, 14 percent of adults between the ages of 24 and 34 report living at home with their parents.
4. Cargo shorts and sandals are only work attire if you work at Google or a place that sells surf boards. The old saying “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” still applies today. However, Millennials have changed the way employers see dress codes, according to Forbes.com.
5. Don't borrow money to buy the newest pair of Jordans or an XBox. That means stay away from pay day loans and maxing out credit cards. Just learn to do without. In a weekly address in March, President Obama railed against using payday lending services. "As Americans, we don't mind folks making a profit," Obama said. "But if you're making that profit by trapping hardworking Americans in a vicious cycle of debt, then you need to find a new business model. You need to find a new way of doing business."
6. Don't hang around with irresponsible people. They will keep you broke. According to USNews.com, “Don’t hang out with, or even consider dating, people who encourage you to spend your money foolishly. Those kinds of attitudes rub off. The dating part is especially important because you absolutely don’t want to marry someone who doesn’t share your financial values.”
7. No matter how many times you don't answer their calls or ignore their letters, student loans payments are not going to just disappear. According to Lifehacker.com, “If you can't make your minimum payments, you're not alone. However, you can't afford to do nothing. You must be proactive to find a course of action that works best—because if you simply stop paying your loans, you will eventually go into default.”
8. It's not against the law to still have fun. Just because your college days are behind you, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy life. While taking a four hour road trips on a Wednesday night to see a new band may be out, finding ways to release stress is paramount.