Congratulations! You’ve completed a major milestone in your life and are now forced to grow up. Welcome to life after college, probably the time you’ve been dreading for the last four years. Graduation snuck up on you faster than you thought and now you have no idea what to do! Well we’ve been there and we know just how scary and stressful it can be. Take a look at some of our tips and hints for this transition.

Decide what’s next. You chose a major, hopefully one that you actually enjoyed, and now it’s time to put all of that knowledge into action. When school is over, you might want to decide whether you want to try to go immediately into the workforce or if you want to attend graduate school first. Depending on your chosen field of study, you may need to continue on to graduate school to be able to have the opportunities that you want, or you might be able to do that at this point.

Devise a plan. Figure out what you ultimately want to do. Where do you want your career to go? What will you need to do to get there? Make sure that you know what direction you’re headed in, and remember that it’s okay if you change your mind at some point. The average person changes careers four to five times!

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Choose your lair. Your lease is up on your apartment or it’s time to move out of the dorms. Where are you going to live? Are you going to stay close to where you are currently or move away? Would it be possible for you to stay home or can you get a place on your own or with roommates? Deciding where you’re going to call home is key. And you’ll know where you can look for school or career opportunities.

Manage your debt. Let’s be realistic, you’ve probably got a few bills, credit cards, and student loans. Say goodbye to financial aid, you’re going to have to fork out the money for these yourself now, scary indeed. Check out this GenTwenty article about budgeting for a little help.

Have a good attitude. Life after college takes a little getting adjusted to no doubt. Try not to be discouraged if it’s not exactly what you dreamed of and you’re not able to get into the school or the field that you wanted to right away. There may be moments when cash is incredibly tight and you’re surviving on the same foods you did when you were broke in college or you might find yourself taking a random job to make ends meet until you can get on your feet in the field you love. Try to keep a good attitude. If you think positively, you live positively.

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You’ve come this far and you’ve accomplished this much. Remember that you’re in a time of transition and that you’re not alone. Also keep in mind that the wonderful twenty-somethings here at GenTwenty are here to share what we’ve learned through our own experiences to help you out!

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