Essential To-Do List for Recent College Grads
It’s hard to define at what point a person becomes an adult. Some define it as when you turn 18 because that is the legal age of adulthood in the U.S. Others feel it comes at a later date when the brain is more mature and developed.
Because so many people go to college after high school, getting a degree and entering the workforce feels like the turning point out of adolescence permanently.
This means recent college graduates should set up a list of essential tasks to complete when they get out of university. These tasks can be occupational or personal. We’ll cover how this works for each individual, from finding the best car insurance for new college graduates to starting a savings account so young people can leave their parents’ home at some point.
#1 – Find a Job
This is the first thing every college graduate worries about. Getting a great job is a reason for getting extra schooling after all, right?
There are obviously more benefits to going to college than just enhancing your employability, but that is the main reason. Especially with the tremendous cost of going to more schools, many graduates worry that they need to find great work right away or they’ll never pay off all their debt.
Examine the Job Market
The first thing to remember about the debt situation is that no fresh college graduate is going to have the money to pay off their loans right away. The job market is just recovering from the hit it took during the COVID-19 pandemic, and salaries aren’t exactly going in the right direction in some industries.
Don’t focus on knocking your first post-college job out of the park. Focus more on the growth aspects of your career. Four-year degrees are a dime a dozen now, so you’ll need to find other ways to differentiate yourself in the job market. Talk about other things you did in college, like extracurricular activities and community service.
Take Advantage of Extracurricular Activities
If you participated in any sports or clubs that show leadership skills, those would also look great on any resume, regardless of your career path. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself and compare yourself to others who have just graduated from college. Every person moves at their own pace depending on the troubles and stresses in their lives.
Think about doing something unconventional at home. Make money in creative ways using the power of social media and tech in 2022. Write on Medium. Post workout routines on Instagram. Show your art on TikTok. Making cash as an influencer will also attract unexpected clients or job opportunities.
#2 – Get Insurance
Young people hardly ever worry about getting insurance of any kind. Thinking about this adult responsibility is one of the ways you can start to separate from your parents and become your own person, though.
Stay on your parents’ auto insurance if you are in your early 20s. Most college graduates are going to find themselves facing steep premiums because of the risk that young people pose to insurance companies.
Ask your family if they will continue to pay your auto insurance rates monthly, especially if the young person doesn’t own a car yet. Many in this demographic use their family car still. If you own your own car at this age, make sure that it is a vehicle that insurance companies deem safe and low risk. You may be able to get discounts on your policy.
For young people who have started a family right after graduating college, it may be important to think about getting a life insurance policy.
You never know when tragedy can strike, and rates for life insurance in your 20s are incredibly cheap compared to down the line. The average cost of term life insurance for a 40-year-old can be 50% more expensive than for a 20-year-old.
#3 – Create a Savings Account
Setting aside money in a savings account right out of college is a great way to put yourself in a solid financial situation for years to come. This can be money you get from a side hustle. It can be gifts you received throughout your years in college.
Whatever money you want to save for later should be placed in a separate account from your main checking account.
This will create financial flexibility when you want to move out of your parents’ home or remain on your own so that you don’t have to endure the stress of moving back with Mom and Dad. Don’t think that savings are only for older people. Creating freedom with your money right after college will allow you to live stress-free in middle and older age.
#4 – Focus on Yourself
College is completely overwhelming. Many graduates should think about whether their family situation allows them to take a little break and recover from the mental and emotional toll of the experience they have had for four or more years.
Life is very confusing at this age. Everyone is going through different stages, and it’s easy to compare yourself to classmates from high school who never went to college and are already running their own businesses. Another person may have children and a happy marriage while you’ve never gone on a date during your university years.
Become More Social
Take some time to make yourself happy in your personal life. Get on a dating website and try to meet some new people if that will make you happy. Reconnect with old friends you haven’t seen or family members who live a long way away.
You may just find that learning about who you have become after college leads you down a path you never expected to take. Trying to stay on a rigid schedule you had for yourself before going to college may not be what is right for you at this moment.
Unforeseen circumstances like the pandemic have changed society and personal lives on a large and small scale.
If you aren’t happy with who you are in the present, you won’t be able to carve out a fruitful future. Remember to stay in the moment, and enjoy who you are and who you want to become.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help young people understand how to handle things like finances and insurance in the aftermath of graduation.