Expecting to graduate from college soon? Congrats! You made it this far. Now, you’re on to the next chapter of your young adult life: adulting in the real world.
Life after college is nothing like school—it’s full of challenges that will build your character and mold you into a wiser adult. It’s both exciting and terrifying, but you’ll make it through. Just keep in mind these 10 adulting tips that no one told you about, not even your professors.
1. Prepare your resume and job requirements
Even before your graduation, creating a resume is one of the first things you need to do to prepare for the real world. Raise your chance of getting hired by highlighting your internship experience on your resume. Include volunteer and summer jobs as well. Write also a cover letter that clearly states why you’re a good fit for the job. Set up a LinkedIn account, too, so that recruiters can easily find you.
Take time also to prepare your academic and personal documents that will be required from you once you get a new job. Get your diploma, transcript of records, birth certificate, NBI clearance, cedula, and SSS number ahead of time.
2. Rehearse for job interviews
“Tell me about yourself.” These four simple words from a potential employer are enough to scare new grads in their job interviews.
How to ace your job interviews even if you’re a fresh graduate? Anticipate the possible questions that will be asked and come up with your responses. Practice a lot in front of the mirror. Or record yourself on video while rehearsing your answers. Nothing beats preparation in landing your first job.
3. Apply for government IDs
From entering a building to doing bank and government transactions, you’ll be required to present a valid ID. As a college graduate, you can’t use your school ID anymore. And it may take a while before you’re issued a company ID.
How can a fresh grad like you get a valid ID? Some of the easiest government IDs you can apply for are the postal ID, passport, and UMID (Unified Multi-Purpose ID). Birth certificate, baptismal certificate, NBI clearance, and even transcript of records are accepted as supporting documents for these IDs.
4. Master the art and science of budgeting
Now that you’re going to graduate, you’ll feel the effect of life after college. For one, you’ll no longer be getting monthly allowances from your parents or scholarship. You’ll soon begin to earn money from your own blood and sweat. And then the reality will kick in—no one’s gonna save you when you’re broke.
This is why budgeting is one of the skills you should develop as soon as you receive your first paycheck. You need to know exactly where your money goes. Write down how much you’ll set aside for your savings, bills, rent, groceries, and other essentials. Stick to your budget so that you won’t have to live paycheck to paycheck and put yourself in debt.
One of the most effective adult life hacks is the old-school envelope budgeting system: label each of your expenses on an accordion envelope book and put the corresponding amount. That way, you won’t miss a payment and you’ll be more disciplined with your spending.
5. Secure your financial future
How to be good at adulting? Take the first steps to financial freedom in your early 20s: open a savings account, build an emergency fund, get a life insurance, and start investing. Phew! Do they seem too much? No worries—you can take one step at a time. But make sure you have clear goals for when you want to achieve them.
The beauty of getting your finances in order while you’re young is that you’ve got a lot more time to grow your money. You can achieve your financial goals sooner, like buying a home or retiring early.
It’s never too early to invest. Take it from a guy who started buying stocks in his 20s and bought a DMCI Homes condo from his stock investment.
6. Find your own living space
Part of your journey as an independent young adult is to move into a place of your own, especially if your new workplace is far from your parents’ home. One of the best adulting tips for millennials? Find a condo for rent in an accessible location. It may be difficult to part with the bed you’ve been using since childhood, but you’ll realize later that living away from your parents is the best decision ever.
Once you’ve found the perfect living space, you need to buy stuff for your new home, find a roommate, and teach yourself how to cook your own meals. Doesn’t growing up sound like an exciting adventure?
7. Find a mentor
As a noob who’s just learning the ropes, you’ll benefit a lot from having a mentor by your side. Nurture a close relationship with someone whom you trust. A good mentor can be a boss, experienced colleague, spiritual leader, former professor, or basketball coach. Their knowledge, experience and wisdom can help you grow to become a better person.
8. Keep your friendships strong
You’re moving on from your acad life to become a full-fledged young adult. But that doesn’t mean you should cut all ties with your college and high school besties. Your friendships are for keeps! Friends can keep you sane and crazy at the same time. No one understands what you’re going through better than the people who’ve been with you through your teenage years.
9. Practice self-care even while you’re young
Stress takes on a whole new meaning when you step out of college—it’s more than just putting an all-nighter to complete a thesis. In the real world, you’ll be dealing with difficult bosses, customers, and colleagues. This will eventually take a toll on your physical, emotional, and mental health if you don’t take care of yourself well enough.
Make self-care a part of your daily routine. Meditate, exercise, get a massage. As often as you can, get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Start an anti-aging regimen in your early 20s. Your future self will thank you for it.
10. Be your own hero!
When life gets tough, it’s convenient to blame your boss, colleagues, or family for your misery. It’s easier to rant when things don’t go your way. But you know what—nobody owes you anything. As a grown-up, you alone are responsible for your own happiness.
Be the hero of your own story. Only you can save yourself from the slump. Set clear boundaries for your personal and work life—learn to stop pleasing people.
Did your boss send you a work email on a weekend again? That can wait until Monday. Suffering in a toxic relationship? Whatever that is, have the courage to walk out of it. Take charge of your physical, emotional, and mental health. You owe it to yourself.
So, are you ready to take the plunge into the real world? It’s a sink-or-swim experience. Wherever your journey takes you, enjoy it to the fullest!