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How to navigate your first year post-grad

Stepping out of your comfort zone as a college student can bring up an interesting mix of emotions. On one hand, it is exciting to move onto a new phase of your life, free from the constraints of classes and assignments. However, losing the stability and structure that college provides is a daunting prospect. Once you find yourself in the adult world, you have to create your own structure and plan that fits your own life. Although this may seem like an insurmountably huge task, there are small steps you can take to help you to adjust to adult life. 

Identify Goals

As a new graduate, you may be experiencing life for the first time without the rigid systems of semesters and breaks, upon which you can plan your year around. This will test your self-discipline, as for the first time in your life, you will have to create and work toward your own milestones. Be clear and concise with your goals and make sure that they are realistic. Work towards these goals consistently. 

If there is an industry you want to break into, you should set up informational interviews with people working in your chosen field. Even if you feel you are inexperienced or underqualified, this can help you network and it could create future opportunities within your career. In creating a vision and path for your life over the coming year, you can dispel feelings of being lost by giving you a direction. 

Organize Your Finances 

Money management is central to living a functioning adult lifestyle. If you have been lucky enough to secure a job right after your degree, you should have a look at your salary, living expenses and saving goals. Make sure to take care of the essentials, like rent and food, before you set aside your spending money. Always try to put 20% of your monthly wage into savings in case of a rainy day. 

If you do find yourself in financial difficulty, it may be hard for you to access a loan because of previous student debt. Fortunately, lenders can offer student loan refinance plans. These plans are often extremely flexible and customizable, allowing you to set your monthly payments at a price that suits you. You can refinance with terms available from 5 to 20 years. Refinancing your student loans can help take the pressure off, giving you time and energy to focus on what’s really important. 

Get to Know Yourself 

Life after college doesn’t always have to inspire panic – it can also be extremely liberating. Now that you don’t have assignments or classes to worry about, the world is your oyster. Before you set down roots, take some time to travel. It’s the perfect opportunity to see the world with fresh eyes and it’s a wonderful way to meet new people and learn more about yourself as an individual. 

Even if you are saving money on a low income you can still have opportunities for travel. Try new things, explore new cultures, let your hair down, and don’t hold back when it comes to new experiences that will help you grow. Now is the time to take advantage of your newfound freedom to build a life that you enjoy living.

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