Don’t Wait! How to Plan For Life After Graduation

Are you a college student? Are you sort of confused about this whole life after college thing? This is the article for you answered yes.

I know a lot of friends that have gradated from college and they’re stuck on what to do next. It’s the first time in your life where you don’t have strict deadlines or a detailed plan of how to spend your day. The freedom can be amazing (or toxic).

I took my drinking very seriously in college. I tried to never miss a party or an opportunity to have a good time. With that being said, I made sure that I got things done. I worked full-time and did my best to stay on top of my finances. I wasn’t perfect and I certainly would change a few things around.

How can you plan for life after college while still in school? Let’s break down the important areas:

Paying down student debt.

Paying for college with student loans is a common debate on personal finance blogs. If you’ve already decided to finance your education with loans, you need to figure out what you’re going to do when you’re out of the classroom. Will you start paying off your debt immediately? Will you ask for a deferral?

Student loans are stuck with you. You can’t run away from them or default on them. This is why it’s important that you make a plan for your student loans as a student. Please don’t assume that you’re going to get rich as a 22 year old college graduate and then pay off your loans in one shot.

Here’s a quick story on student loans gone wrong:

I went out for drinks with a group of people that I barely knew. The one girl that I was chatting with told me that drinks were on here. I was confused. Why would you make that offer? She then explained how the student loans company gave her more money than she needed. Interesting.

I’m not here to judge because I’ve made many foolish decisions with my money. I just want you to think about your student debt when you’re still in school.

The job search.

Do you have a job offer lined up (I didn’t)? Will you look for a job the moment you’re out of school? Will you take some time to figure things out?

If you’re totally clueless about what to do after college you can read my elaborate post on 7 alternatives to graduate school. As the title suggests, I share 7 strong options for anyone looking for what to do in these precious years.

All I want to say here is that you should start your job search LONG before you graduate. Don’t wait until you’re out of school.

Your living situation after college.

What will your living situation after college be? The article linked to outlines your best choices for where to live after you’re out of school. I just want you to decide if you plan on moving back with your parents or going somewhere else? It’s important that you figure this out because, well, it suck to be in your mid-20s and living at home.

That’s how you can plan for life after graduation when you’re still in school and not 100% convinced of what to do after college. Obviously I wasn’t the best prepared or on top of things as I would like to think I was. Looking back and thinking about “what if” is easier said than done. The good news is that you can pass this article on to that young person in your life that’s currently a student. You don’t want them to make the same mistakes that we all made.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Wait! How to Plan For Life After Graduation”

  1. Great advice! I worked 3 part-time jobs in college and applied/received scholarships to help keep my borrowing from my parents to an absolute minimum – ended up only owing $8000 by the end and they forgave the loan. My new husband and I also lived super cheap for $399 a month in a 550 square foot one bedroom for a year or so to save even more. Those two decisions made it possible to buy our current home at age 23. 🙂

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