Entering my last year of college, reality is sinking in that I'm going to actually have to get my life together and be an actual adult soon. It seems like just yesterday I was a sweet, innocent freshman moving into the dorms, ready to start college. The upperclassmen seemed so put together and like their lives were going in the right direction. They really had it all: the perfect internships, a great academic-to-social-life balance, and awesome time management skills.
After finishing finals this semester, it hit me. This is my last year of college. I am supposed to be one of those upperclassmen... but I don't really feel l have it together like I should. I will admit that I have had some great internships, but there is still so much more I feel like I should be doing. I probably emphasize social life more than academic life, and I'm always the one pulling all-nighters before exams and big papers because procrastination is still my best friend. Somehow, it always works out for me. But still, despite my abilities to pull it together when I need to and come through at the last minute, there are so many things I am not ready for in the real world or don't really know how to do.
Not only am I trying to find a big kid job for my post-graduation life, I need to start figuring some other things out. For example, how to be a responsible, functioning member of society. So if you have any advice or answers to my ever-growing list of things I need to figure out in the next 365 days, help a sister out.
1) How do I fill out a FAFSA? Shout out to my parents for always doing this for me, but I actually have no clue how to do this.
2) How long is it socially acceptable to continue to use my parents' Netflix account?
3) How do I file taxes?
4) What is tax deductible? Should I be saving every single receipt?
5) Do I have to get my own phone plan once I graduate? If so, how expensive is a flip phone (because I probably can't afford a data package)?
6) How exactly do I pay back my loans? Do they just send me a bill in the mail? How do I update my address so they will know where I live? I don't even know where I will be living!
7) How early do people start getting job offers?
8) How early is too early to accept a job? If I'm still interviewing with other places, how long is it acceptable to leave the other person hanging while I decide?
9) If I move to another state, how do I search for housing? Or find roommates? Is it weird to live alone?
10) Is it weird to live near campus if I stay here? I still will have a lot of friends on campus, but I don't want to be the creepy alum who can't just leave.
11) How expensive are regular season tickets compared to student season tickets for sports games? Can I still purchase student tickets and just stand in the back?
12) Is it acceptable to still use my student ID to get discounts places? I'll still be a poor *post-grad* college student paying back loans.
13) Do normal adults go out after work for happy hour a lot, or it is just a Friday thing? Do you go with co-workers or does this violate some sort of rule?
14) Do I have to wear dress pants at work when it's business professional or is it okay if I wear dresses and skirts that are professional? I mean, I don't want to come across all "Elle Woods" but dress pants just aren't really my thing.
15) What do post-grad people do with their free time/weekends? I mean, you work from 9-5, but then what? You don't have homework or anything to do.
16) How expensive are gym memberships/personal trainers?
17) If you're moving to a new place, how do you make new friends/date outside of work? I want cool people to hang out with, but I also don't want all of my friends to be people that I work with, and I don't have the student groups/classes/parties to meet people at anymore.
18) Also, if you move to a new place, how do you figure out all the fun places to go? What if you work with old/lame people? Do you go out alone and attempt to make friends there or what?
19) Where can you get cheap kitchenware? I have zero pots or pans because my roommates always bring them, but I feel like I'll probably have to get my own at some point.
20) What's the best way to find a new dentist or doctor? Do I just look around near the area or is there some sort of ranking website I can look at for quality?
21) Is it bad to take vacation time during spring break season and go on a spring break with my friends?
22) What is the best way to build credit? What do you need good credit for? I know paying credit cards and loans on time builds it and you use it for car and house loans, but is that it? Or is there more to it? What is a good credit score to have?
23) What do I claim on an I-9? How do I fill out a W-2? How much do I have to pay in taxes?
I know that I will probably just figure things out as I go, and I will probably have a million more questions as I prepare for post-graduate life, but I think this is a pretty solid start. I'll just keep rolling with the punches and take things as they come, hoping things continue to fall into place.