It's that time of year again for senior college students:
Surviving the war of the finals.
Scrambling around to be prepared for the graduation ceremony.
Making sure that you actually do graduate in the first place.
Sitting there uncomfortably on a small chair wearing your cap and gown in a sea of your classmates.
Sitting there for what feels like hours listening to inspiring speeches despite your mind occasionally wandering off.
Then finally it's your turn to walk to the stage.
The cameras are on you, everyone is watching you, and you can't help but show off a sentimental smile when you see your family and friends in the distant crowd.
Your name is called, you shake hands, grab the diploma, smile for the cameras, and BOOM. You are a college graduate. Now what?
Well, you probably have an idea of what you have to do:
Get a job, pay off your debts (which always looks like a long mountain to climb), buy a car, start paying for room and board. Sooner or later you're going to transition into a full-blown ADULT and spend every moment of your life ADULTING.
Now, as someone who has now been a college graduate for two years, I've experienced and learned a lot as an adult.
One thing I've learned is that the adult world is a ruthless, cut-throat industry that takes little pity on others. The current events of the last two years have certainly reassured brutal realities and the feeling that no one is going to open the career door for you except yourself.
So, after two years of adulting, I've discovered 10 pieces of advice that will help every college graduate. Most of them are just little things, but as you get older you find out that the little things often create the biggest impact overall.
Some of these tips I've followed myself, others I struggle to maintain, but I know that each of these ten tips are worth following no matter what!
Here are 10 advice tips for members of the Class of 2018 that they should follow into the world of Adulting:
1. If you find a job, take it.
Rent, the 1996 musical based on the popular opera La Boheme, tells the story of a group of twentysomething friends that barely get by in New York City despite making no money and being committed to the spirit of artistic integrity and not selling out.
That doesn't happen in the real world. (Still a great musical though)
If a company offers you a position that pays decent but doesn't match your passion or college major, take it anyway. Being a graduate in your early twenties is all about making money.
If you make some money on the job you don't love, you'll at least have connections and revenue to pursue your passion in the future.
After all, no one just hands you your dream job along with your diploma.
2. Be open for other jobs.
Words of advice my parents (and probably yours too) like to give is: The best time to look for a job is when you already have one.
So you already have a job that pays well but isn't your passion? Now would still be a good time to explore more opportunities that could pay better and the job itself could be better.
Getting a job while having one is much more convenient as opposed to when you're unemployed and desperate for one.
3. Watch what you eat.
It either hits you when you're in college or after you graduate: You can't eat whatever you want and whenever you want it.
As you get older, your body can't handle junk, sugar and high-calorie foods the way you used to. The short-term pleasure of tasty food doesn't equal the long-term exhaustion and low energy you get throughout the rest of the day.
For me, I love pizza.
If I could I would eat pizza every day.
But my body would never forgive me and I'd feel exhausted and have low metabolism to do anything else.
So how about cutting back on the carbs and junk and try to incorporate some healthy stuff to balance it all out?
At least we finally understand why our parents wanted us to eat healthy all the time.
4. Don't drink too much.
One of the best things about being a college graduate is that you're presumably 21 or older.
That means no more fake IDs, no more sneaking beer in, no more asking older friends or family members to buy you beer. All you need to do now is go to your local store on your own (and no disguises).
You can sit back, pop open a cold one and chill.
However, in case you didn't know this by now, too much alcohol is bad for the body and mind.
Don't let reluctance to alcohol stop you having a good time, but always know when to stop.
5. Take Time To Exercise
Free will is a great gift for the human mind, but at times it can also be a curse.
A great example of that is finding out how hard it is to exercise.
Yes, you know that working out is good for you, but your free will can also say: Yeah it's good, but it's so much work and I don't feel like exhausting all of that energy right now.
That is your instinct of laziness speaking to you, and most of the time you've probably caved into the demands of the devil on your shoulder.
There is a lot of discipline and commitment required to exercise on a regular basis. You have to focus on your long-term motivations and how this better treatment of your body will also be a great treatment of your mind and spirit.
If you're in physical shape, you're likely in mental shape and the sky is the limit!
6. Don't stay up too late.
Trying to tell a millennial not to stay up late is like telling a dog not to chew on a bone that's right in front of it. As you're ready for bed you just can't help but look into the devices at your disposal before going to bed.
Just one more episode on Netflix.
Just one more level of this video game.
Just one video to watch on Youtube.
What's trending on Twitter?
What's on the news-oh god the horror!
As hard as it is to get into bed and go to sleep, try your hardest to forget the electronics and get your sleep.
Your morning and day self will thank you.
7. Don't resist day napping.
Ok, so if you didn't get enough sleep last night, at least try to get a nap in the daytime.
Day naps aren't that easy. First of all, you're trying to sleep in the daytime, how is that possible?
Well if you close the blinds of your windows, shut the doors, and shut off the rest of the loud world around you, you can take a nap for an hour or two.
The payoff? You're rejuvenated and reenergized for the rest of the day to be productive and more proactive.
8. Pursue hobbies to be productive.
In post-college life, you can still do things besides working and doing Netflix.
If you have time, you can volunteer and pursue hobbies of your passions. It's like joining clubs in school and college only you might have to explore for advertisements on the internet.
Whether it's acting at your local theater, volunteering in soup kitchens and cleaning up parks, or participating in small athletic events.
This gives you an opportunity to continue to socialize with others outside of your school/work/home circle since you're meeting people that share your interests.
9. Save your money.
Are you saving for your retirement?
Then what are you doing?
Why are you still reading this?
You're 20 years behind on your retirement savings!
Ok not really, but every adult has probably approached you and said the same thing: start saving as soon as possible.
While it's easy to dismiss their advice as a boring conservative strategy, they're actually telling you that because they didn't start saving at your age and lived to regret it!
So you don't have to save all of your money, but stock up plenty because retirement is probably going to get even harder to reach as the world continues to go into the financial abyss.
10. Keep learning.
"But wait! I just graduated college! I've done all the learning I've needed already!"
Yes, you got the minimum amount of learning required for THE SYSTEM to accept you as a college graduate.
But have you gotten the minimum of learning required to satisfy yourself?
It may seem hard to believe, but you've only scratched the surface of the pool of knowledge. The facts you got in school were just cliff-notes of that information, now you have time and new resources to explore the entire scope of any subject you want.
Still not convinced?
Think of it like this: In school, THE SYSTEM wanted you to learn WHAT THEY wanted you to learn and WHEN THEY wanted you to learn it.
Out of school, YOU can now learn WHATEVER YOU want to learn and WHENEVER YOU want to learn it.
Books, articles, documentaries, Youtube videos, podcasts, all of that info is in your hands right now and you're free to explore all of it!
And now Class of 2018 I give you the signature tune of graduation, the theme song of The Macho Man Randy Savage, Pomp & Circumstance!