This is a contributed post, but photography is my own.
So you’ve done it! Three or four long years and you are eagerly awaiting the day that piece of paper that makes it all worth it is placed in your hand. It can all be very exciting and a little bit scary to think that your routine over the past few years has dissipated, and you’ve somehow become a fully grown, functioning adult. By now, you would have definitely worked out that you don’t know everything (on the contrary to what the teenage versions of ourselves though), and in (Source) many cases, you might realise that you are completely clueless as to what path you should take next. This is common, as many students are so focused on getting to graduation that they seldom think about what comes after. Here are a few things to consider when embarking on the transition from student to adult, that will help the whole process be smooth and stress-free.
The Cost Of Your Graduation Day
Before you blow all of the last remains of your student loan, take a moment to think about the commonly forgotten costs of graduation. Typically you will need to either pay to rent your gown and hat or buy them outright. If you are not graduating soon after you finish university or college, you may have already moved out/home by the time graduation rolls around, and need to pay out for travel costs and somewhere to stay on your graduation night. You will also have to prepay for any professional graduation photos taken on the day that you would like a copy of. Even though all of these costs will, of course, be worth it, if you haven’t factored them into your monthly budget, it could come as quite a shock to you. Especially if you have only just started a new job, or are still looking for the perfect one.
Are You Moving Home Or Moving Out?
This is an extremely important question to ask yourself as it also determines your financial situation right off the bat coming out of university/college. If you are moving home, then you are in a strong position to take the time to find the right job and start clearing some of that student debt in earnest, albeit at the expense of some freedom and independence. If you choose to go it alone, then you will need to create a very strict budget for yourself to be certain that you can afford the cumulative costs of rent, bills, food etc. You could look into one of the many small personal loans on the market to help you take that big step and move out, so you are able to find your own two feet. Student living does prepare you for an independent life, however living at university or college is very different to moving out from your parent’s place for good.
Do You Want To Go Into Further Education?
If you are entering a particularly competitive industry or field, it might be worth giving yourself some further qualifications to help you to stand out from the competition. Taking a Masters or PhD will not only allow you to increase your earning potential, but it will also open up many more doors for your career progression too.
So there you have it, a little food for thought on graduation and what it could mean for you, your living situation and career path.
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