- Save Money NOW. If you're lucky enough to 1) have a job and 2) work for a company with some kind of 401k plan, put money in it now, especially if they match. Also, just save in general. There should still be money left in your bank account when your next check rolls around. I know, crazy.
- Find out what you believe in and go all in. I don't mean go to church once a month or shoot up a prayer when you've used up all that money on shoes and bags and need to eat (yes, that happened.) I mean find out who God is and how you can get involved with what He's doing. It's going to affect the way you work, your relationships, your family, and your future. So figure it out now while you have some time on your hands. If you are in the Raleigh/Durham area I highly recommend Summit Church. They have campuses all over the triangle.
- Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. I stole this from Jon Acuff, but it's SO true. This is hard, but it's really important to keep some perspective. You're all going to fall out of college with different pay grades, different relationships and different circumstances and that's ok. People are going to start getting married and having babies left and right. (ps. that's another reason to save money, your friends weddings are spensive.) Don't get caught up in comparing where you are to where everyone else is, it will seriously steal your joy. The grass has always and will always be greener. Just try to enjoy where you are and don't rush your early 20s. They're super fun and your body doesn't know you're getting old yet. Which brings me to my next point...
- Hit the gym. Somewhere around 25, hit the gym for the rest of your life. Find some kind of exercise you can tolerate 3-4 times a week and never stop.
- Learn to cook. It's really not that hard. Just get like 5 simple meals in your repertoire and build from there. It will save you money, it gives me some serious personal satisfaction, and it doesn't hurt with the mens either. I found that coming home and cooking really helps me unwind and relax. Even if I had a crap day, I still feel like I accomplished something if I can put a decent meal on the table.
- Move. This last one is certainly a personal choice, but I would suggest moving. At least out of your college town, maybe out of the state, maybe out of the country. Even if its just six months or a year. There probably won't be another time in your life when your options are as wide open as they are right now. So, at least think about it.
Contrary to a common phrase I use often, "oh I just graduated from college." I did not JUST graduate from college, I graduated in 2009. I'm coming up on 5 years at my job, so I've lived a little in the real world. I attended my cousins college graduation on Friday and thought it a great time to impart some wisdom on the new spring chickens.
Raleigh, NC girl with a passion for all things style.