5 college habits you should keep after graduation

College

So you made it through college. Woo hoo! Now that you are a wise and mature adult, you might think it’s time to say goodbye to your college lifestyle and begin living like the classy person you were meant to become. Leaving Ramen and cheap beers in the past is probably a good idea, but not all of your college ways should be forgotten.

Here are five college habits that shouldn’t be broken just because you’ve turned your tassel.

Turning everything into a chance to meet new people

In college, everything we do becomes a social endeavor. Meeting your roommate freshman year–maybe you’ll become best friends! Going to class–hopefully you’ll meet someone new! Driving home with someone from the ride board–what if you hit it off?! Everyone is amped to meet people because no matter what, you’ll most likely at least have your university in common. And that makes you automatic friends, of course.

Once you graduate, the world suddenly becomes scary and weird for some reason. Find a roommate on Craigslist? Sketchy. Talk to that girl in your fitness class? She might be psycho. Carpool with someone you barely know? That’s just asking to be abducted. Meeting new people becomes nerve-wracking because they aren’t in our college safety net; we feel like we don’t know anything about them. But there are millions of ways to connect with people, and sticking with our college habit of being almost too eager to make friends will come in handy.

Completing assignments

One of the best parts about not being in college is not having homework. But the ability to meet deadlines and get shit done is eternally useful. Meeting a deadline is an obvious life skill, but the act of physically doing more work after coming home from work is also something that you should stick with. Think about how much more productive you’d be if instead of coming home and spending a few hours watching TV and surfing the web, you did something meaningful. Spend one hour doing something you enjoy followed by your new adult homework. Today my assignment is to: search for a new job, write a blog post, do my taxes… you can fill in the blank.

Having an “I’ll try anything once” attitude

Everyone thinks of college as the time in your life to experiment and really figure yourself out. Well, as you may have learned, four years is not nearly enough time to “figure yourself out.” Humans, by nature, are dynamic. You will never know exactly who you are because you are constantly changing. That means you should be constantly experimenting! Don’t lose your sense of adventure and willingness to try new things just because you’ve become a real adult (whatever that means).

Being cheap

Classic college kid, keeping the heat at 60 all winter and foregoing cable. Now that you are earning a living, it’s tempting to treat yourself to the finer things in life. But when you factor in student loans, insurance and other bills, how much are you really earning? Think about how much extra money you’d be making if you continued to live like a broke college student.

There’s a fine line between being cheap and being stingy. Please, don’t be stingy. No one invites the stingy person to do fun things. Being cheap allows you to treat yourself every now and then and do things with your money that you enjoy; after all that’s why you work. It just prevents you from spending money on unnecessary things. Take eating out, for instance. When you go out for lunch, you probably spend around $5 or $10. Not a huge deal. But if you eat out every day, that’s $25-$50 every week. That’s $100-$200 each month that you’re basically spending on convenience. College you would just pack a lunch.

Taking education seriously

Learning is continuous. This statement has never been more true than it is for our generation. The world is evolving at a rapid pace, and we have to keep up if we want to be successful. Educating yourself could be as simple as reading articles about your industry or as intense as going back to school for a new career. Read. Take a class. Watch a PBS documentary. Do something to expand your mind! Just because you aren’t paying thousands of dollars a year doesn’t mean your education is any less important.

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8 thoughts on “5 college habits you should keep after graduation

  1. Lauren, great post! I can really relate to completing assignments – it’s so easy to just relax and watch TV after work. Thanks for the inspiration! Gotta keep up my productivity…

    • Thanks! I know, it’s so tempting to veg out after a day of work. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with doing that every now and then, but it also feels really good to get things accomplished!

  2. Meeting new people becomes sketchy because in college you learned the hard way to be more “demanding” in your standards when it comes to new friends. Or at least I did. I will no longer put up with unnecessary drama. I’d rather have a small group of good friends and network with professionals than invite crazy and unreliable people to be a part of my life.

    • Hi Sarah. You bring up a really good point. As we get older, we learn what types of friendships are good/bad for us, so it’ natural for us to become pickier with who we choose to let into our lives. And I agree; small, drama-free groups are always a good choice 🙂

  3. Great advice! And written so engagingly, too. You are so right that we tend to lose these attributes after college, especially the “being cheap” one. It’s almost as if once we’re “adults” we feel like we have to spend to prove ourselves. That only leads us to have to make more money to keep up with our spending, which means taking jobs we don’t necessarily like, and then we have to spend to feel better about our crappy job and on and on it goes! Thanks for the enjoyable read!

  4. Thanks, Rebecca! I didn’t even think about the whole “keeping up with the Joneses” thing; I’m not at that point yet. But that’s so true! People feel pressured to live above their means, when in reality living a little below your means can allow you to save up for things that will bring you more happiness.

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