As a college graduate, you might think that many of your biggest challenges in life are behind you; after all, you selected your major, got your graduation requirements out of the way and made it through hundreds of late night study sessions.
In many ways, however, the tough situations are just beginning. While you have a hard-earned degree in your hand, you now get to embark on the next phase of your life, which isn’t always easy. In order to handle some of the big decisions after graduation, consider the following advice:
Move out of College Housing?
Whether you have been offered a job in a distant city or you have to vacate college housing, many people end up moving shortly after graduation. Faced with the prospect of packing up and hauling all of your stuff can be daunting, and it can be expensive to hire a professional moving crew. As Dish notes, with the right kind of bribes, you can probably enlist your friends to help you move — but what you offer your pals will depend on the circumstances of your move. For example, if your new place has no elevator, you’ll have to come up with a much bigger reward than if you are moving one floor down in your current building. In order to entice your friends to help, offer plenty of pizza and beer and a promise that you will return the favor when it’s their turn to relocate.
Move Back Home?
If you don’t have a job lined up after graduation, you might be tempted to move back home with mom and dad. While this is an understandable decision, you’re concerned about back-sliding to your adolescent days. If you do move home, make sure to have a tangible exit plan. Pay rent, buy your own groceries, do your own laundry and give yourself a deadline on how long you will stay. There is nothing wrong with living at home with your folks after graduation, but you shouldn’t plan on doing it forever.
Take the First Job?
After getting through four or five years as a poor college student, you might be tempted to jump at the first job offer you get. Not so fast, advises Monster; while the job market was tough for college graduates during the recent recession, things have turned around. Take a close look at the position, salary, commute, benefits and growth opportunities before accepting the job, and don’t be afraid to turn it down.
Go Back to School?
You might be thinking about going back to school to earn a graduate degree; you’ve heard that graduates with advanced degrees make a lot more money, and you like studying and being a college student. As CBS News notes, not every advanced degree is worth two (or more) extra years of school and an average of $37,000 in additional debt. While software engineers and general managers who have master’s degrees earn around $18,000 a year more than those with a bachelors degree, the extra degree does not always equal more money. Careers in education, music and information science do not typically pay enough to make the advanced degree worth it. To help make your decision, research the average pay of different degree holders in your desired field and use the data to help sway your decision.