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It’s graduation season and if you’re about to head off to college or about to enter the workforce after graduating from college, there are a few items you should check off realizing, period point blank.

1. Cherish These Days

As often as we say, “Man, I hate high school,” or “That class/teacher is annoying, I can’t wait to leave,” let someone who has been in your shoes before remind you: being an adult in the real world — in THIS economy — is a pain in the neck. If you’re leaving high school, realize that this is about the last time you’ll have zero actual responsibility such as major bills. If you’re leaving college? Well, you got student loans looking at you six months from now asking, “I seen you with your little refund check…” Yeah, responsibility kicks in the moment you graduate either place. Enjoy it while you still got it.

2. A Degree Doesn’t Equal A Dream Job Is Waiting For You

Having that piece of paper isn’t an automatic qualifier for a job and even some jobs require higher degrees just for basic entry. A lot of times, who you know is more important than what you studied in a classroom. Build relationships, network, be prepared to wake up every morning knowing you’re going to have to work at something in order to obtain your dreams.

3. Adulting Is Expensive

Yes, adulting. Nobody truly prepares you how to adult. Prepare your budget wisely, don’t rely too much on your debit card or take on credit cards that you don’t really need. Always be aware of your bank account — always.

4. Some Friends Won’t Join You On Your Ride

Change is constant.

Some people have life long friends that remain with them from elementary school to now. Others … well, they have friends they met in first period during their senior year that they were cool with but aren’t cool with now. It happens. Losing a friend isn’t the end of the world.

5. Memories Are Far Better Than Material Things

Items come and go. What you create with your friends can’t be replicated or replaced.

6. A Refund Check Is Temporary!

College students present will tell college students of the future this advice and repeat it until they’re blue in the face. If you get a refund check from a student loan, great. But guess what? Spend on what is absolutely necessary which are your books and PAY THE REST BACK. Trust, it’s best to leave college with a little debt as possible. Or, if all your financial aid is grants and scholarships? SAVE YOUR REFUND CHECK FOR A RAINY DAY. Don’t blow it.

7. Keep The Faith

There are going to be days where you struggle, both in college and in the work force. On those days, you lean on your support system, your friends and mentors that help you get through it all. This isn’t the end of your journey, it’s just the beginning.


7 Things Every Graduate Should Know  was originally published on