Posts Tagged ‘after college’
After three great years at school, you’ll begin your senior year and wonder how the time has passed so quickly. With just one more year left of college, making a bucket list of things to accomplish before you graduate is a great way to go out with a bang. At the beginning of the year, gather with your friends and create a list of everything you want to experience one final time in college. Make a single list or break it into categories and check them off as you go!
Your town will have famous local landmarks that are loved by everyone and usually have a signature dish that’s good enough to be featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives. If you haven’t already frequented these eateries, they can be great additions to your bucket list, and will be an experience that will tie you back to your university community.
There are also likely to be restaurants around that have always interested you, but you haven’t been to yet because they are on the fancier side. These places are perfect for your bucket list as well. Go to dinner to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions, and enjoy the higher end of what your town has to offer.
Your school may have a great performing arts program, well-known a cappella troupe, or other groups on campus that put on shows throughout the school year. Student performances belong on your bucket list because they showcase the talents of your peers and can be a really fun experience. Admission is usually free or only costs a few dollars.
Wherever your school is located, there will be local attractions that you’ll want to visit before you graduate. Berry picking in Michigan, surfing in California, going to the Kentucky derby, and other location-specific activities will create great memories for you and your friends. Adding these experiences to your bucket list will help you have the full college experience expected at your school.
Now that you’re 21 and legal to drink, different bars in town are a great way to pad your bucket list. You can plan a bar crawl, and hit all these spots in a night or a weekend, or intersperse visits throughout the year. College town bars provide a unique experience that you’re sure to miss once you graduate.
At some point in your college career, or perhaps a short time after, you filled out an application and received a piece of plastic in the mail with your name on it! Maybe you fell for a free gimmick your first few weeks at school, and before you knew what was happening, you had a $1,000 limit in your wallet. Perhaps you chose to open a credit card so you could begin building your credit history. Regardless of how and when you obtained your first credit card, during your first few years out of college, you may be itching to use it on an electrical bill, a move to a new city, or a first date. Before you start swiping and signing, consider these guidelines.
One of the biggest mistakes college grads make with their credit cards is they assume they’ll have the means to pay it all off later. Don’t bank on raises and promotions. Don’t assume you’ll find a good-paying job next month. If you don’t have a set-in-stone plan on how you’re going to pay back your debt, don’t assume you will later.
Have a Plan
Before you start viewing your credit card as just some extra money, have a plan for what your credit card is used for. Is it only for emergency situations, such as a flat tire? Is it for one major purchase, like a new computer or a mattress? Is it solely used to build your credit history, in which case you would use it to make purchases, and pay it all off within a month? Decide what the credit card is specifically used for, and don’t deviate from your plan.
Create a Budget
One way you can ensure that you won’t be using your credit card on every bill and every trip to the grocery store is to create a budget for yourself. When you get your first job and you have a good grasp on how much you spend on bills, loans, food, gas, rent, and entertainment, sit down and add it all up. Are you spending more than what you’re making? If you’re not ending up with money leftover when all is said and done, you’re more likely to start using your credit card for little things here and there. Work on making cuts to your budget before you start using your credit card for purchases.
Know What Makes Your Score
The factors that make up your credit score are rather complex. It may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with all that can improve or damage your score. For example, not having a credit card at all, high balances, too many credit cards, or credit cards you maxed out too quickly can damage your credit. Having a few, responsibly managed credit cards you use every now and then and pay off quickly are good for your credit.
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As a fresh college graduate, you’re probably pressed for pennies. With the economy as it is, many students leave school without a job to jump into, and with student loans looming in the distance. While moving back home after graduation can greatly assist with this burden, some students don’t have that option, making their financial situations even more stressful. If you’re in need for cash as you wait eagerly by your cell phone for a job offer, or if you need some extra money to afford your apartment, student loans, and groceries, check out these four ways college graduates can add a little more green to their wallets.
Sell Your Stuff:
Upon leaving for college, you may have looked around your bedroom fondly, thinking to yourself how much you would miss everything there, and how important it all was to you. Now that its been four years or more, you may not have quite the same tastes. Perhaps the video games you once loved are now overplayed and collecting dust. Maybe your bedroom set is looking a bit childish. Perhaps you have a bigger and better TV now and don’t need the little one sitting on your dresser. You might want to check out all the college textbooks you saved and determine whether they’re still relevant to your career. Go through your belongings and sell what you no longer use or want.
Take on Tutoring:
If you’ve got a few extra hours a week, and you’re trying to figure out what to do with that math degree, consider offering tutoring services to your local middle schools and high schools. To a college graduate like you, their homework and tests will be a cinch, and you can explain to them when they’ll “need this in real life.”
For those trying to find something in the photography, video, art, writing, graphic design, and other creative arts areas, you may want to consider freelancing. As a freelancer, you’ll work on and get paid for individual projects people or businesses need. You can be hired this way through friends and family, or through freelancing web sites such as Elance, Guru, iFreelance, and Freelancer. By freelancing, you can work around other jobs, and as often or as little as you like.
While you may feel like you earned your degree so you don’t have to work a check-out line, a part time job where you’re only required to work a few hours a week could give you that financial boost you really need. Working eight hours a week at minimum wage is an extra $200 a month! That could be your car payment! In addition, many college grads with professional office jobs find their second part-time job at the coffee shop or grocery store to be a nice break from the high stress and high standards environment of their full time job. Suddenly, wearing a uniform and chatting with your coworkers during the slow hours is kind of refreshing!
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For some college graduates, moving out on their own is something that happens immediately. They’re signing a lease the week they’re handed their diploma and from there, they dive into the real world of landlords, bills, and laundry. Others may choose to live with their parents a few years as they pay off their student loans before jumping into a place to call their own. No matter what your timeline is, there will come a day where you’ll be living independently. Many people will give you advice on what you should bring to your new place, ranging from a coffee maker to a security system, but having a budget plan could be the most useful tool of all.
Designing your first budget plan after college may not be easy. In college, you likely dealt in point systems, meal plans, loans, school debit cards, and other forms of money that don’t actually feel like money. Your food was already prepared and your gym, internet, and cable fees were all built into your cost of attendance. Now you’ll have to determine your own cost of living. You’ll have to calculate how much you spend on rent, food, phone bills, student loans, movies with your friends, XBox Live, and every other category in which you write a check, swipe a card, or hand out cash. You may even have to make a few lifestyle sacrifices until you start taking in a greater income.
The following is a list of expenses you may easily forget about when creating your first budget plan after moving out on your own.
Seasonal Utility Spikes:
Many young adults new to living on their own may receive a few gas and electric bills for about thirty or forty dollars a month, and assume this is the price they’ll be paying on a regular basis. Keep in mind that the winter months may require a lot more heat and the summer months may require air conditioning or fans. Your bills may go up quite a bit in the winters and summers, especially in older buildings with weaker heating/cooling systems.
The Little Necessities:
When creating your budget, you’ll think to include rent, bills, car payments, and student loans. It may not be so obvious to consider the cost of the little things you’ll need on a regular basis such as toilet paper, new clothes, shampoo, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, Netflix, and the like. While none of those things are very pricy, it all starts to add up.
Private Loan Payments:
Hopefully, if you’re moving out on your own before your grace period is up, you have a good idea on when your loans will be due and how much you’ll owe. While federal loans provide your loan information online and send out reminders when your loans are due, private loans are easier to forget about, and may have very different payment schedules. Make sure you’re aware of all loan payments and factor those costs into your budget.
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While some students are set on being doctors, lawyers, magicians, engineers from the womb, others have a bit more of a struggle deciding what they want to do when they grow up. Perhaps some of these students enjoy all types of things from astrophysics to impressionist painting and just can’t figure out what professional career involves both or all of their passions.
Or perhaps some of these students hate everything from English literature to Earth science and are just looking for the one career path that’s been hiding from them all along. Either way, these 14 colleges and universities were ranked by the 2011 Princeton Review as schools that provide the best career services.
Lost on what you want to do? Transfer to one of these schools to get some great advice!
1. University of Florida
Quick fact – UF has an annual budget of approximately $4.3 billion. Maybe some of the mullah goes toward their awesome career office.
2. Northeastern University
Quick fact – Northeastern had one of the first co-op programs. Students complete eight semesters of full-time study and up to three six-month terms of paid full-time work.
3. Pennsylvania State University
Quick fact -The largest of university’s 24 campuses, University Park is almost entirely within the boundaries of State College borough, a site chosen to be near the geographic center of the state.
4. University of Texas
Quick fact - The University of Texas at Austin was named one of the original eight “Public Ivy” institutions.
5. Barnard College
Quick fact – Barnard is a private women’s liberal arts college and a member of the Seven Sisters. It has been affiliated with Columbia University since 1900.
6. Claremont McKenna College
Quick fact - Claremont McKenna emphasizes programs in government, economics, and international affairs.
7. Rochester Institute of Technology
Quick fact - RIT is one of the top universities in America for the fine arts. It places in the top 10 for many of the college’s programs, including Photography, Glass art, and Industrial design.
8. Bentley University
Quick fact – Bentley was founded in 1917 as a school of accounting. It remains today a top business school.
9. Clemson University
Quick fact - Thomas Green Clemson, the university’s founder, came to the foothills of South Carolina in 1838, when he married Anna Maria Calhoun, daughter of John C. Calhoun, a South Carolina statesman and seventh U.S. Vice President. Now THAT’s history.
10. University of Richmond
Quick fact - During the Civil War, Richmond College was used as a hospital for Confederate troops and later as a Union barracks.
11. Missouri University of Science and Technology
Quick fact – Missouri S&T was originally the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy.
12. Spelman College
Quick fact – Spelman was the first historically black female institution of higher education to receive its collegiate charter in 1924.
13. Yale University
Quick fact – Originally, the Collegiate School, the college was renamed Yale College to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company in 1718.
14. Cornell University
Quick fact – Cornell’s educational ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s motto, a popular 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”
Do you know what career path you’re going to take or would a little extra help go a long way?
Already putting your plans together for life after college graduation?
Which city have you always dreamed of living in?
Well, if it’s one of the 13 cities below, you might not want to move there unless you’ve landed a job there ahead of time.
According to this Daily Beast article, the September census illustrates what most of us probably already knew (and those on Occupy Wall Street are protesting…I think?): the outlook for unemployment does not look too good for America’s newest adult population.
But wait! There’s more!
There are certain places where recent grads have been hit even harder. These cities have the greatest rise in an educated yet unemployed population since 2008. Trying to start a booming career in one of these places could actually mean an endless job search and cutting your losses by taking a gig at the Dairy Queen.
Here are those cities:
1. Orlando, Fla.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 23.7%
2. Seattle, Wash.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 18.8%
3. Virginia Beach, Va.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 12.7%
4. Birmingham, Ala.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 24.1%
5. Dayton, Ohio
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 23.4%
6. Nashville, Tenn.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 15.5%
7. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 15.2%
8. Milwaukee, Wis.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 21.3%
9. Las Vegas, Nev.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 19.6%
10. Louisville, Ky.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 14.8%
11. Columbus, Ohio
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 14.8%
12. Riverside, Calif.
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 27.4%
13. Houston, Texas
Current unemployment, age 20-24: 14.2%
What city do you want to wind up in? Leave a comment below.
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