Jason, Chuckie, Freddy – its Halloween time! Time to stir up your scare with ghosts, psychos and creepy clowns. Well, I’m about to drop some knowledge on you that will scare you more than any horror movie. Are you ready for it? Here it is…
Life after college is hard. Really hard. The job market, bills and the housing economy are scarier than anything Wes Craven can come up with.
Here are four frightening realities of life after college:
1. Everything costs more than you’d think.
If the number one rule of horror movies is “don’t look in the closet,” then the number one rule of adult life is “everything costs more than you’d think.” It seems unfathomable that groceries could cost more than $75 per week or that a $50 budget for a night out would be hard to stick to, but it’s true. And that’s on top of record-high rent prices.
2. Getting a good job is incredibly hard.
How do you protect yourself from Dracula? With a stake to the heart. How do you protect yourself from debt? With a good job of course. I’m sorry to report that young people, including new college grads, currently have a higher unemployment rate than any other age group.
3. Taking care of an apartment is exhausting.
You might think, “If I work full time, I won’t be home enough for my apartment to get messy.” Wrong! Even if you don’t have a zombie roommate shedding skin on your sofa, you will have dust. Add to that eating on the run, not having time to wash your dishes and leaving unflattering “reject” outfits lying on the bed and you’ll quickly find yourself wishing you had a housekeeper.
4. Money management is confusing.
Budgets, healthcare. 401Ks. You’ve heard of them, you know they are all good, but do you know how to manage them? Do you know how to look at your paycheck and your expenses and balance your budget? Do you understand what a 401K is and how it can impact your taxes? It’s enough to make your head spin Exorcist-style.
Shaking in your boots yet? Don’t sweat it. If horror movies have taught us anything it’s that if you’re clever and willing to fight, there is always a way to emerge victorious. Some survivors even go on to achieve fame, fortune and power – Katniss Everdeen mean anything to you? And for the survivors, the perks of life after college are outstanding: independence, financial stability and best of all, no more homework!
So if your Michael Myers is the pressure of life after college, how do you bring down the beast? The answer is simple: study hard, get good grades and learn as much as you can. Here’s what I mean:
Everything costs more than you’d think. True, but if you can achieve a good job and you learn how to manage your expenses you can surmount this.
Getting a good job is incredibly hard. Also true, but you can act now to give yourself a leg up. Graduating with a good GPA and a degree in a desirable field will make you more appealing to employers.
Taking care of an apartment is exhausting. The reality is, housekeeping is time consuming. But if you have a good job, and are careful with your budget, you might just find some spare cash to bring in a professional once in a while.
Money management is confusing. Lucky for you, you’re in college! You are surrounded by people who can teach you how to navigate these waters. Take some accounting classes, learn about budgeting and retirement planning. Now is the time, this is the place. So get to class!
Still planning on blowing off a homework assignment to go to a midnight screening of Saw? Consider which is scarier – Jigsaw’s games or the pressure of finding a reliable job to support your wine and Chipotle burritos habit?