So you’re done with college, which also means you’re done with homework, Tuesday night binge drinking, Wednesday night all-nighters in the library, and taking “personal days” whenever you feel like it. While the end of college means the end of a lot of not-so-great habits, it can also mean the unintentional end of some really-great habits.
Here are five things you did in college that you should continue to do, even though you’re gone.
1. Stalk your friends, acquaintances, and friends’ friends
It’s unintentional stalking—you’re on Facebook, then next thing you know you’re mindlessly clicking through, years deep in some stranger’s profile pictures—but it’s still stalking. And stalking is okay! Keep a tab on what your friends, acquaintances, and even friends’ friends are doing. Where are they working? For whom are they working? What is their role? You never know when someone will be working where you want to work, for whom you want to work, or in a role in which you want to work.
2. Live like you have no money
Even if you’ve secured a job and a steady income, don’t forget your poor college roots. There’s really no need to start drinking $50 bottles of wine when you’re accustomed to (and secretly like) the $5 bottles, regardless of how much money you’re making. Be frugal, like you were in college, so you can work toward tackling bigger financial tasks like student loans, strong savings accounts, and retirement funds.
3. Find balance
In college, finding balance meant alternating between hitting the books hard and hitting the bars hard. Balance probably shouldn’t mean the same thing post-graduation, but it’s still important for your sanity. Work hard, but don’t only work. Still use your free time to explore your new city, foster friendships, date, and call your mom.
4. Refine your skills and hone in on your passions
You took class after class in your major in order to refine your skills in that subject area. But if your major was political science and your passion was pottery, you may have worked some pottery classes in there, too. Use work to continuously refine your skills and develop new ones. If your passion also aligns with your job, then great—you’re killing (or nurturing?) two birds with one stone. If you have passion elsewhere, though, don’t abandon it just because it’s not your source of income. Passions are just as important as skills.
5. Sell yourself
*Not in a prostitute way.* College is a whole lot of pretending like you have your entire life together and selling yourself based on that facade. The real-world isn’t too different. Even when you have a job, selling yourself may help you inch closer to that bonus, that promotion, or that better job elsewhere.