22 Things to Know by Graduation

By Rosie Kean
For Unwind magazine

It’s no secret that college prepares us for the working world. The classes you’re taking will get you your degree — and your degree will hopefully land you a job. But what about life after college? Being a full-fledged adult seems like a daunting endeavor, especially after living as a college student for four years. To make the transition into the real world a little easier, here’s a list of 22 things you should know by the time you graduate.

  1. How to balance a checkbook: It’s important to keep track of your expenses and know how much money is in your bank account.
  1. How to iron your clothes: Wrinkled clothes never make a good impression, and you can save money by ironing your clothes yourself.
  1. How to budget your money wisely
  1. How to do your taxes
  1. How to change a tire: Depending where you are when you get a flat, it could take hours for someone to come and change your tire for you. Avoid waiting and just do it yourself.
  1. How to cook meals that aren’t microwaveable: Microwave meals are great in college, but once you graduate, you should move away from the Easy Mac and Hot Pockets, and start making healthier, home-cooked meals.
  1. How to manage stress: College provides plenty of practice with stress. Still, it’s important to make sure you can deal with stress in a healthy way before you step into the “real world.”
  1. How to put gas in your car: Editor’s Note: If you are from New Jersey or Oregon, you are excused from this rule.
  1. How to schedule a doctor’s appointment: Your mom can’t be scheduling all your appointments forever.
  1. How to open a bank account

  2. How to pay off a loan: As much as you may hate it, college loans are a necessary evil for most students. You need to know how to pay them off.
  1. Understand how insurance works
  1. How to network: Making connections with the right people will really help you in whatever career you choose.
  1. How to read a map: It may seem like an outdated skill, but it’s helpful for the rare but inevitable times when your phone dies and you’re in the middle of nowhere.
  1. How to delegate: Your future bosses will be impressed with your leadership skills.
  1. How to write a good resume and cover letter: Writing a resume is the first step in getting a job — and it needs to be done well if you want to be even considered for the position.
  1. How to present yourself professionally
  1. How to defend yourself: Hopefully you won’t ever need to use it, but the world can be a scary place. Knowing a few basic maneuvers to protect yourself isn’t such a bad idea. Plus, knowing you can kick someone’s butt if needed is a great confidence booster.
  1. How to sew on a button: It’s a simple skill that will prove itself very useful when a button pops off of your favorite shirt.
  1. How to properly make a bed: Lazily pulling the sheets up to the pillows after you wake up doesn’t count.
  1. How to clean a bathroom and kitchen

If you could only know one thing by the time you graduate, it should be yourself. College is a time for finding yourself and learning how to be an individual. Always know who you are. A strong sense of self will be your compass in life — it will guide you to wherever you are meant to go.


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