At the age of 21, I was graduating from college a semester early and was just getting ready to join the workforce. I have no idea why I was ready to start being a “real” adult.
Fast forward 6 years later, I am now 27 and am living my life as a property manager from 9-5 and Founder of this lovely site you are reading, The Mogul Millennial.
In the past 6 years, I have learned so much, and there are so many things that I wish I could tell my 21 year old self. Below you will find 8 out of the million things I wish my younger self knew.
1. Keep an open mind when it comes to your career
Upon graduation, I limited myself so much when it came down to where I would move to after graduation. I was missing family and was honestly a little scared to venture far away into a totally new state or city (my college was only 4 hours away from my hometown). As a result, my job search was very limited, and I even turned down a few interviews because of the location. Thinking back now to all of the dollars I missed out on because of my lack of courage is depressing on its own.
2. Don’t rush your time in college
I realized I could graduate from college early during the first semester of my junior year. Immediately, I worked extra hard so that I could leave and walk across that stage. If I could go back, I would not rush my way out of college, but I would continue to enjoy the college experience. Undergrad is such a unique, and once of a lifetime experience that I feel shouldn’t be rushed. Not too mention, as soon as I graduated I immediately missed my meal plan and midday naps when I had no class.
3. Save, save, SAVE
I had my first job in high school, and had two different jobs while in college, so getting a paycheck wasn’t something new. However, what WAS new was having a paycheck that was substantially larger than minimum wage. Needless to say, my money habits were not the best when I first started working. I highly recommend that you practice good spending and saving habits early into your twenties, instead of wasting your money on things that you will soon forget about after the weekend is over.
4. Don’t be cheap with your job benefits
Most companies that offer heath and dental insurance will cover a portion of your health and dental benefits, and when you visit your provider, you will just pay a portion. When I got my first “real” job out of college, I was so stuck on not paying alot out of my paycheck for benefits (lol who needs a doctor, right). I soon learned after I got sick and needed to see a doctor that medical expenses definitely add up, and paying the majority out of pocket isn’t cool or smart, especially when your company can pay more.
5. Use your job benefits
On the same note, since you will be paying for a portion of your benefits in each paycheck, you might as well USE IT. Don’t be like me and fail to visit the doctor and dentist while you are still pretty much paying for it in each paycheck. If your job offers benefits and if you opt in, use em’, don’t lose em’.
6. Find more ways to invest your money
Besides having a bank account, explore more options to invest and grow your money early. You never know when your company will no longer need you, or if your lifestyle/life events will cause a need for more money. Also, having more than one source of income is simply a smart thing to do.
7. Get your butt up and travel
When you get your first job out of college, more than likely you will be given vacation time. Use it boo – you earned it. Not only that, there is more to the world than the town that you live in. Get up, travel, and spend your money on experiences and not just material things.
8. Practice self-care
The transition from college to the real world is a mutha (bleep) – I learned this the hard way. You have to get used to a new way of life, new people, and new routines. All of this change can cause stress and a lack of self-care. I wish I could have told my 21 year old self to schedule time out each day, solely for me, to take care of me. There were too many times when I gave people and my company all of me, all of my energy, and was literally left with nothing.