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What's is post-college life like?
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 11/9/13
Harder in some ways, but overall, more rewarding and fulfilling-- and not just financially. That old saying they trot out about graduation being better called "commencement" as it's a beginning and not an end is true. College was fun and rewarding for me too, but to anyone who thinks they "peaked" in college, I hope that's not true-- for your sake! College (assuming you didn't just waste your time there-- garbage in, garbage out), simply gets you to the next level, maybe opening a few more doors. It's up to you to take it from there. While success or even not-failing is not guaranteed in America (and why should it be?), this is still a place (unless we screw it up...) where you can make it if you're willing to try, exercise judgment, and put in the effort. However, don't expect to given the keys to the corner office and the executive bathroom right when you graduate. Graduation/commencement is just the first step on the road to proving yourself. I got two post-graduate degrees and didn't get my first non-training job until age 36, but still started off as an associate in my field, and I've been working my way up since then.
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28 / M / Pinellas Park, FL
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Posted 11/9/13

Hairbelly wrote:


That was a well written, thoughtful post Romulus023. Thanks for taking the time to share it.


Thanks a bunch and you're welcome!

I have a lot to say about it and as the eldest in a huge family I have to be able to deliver this information to the younger generation.
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25 / M / Iowa
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Posted 11/9/13 , edited 11/9/13
Well. Life isn't easy for anyone. We all have trials in life, so it all depends how you define "easy". Post-schooling is all about working yourself till your dead. Work-> Work overtime -> Pay accumulated bills on payday-> Be broke the rest of the week. Rinse and repeat. Right up until you A) get injured. B ) Retire C) Die D) Quit or E)get fired, and A is really only a temporary leave of duty.

Balance that with an attempt or two at a healthy romance, and still try to hang on with what friends you have left.
Sogno- 
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Posted 11/10/13
student loan companies calling you everyday

life is great
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F
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Posted 11/10/13
It's challenging and fulfilling. Being out in the world by yourself really tests you to the limit of what you can do. You'd be surprised, that thrown in a situation and given some choices, you'd find yourself doing things that you never thought or imagined you'd accomplish on your own.
Lannae 
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25 / M / USA
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Posted 11/10/13
Awesome. As a full-fleged engineer, I am constantly presented with new challenges that put everything I learned in college to the test, allowing me to improve myself everyday. It' s even more satisfying when I get things done and meet (or exceed) expectations, and my paycheck reflects my results.

Paying bills and managing your budget isn't bad at all once you get used to it. You may splurge a lot at first since you now have more money than you ever did in college, but a little self control is all it takes.

And you will miss the carefree life of being a student, but believe me, the things you learn in the work force are much more rewarding and helpful than what you learn in an enclosed classroom (most of the time). Experience over knowledge, as they say.
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27 / F / Honolulu
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Posted 11/10/13
I picked a major I enjoyed, but I've yet to use my degree. I don't really plan on it either as it really requires graduate degrees to get a good job in the field. Life after was easy for me because I got married 2 days after I finished my degree. Husband was a military man so I moved 1/2 way around the world nearly and found a job with bad pay that's a bit satisfying to the soul. I do feel bad when I look at my loans and I think about how many years more it will take me to pay it off, but I couldn't say I really regret that I went to school and got a degree. I know if I hadn't I would have regretted not getting the experience.

I've been telling my brothers and his friends who plan to go to college, seriously consider doing community college courses the first two years then transfer to where you want to go! I went to cc for 2 years then transferred while my twin sister put all four years at the college we graduated from. She owes 10,000$ more than me. I don't think 10,000$ is worth getting to know the professors better, longer time to make friends, and more time to get into the groove of clubs and activities. It's personal opinion though.
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Posted 11/10/13

jedcondor wrote:

Has it been hard? Easy?

And does paying your student loans bother you?

What is it like at that point of your life and beyond?


Honestly, this really depends on how you approach the situation after college.

For some people, they start families. That involves having children, working a full time job, that sorta thing.

Other people may stay single, like I do - so I'll answer your question based off that perspective. I work full time as an application developer, own my own house/car, and have a "good life" as far as I'm concerned. Much of my life is similar to how I lived it when I was a teenager. I spend a fair amount of time studying/reading, a fair amount of time playing video games, and little time socializing or anything else.

With that said, there are differences from when I was a kid. First, there's more pressure to 'make it' than there is when a kid. While I have someone who's willing to help me if I need it, I still feel quite a bit of pressure to make it on my own. That means, I still need to be a responsible adult and go to work on time, do my job, and stay skilled. My personality lends itself well to staying skilled, so I have very little problem in that area.

Some things from college to out-of-college will change, but the amount it changes is really up to you. It can also be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.
Posted 11/10/13
It's very tough
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24 / M / Bed
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Posted 11/10/13
I'm not there yet, but I'm close. Only one semester left until all that starts for me. I can tell you it leaves me nervous as hell. I have absolutely nothing saved up right now thanks to semester payments, gas, and books. Also have no job lined up at the moment either. Hopefully I'll find something by graduation. Instead of diving right into it all by myself my plan is to stay with my family for another year after I graduate. Save up what I can and get a start on my student loans without worrying about utilities, food, and rent. Once I have a bit of money and a handle on my payments I'll work on finding my own place and take it from there.
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45 / LV-426
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Posted 11/10/13
Had a full scholarship, so no loans to pay. No drunken idiots to deal with. Made enough money to retire at 42. No place to be at any particular moment. The only studying I do is of my own volition. No GPA to worry about. Happily married with son...I'd say post college life is better than college life. Miss the orgies, though.
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Posted 11/10/13
Learn the value of a dollar, even more.


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27 / M / Jamaica
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Posted 11/10/13
For me it has been fantastic, I do not student loans to pay off and I am applying for my Master's. In addition my financial situation is great so I do not have to get a job at the moment.
Dragon
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37 / M
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Posted 11/10/13
As others have said.. it varies greatly. At times it's been hard - finding jobs is never fun, especially when I decided a few years ago to do contract work full time instead of in-office salaried jobs. At others, easy - I've made a lot of great friends, worked on a lot of great projects, and had fun along the way. And it's been interesting all along!

Luckily, I had a scholarship, so no loans to pay off once I entered the workforce. I've tried to manage my money well in any case, so if times are lean, I have savings to fall back on, and I know what I can cut out of my budgets at times if things get really tight. Best tip I ever learned from my folks was if you're getting a loan for a car, school, or just about anything, really, try to pay it off faster than anticipated. You'll save a lot on interest that way. Even if it's just a few dollars extra per month, it can really add up for long-term loans.

Life when I just graduated was somewhat worrisome. Trying to find that first job out of school can be nerve wracking, more so than any final I'd ever taken (though the actual interviews were far easier than most finals). If you can get an internship or temp job relating to your field of study, that can help out quite a bit. I don't know if I've just been extremely lucky or what, but I've made great friends at all my workplaces since graduation, and keep in touch with them frequently.

And a paycheck meant I could finally buy all those nifty toys I wanted growing up! Or better yet, modern versions!
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M / California (Nor C...
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Posted 11/10/13
I graduated with a degree that was really in need back in 2006-2008, not my field or degree of choice, but has made my life easier with a steady income--also helps working for the feds (my head won't be on a chopping block for awhile, unless the govt dissolves or something lol). I thought working with the feds would be easy, but they dump a lot of crap on you if the other employees do not have the skills or whatever--I don't know how many times i had to volunteer as lead -- well more like forced volunteering.

I graduated from a state school, when semesters were pretty cheap..1.2-1.5k, so I have no loans. I don't care if i didn't go to a prestigious school. If you make the best of it, you should be able to land a job.

But it is nerve racking if you can't or you think you will not get a job before graduation. I thought I would not get anything, but most of my job offers came through a month before my graduation--I applied for 19 jobs, got 18 interviews and I think half of them offered..don't recall. I was really paranoid

Now, I'm just going to work till whatever my retirement age, and have good ol uncle sam take care of me, or maybe retire before then.
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