8 Things Recent College Grads Have No Idea How To Do
It turns out school is actually a nice shelter away from the realities of life.
Now, I'm not assuming that ALL college graduates can't do any of these things. There are many college students who pay for their own housing and insurance. And if your degree had anything to do with taxes, finance, business, or insurance, you're a step ahead.
But as your average, run-of-the-mill college grad, I have to say, the list of responsibilities is daunting.
Maybe you had a job throughout college that paid enough for you to have to do taxes. That's great and you're much more prepared for the real world than the rest of us. Filing taxes isn't something that just happens. You have to physically do it. Luckily, there are programs for people just like you and me that make filing taxes a breeze. Just make sure you know when Tax Day is!
On your parents' insurance, you've basically got free healthcare and car insurance. Once you get a real job and start needing benefits, like health insurance, you start to realize that insurance is REALLY expensive and weigh the consequences of not having it. (Do I need to go to the hospital for this broken leg?) Then you realize that there are about a million types of insurance and have a panic attack and wish you had your mommy.
It turns out buying a house is a lot more complicated than just showing up where you see a "For Sale" sign, handing the real estate agent some money, and moving in. There's loan approvals, interest rates, insurance (AGAIN WITH THE INSURANCE), commission fees, warranties, equity... All of that and people can still back out at the last minute.
A 401(k) is a great retirement fund that gives you the chance to live out your senior days without worrying about money. However, there's this whole process for figuring out how much you need to set aside in your 401(k) each year to make sure you don't retire and go bankrupt after three months. Yeah, you have to start thinking about what you'll be spending money on at 70 when you're 22. Some college classes will teach you about the idea behind the 401(k), but nothing prepares you for the real world application.
Maybe you were lucky enough to get the credit talk from your parents at a young age. Maybe they even set you up with a credit card to use "for emergencies only" to ensure you built up some credit. Even if that's the case, credit can be puzzling once you're paying your own way. Basically, you need credit to do things like buy a house or a car. Not just a credit card, but an established history of responsible credit. And it has to be GOOD credit. Not all credit is the same. What?! I just wanted to buy a pair of shoes! Here's where it gets sticky - to get good credit, you have to spend a certain amount of your limit every month. But you also have to make sure you pay off your credit card as quickly as possible or you'll start acquiring interest, which turns into bad credit. See what I'm saying? No? Me either.
College kids celebrate sick days. One note from the doctor and you get to extend deadlines, make up tests, and turn in that homework you forgot to do. Plus, you get to do all of this from the comfort of a couch your parents paid for. As an adult, you can't get sick all the time. Why not? Because you only get a certain number of sick days until you can't miss any more work. Not only does it suck to work while you're sick, but the people around you will resent you for introducing your bacteria to the office. But here's the thing - you'll be more fatigued once you start working 40+ hours a week and your immune system will hate you. That's why you have to start eating healthy, drinking tons of water, and exercising.
Cell phone bills are extremely expensive these days and it's not just the "100 minutes, 50 texts" program anymore (LOL, 50 texts?! That's one conversation!). You pay for GB of data and 5GB runs out pretty quickly if you spend a lot of time on social media. And most cell phone companies don't have "unlimited" plans anymore. When you find out how much you've cost your parents over the year, you'll be running home to hug them and beg for forgiveness.
Plants are great to have in your office and your home because they keep the air purified. But if you can't keep a plant alive as an adult, it's a pretty sad indication of the level of responsibility you can handle. Start small, with a bamboo plant (virtually impossible to kill) and work your way up.