Sink Or Swim: 6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Graduating

by Martinique Jobin

Spring brings about a lot of great things.

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, the weather gets warmer and summer is just around the corner.

But, if you're a student, spring also means the end of the semester and, and for many this year, the end of an era: Your university years.

These were the days when you wished your brain could soak up a textbook as well as it did a rum and coke; when your friends were your neighbors or living just across the street instead of miles away; when you could just roll up at 8:30 am with your pajamas and unbrushed hair; when you could wake up Sunday morning, hungover AF, but recover in mere hours with a Big Tasty from McDonald's.

But, looking back also reminds me about all the struggles and lack of snuggles I dealt with after graduation.

So, as you walk across the stage to get your diploma (crossing your fingers to not trip and have a total Lizzie McGuire moment), please keep the following in mind:

Your parents will no longer pay your bills

I know a lot of people are like, "No sh*t, Sherlock." Well, first off, rude. Secondly, it's actually very traumatizing.

Your parents decide, since they spent a lot of money on this piece of paper, you should find a job and become independent.

All of a sudden, it hits you: "My phone actually costs me money? Health insurance? Taxes? My home isn't free?" Yeah, like I said, it's traumatizing.

Budgeting should become your new friend

Your salary will remain constant during the month, but your bills and emergencies won't.

That's why you have to learn how to budget, now. You should always try to save at least some part of your paycheck.

This will come in handy when your tire blows out, you need your wisdom teeth pulled out or you want to splurge and get that extra guacamole.

Your dream job might be a dream

You probably won't get your dream job at the first go around (or any really great job, for that matter) if you didn't do any internships or gain any sort of work experience before graduating.

It's like the old saying goes,

"Pick a major you love and never work a day in your life because that field probably isn't hiring."

But, know if you end up as a waiter or folding clothes at H&M, it's no big deal.

You have to start from somewhere! Just make sure to always keep an eye out for new opportunities.

Looking for a job is a full-time job

It's a really daunting task. You have to look through tons of search engines and ads, see if the position fits, write cover letters, pimp out your résumé and then pray for an interview.

Even that's hard to land. Luckily, whether you're fresh in the job market or not, there are eight tips to enhance your performance during your hunt, made by yours truly.

Working is scary (for lack of a better adjective)

There's a lot of pressure out there in the "real world." It's not the employer who needs you, it's you who needs him or her.

If you don't perform well or he or she just doesn't like you, he or she can easily stand you in a line with two other people and say,

"I'm sorry, auf wiedersehen," as they give you a kiss on the cheek and watch you walk away.

Stay competitive, come to work on time and remind your employers why they hired you in the first place.

Making friends will get harder

It really will. In college, it's so easy because everyone basically has the same schedule and interests as you.

Once you get into the working world, especially if you move cities or countries, it gets much harder. Everyone already has his or her set group, set schedules and, possibly, even families to deal with.

But, know you have to put yourself out there. Join a club, go for drinks and make an extra effort. You'll end up with friends who are based on quality, not quantity.

So, there you have it: There's much more to keep in mind, but I thought this is a good precursor.

Now, go forth into the real world and be an adult.