Graduating high school is a big deal, but graduating from college is an even bigger one. Unfortunately, during those four (or more) years of “studying,” most students don’t spend their financial aid, savings, parent’s money and/or scholarship money very wisely.
What was considered dire during sophomore year, like a new dress for the Greek mixer, has probably been donated to Goodwill by now. Thus, most graduates find themselves with nothing of use besides a beat-up laptop and an old futon.
The good news for grads is that graduation is the perfect time to score some gifts. However, it’s also a warning sign that it’s time to grow up — and fast. Whether a grad asks for one of these items as a gift or buys it for himself, these are four things new grads simply shouldn’t live without. Make sure you have them secured well before you pack up the dorm room.
1. A functioning laptop
As telecommuting becomes more common, thanks to mobile and cloud technology, more employees are getting lucky enough to score work-from-home jobs. Even if a grad gets a traditional job, at least part of the time he or she will likely have to finish up some work from home. Even landing a job requires constant access to software and the Internet. A newer model computer is no longer a luxury; for a successful career, it’s an absolute must.
2. A firm grasp of student loan repayments
Most students sign away their promissory notes without reading the fine print, and that’s always a mistake. If a grad has variable interest, that can change every July 1 and the government is getting antsier every year about getting its money back. There’s only a six-month grace period between commencement and student loans coming due. Most grads could use a financial advisor who can help them navigate the treacherous waters of student loan repayments.
3. Renters’ insurance
Renters’ insurance costs about $15 per month, but the vast majority of young, right-out-of-college renters don’t have it. Take a moment and consider how much it would cost to replace absolutely everything in an apartment from the MAC makeup to the couch. For just $15 per month, you can have near-total peace of mind.
4. A week’s worth of business attire
Start collecting quality business attire that matches the kind of job you desire. For both men and women, this includes a simple black suit. Think quality over quantity, and gather the basics before opting for accessories.
Graduation is an exciting and scary time. Start getting prepared now, and make sure these basics are secured.