Survive Your First Year Post-College With the Help of Family and Friends

With May rolling in, graduation is quickly approaching and big decisions are being made. Some are put in the quandary of not yet having a job, while others may be deciding where to live, how to manage their expenses, and dealing with other major life decisions. This is an exciting and stressful transitioning period of your life, but you shouldn’t have to face it alone.

At, many of our interns have gone off to graduate with amazing full-time jobs. Here’s some advice from our team on getting the most out of the personal, professional, and monetary support from those in your community.

Expand your professional and personal networks.

More often than not, many of us have avoided friends from high school during those summers back from college. It’s easier to evade awkward small talk when you’re a college kid, but it’s important to realize that as you get older, you’re networking everywhere you go. Even if you’re still trying to determine your post-grad plans, it doesn’t hurt to network with childhood friends, old college classmates, and other professionals with whom you’ve worked in the past. Revive your LinkedIn page, clean up your Facebook albums, and be sure to send follow-ups for any professional emails that you send. Simple preliminary steps will help jump start building your community of resources.

Take any help from your parents — and say yes to a graduation party!

Now that you’ve revived some professional relationships and friendships, how about those familial ties? If given the chance and you’re strapped for cash, there’s no shame in moving back home after graduation. One intern had an older sister who was a commuter student at SFSU and ended up staying at home after graduation. She eventually got a job and after months of hard work, she got a promotion as well, but it helped that her daily routine was supported by parents who were around for the little things. She even gained invaluable “life” skills, from learning how to run a household and preparing dinner, to contacting service companies when home repairs were needed.

If parents are offering to throw you a graduation party (like this one), suggest establishing an online gifting component so guests can gift cash instead of a monogrammed towel set that you don’t really need. is an option that allows grads to create registries to show what they need money for and how they will use it. It’s a great way to share your goals and dreams with family and friends who want to support you. Think: rent money, suits, briefcases, and LSAT classes.

For further versatility, these customized Deposit a Gift registry sites can serve as invitations for the event with an etiquette-friendly way to hint at the gift of choice, an increasingly popular trend with 58.9% of graduation gift givers in 2009 who preferred to give cash.

Do your research and bounce ideas off others.

Many seniors still aren’t sure what they want to do with their next few years, even in June or as far as September. It’s always the right time to do research for yourself to find ideas of how to further your career. Another DAG intern moved to New York City after his college graduation to be immersed in the startup world. He fearlessly asked for help, voiced his interests, and developed ideas for what kind of career under the mentorship of the founder, Dana.

Even if you don’t have an internship to learn from, remember that the Internet is always a wealth of resources. See if your university’s career center has access to career guide resources, like Vault, which provides guides that range across many industries. Do research on industries you are interested in, learn your strengths, and figure out which types of positions would be right for you. Talk to your family and friends and see if they have any connections to people in a particular industry; you never know when a simple question can open so many doors!

Once you’ve figured out your goals, tap further into your community and see what they can do for you. Oftentimes, parents and relatives can be overwhelming with questions about your future. If you are looking money and you know they can help, why not register for items that will help you during your job search and first time living on your own? Not only will they be proud that you’re being proactive but it’ll also be encouraging for them to see that you’re raising money to pay for new professional attire, resume paper, transportation costs, and meals as you work towards reaching your career ambitions.

Getting through college and feeling secure after graduation is going to be a challenge for everyone, but you don’t have to do it alone! Build your community and establish connections around you. What they say is true — it really does take a village.



Contributed by Liana Wong. Liana is a rising senior at New York University. She currently interns with

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