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Chelsea breaks down the truths that college students should know, from the truth about finding a real job to learning how to budget. You can learn more about the transition from college to the "real world" in this video:

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The Financial Diet blog:

Hey guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is brought to you by Fresh Books.

Now one of the things we get asked about a lot on TFD is advice for college students. And there are certainly a lot of things that we on the TFD team had wished we'd heard, but no one told us. We all have different experiences.

Some of us have graduate degrees. Some of us, like me, didn't even finish our degree. And some of us, also like me, went to community college.

We have tons of different experiences to bring to both the college and the postgrad perspective. So the five of us worked as a team to come up with 21 truths that all college students need to hear. And a lot of them are about money, but not all of them.

So get ready for some general life lessons. Number one, every single dollar that you take out in student loans is a dollar is going to hurt like hell when you're paying it back. And that means only take out the bare minimum that you have to.

You should always be working when you can during and between the school year. And you should make cost be a huge part of the college you choose to go to. And most importantly, never ever ever take out student loans just to live or party on.

And yes, a lot of people do that. For example, I know several people who took out additional student loans they could rent their own apartment during school instead of living with their parents and commuting, and they so regret it. When it comes to student loans, every dollar counts.

Number two, colleges want your money. They want you to attend their school. They do not care about what it means for your future finances or even your professional prospects.

They will happily let you spend $200,000 of student debt on a literature degree and encourage you that it's the best decision you ever made while you're doing it. So take everything that college admissions say with a huge grain of salt. Number three, getting a job when you graduate has much much more to do with your portfolio, your in-person connections, your work experience, than it has to do with your GPA.

Essentially your GPA is really just for grad school. Basically no employer is ever going to look at your grades when they're hiring you for a job. Number four, start creating organized and clean living habits now instead of waiting until you get your first "adult" apartment to start treating it like it's a place you care about.

People who are huge slobs in college tend to have a hard time transitioning into the organized and somewhat rigorous world of being a working adult. Create good habits in your living space while you're in college, which is a perfect little incubator for creating habits. Number five, take all of your internships and you're on campus jobs and your work studies extremely seriously.

Never slack off on them because you feel like it's not part of your real career path. When you're looking to land your first job out of school, a lot of these people will be the only references you have to go off. So even the manager at your campus bookstore is someone that you need to really be impressing.

Number six-- for every 50 online job applications that you send off into the void with your resume attached, one in-person connection has just as much value. So use LinkedIn, take people to coffees, ask questions, attend these career related networking events. And remember that a job that is already posted online and accepting open applications is the least likely kind of job you're going to get.

Half the time they're already filled. Number seven, take a look around you at your current friend group. Chances are in about 10 years very few or possibly even none of these people are still going to be close friends.

That is totally natural, and not an indictment of you. People change, they grow, they move, they have other interests, they have personality types that evolve. It's not your fault.

It's natural. If in 10 years you still have one or two friends from college who are still real true close friends that's a huge success. And if you don't, it's not a failure.

Number eight, living with your parents after you graduate does not automatically mean saving a lot of money. In fact for a lot of people it just means having a built in excuse to spend a ton because you don't have any real bills. Me personally, I was broke with ruined credit when I lived with my parents because I didn't feel like I had to take money seriously.

And it wasn't until I had my own bills that I was forced to structure myself. Living with your parents postgrad can be a great way to save up a nest egg for adulthood, but you must live as though you were paying all your own bills. Keep a budget that includes rent and utilities and all that other stuff, except that money just goes to savings.

And lastly, if you're living with your parents, that is the most important time to have all your savings be automated as soon as your check hits, because you'll never feel more inclined to spend money than when you have no bills. Number nine-- are you listening, because this is a big one. Do not go to grad school to delay real life.

And on a similar note, do not ever go to law school because you don't know what else to do and are good at writing. Only go to grad school if it is an essential component of your career path. Number 10, if an internship is unpaid and there is no extremely clear way in which you will tangibly help your career, do not feel obligated to take it.

Unpaid internships are actually often illegal. And more importantly are often not the foot in the door that they promise to be. They can easily set you up on a path of constantly being promised more and never getting it.

Number 11-- you must set up good credit habits now, because college is the biggest time for FOMO spending, when everything's an adventure and you want to try everything. And Hoku's "Perfect Day" is playing in the background every time you and your friends are hanging out. And you always feel like you can justify another purchase because it's going toward that big college experience.

But I promise that if you set up good credit habits now, such as using a credit card to automate bill payments, and leaving it at home so you can't be tempted by it, you will be so thankful and ahead of the curve when you graduate. Graduating college with a great credit score and no credit card debt it's like graduating college by hitting the superstar in Mario Kart. You're at a huge advantage.

Number 12-- now is your time to put yourself first, in your career, in your future, and especially in your love life. You want to move to a new city after college, for example, do it because it holds great and exciting opportunities for you, not because some guy you just started dating happens to be moving there. Do not plan your future out of college around a relationship.

If the relationship is right, it will coincide with your future. Number 13, finding the right career path can take literal years. Setting a deadline on yourself for when you need to have found the perfect job sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

And PS, there is no such thing as a perfect job. Number 14-- people who say this is the only time in your life that you're going to be able to do X, Y, or Z, or these are the best years of your life, are not to be listened to. You have your entire life to travel, to try new things, to change paths, and to make mistakes.

Do not get lured into excessive college spending because you feel like it's your only time to rack up life experience points. Number 15-- you do not need to study abroad. If you are going to put yourself into further debt in order to do it, don't do it.

There are plenty of other ways to travel and see the world and even live in other countries, while not only not racking up debt, but also actually earning money. I'm a perfect example of that. I lived in France for like 3 and 1/2 years.

One year I was an au pair and a student, and the other 2 and 1/2 I was a writer working remotely. Do not ever let anyone convince you that studying abroad is your only time to meaningfully see the world. And let's be honest, a lot of study abroad programs, you're not really learning much about that country except for where all the alcohol is.

Number 16, you do not need to get a job in what you majored in. A lot of employers just want to see a degree on your resume as a way to get your foot in the door, and after that they don't really care what you studied. Getting a job that you enjoy is more than enough.

You don't have to worry that it's not what you went to school for. Number 17, you do not have to know exactly what you want your life to look like in 10 years the day you graduate. And in fact, you probably shouldn't.

The more you put pressure on yourself to follow one direct, straight path through your adult life, the more you are likely to feel A, stifled, and B, constantly disappointed in yourself. So many people, including literally all of the TFD team, had no idea that they would be doing this when they were 22. Focusing on taking the opportunities that come to you and focusing on being happy is a good way to follow the right path, but you'll never know what it looks like at the outset.

Number 18-- college is about proving that you can learn expect to learn. Most of your professional skills and tasks while on the job. Number 19-- make it a personal goal while on college to master five simple, easy, and inexpensive recipes.

Waiting until you're out of college to become a person who can cook likely means waiting until you're 30 and you try to learn in a panic because you wake up one day and realize that half of your intake is sodium from prepackaged foods. Number 20-- pick at least one non-work activity that you are going to dedicate yourself to keeping up after you graduate. It's easy to underestimate just how easy it is to have hobbies and activities in college, when they're free and right nearby, and you're surrounded with other people who want to do them with you.

Make it a point to be a well-rounded adult with hobbies, just like you make it a point to be good at your job. Number 21-- you are going to fail at least one big thing in the first couple years after graduation. It could be an internship, a job, a relationship, a friendship, a move, or even just staying financially afloat.

Accept that part of transitioning into the real world means learning by experience what doesn't work. I have been fired. I have been dumped.

And I have been broke with totally ruined credit. And in every case I am so glad that I was, because it made me understand and appreciate the life that I have now so much more. All things considered, you're probably doing fine.

As always, guys, thank you so much for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos. Bye.

This week's video was brought to you by Fresh Books. As you guys know, Lauren and I run TFD, which means a lot of number crunching, invoicing, and keeping track of paperwork. And if you've ever freelanced, side-hustled, or had your own project, you probably know what it feels like to get overwhelmed just keeping track of numbers.

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