With the school year coming to a close, graduating seniors will soon embark on the next stage of their lives. However, after spending the last four years in college, making the transition between student and independent working adult may prove to be difficult for some. Here are a few tips to help make a smooth transition.

Learn to cook

learn how to cook

Learning how to cook will not only increase your skills as an adult but it will also be better for your health. Ready-made food and instant meals like ramen or TV dinners, while filling, often do not contain the nutrients needed to keep your body energized and well. When consuming these types of food, you also put yourself at the mercy of the producers to determine what kinds of ingredients, healthy or not, go into your body each meal. By going grocery shopping and preparing the food yourself, you take control of your daily food intake and ensure that what you put into your body is good for you. Remember, you cannot live on Top Ramen forever.

Nights are for sleep

nights are for sleep

As a working adult, getting enough sleep should be at the top of your list of priorities. If you currently find yourself spending late nights out on the town and waking up the next morning or afternoon feeling like you are dead on your feet, you should plan to make some changes pronto. While you may be used to the leniency your professors have with attendance in your classes, you will soon find that your future employers will not be as forgiving. Start training yourself now to go to bed at a reasonable time so that you are able to get enough sleep to wake up refreshed and ready for the day’s agenda. This does not mean you need to permanently say goodbye to your fun nights out – staying up late and sleeping in are reserved for your days off.

Learn how to apartment hunt

apartment hunt

Whether you are currently living at home or in a dorm room, it is time to start thinking about looking for an apartment. Many college students may not know what to look for in an apartment and get distracted by all of the unnecessary amenities that come with it. One of the most important things to pay attention to is the cost of rent. While nicer apartments can provide more comfortable living, you may find yourself behind on your rent within your first few months living there. If you find yourself strapped for cash, find some friends who are also looking for an apartment or search for people advertising for a roommate. By moving in with multiple people, the cost for your share of the rent will go down. You may also want to look for apartments close to your workplace.

Frugality is your friend

Frugality is your friend

As an independent working adult you need to realize that the number of things you find yourself spending on is going to increase. In college, the bulk of your spending went to things like tuition, meals and supplies. If you decide to live in an apartment after graduation, you need to start thinking about things like rent, bills for electricity, water and gas, food and insurance. To prevent yourself from ending up in the financial red zone at the end of the month, plan out your spending at the beginning. Try to estimate how much you will be spending on rent, bills and other necessities, and then determine how much you can allow yourself to spend on extras like clothes, nights out with friends or a trip you have been planning to take.

Date wisely

Date wisely

If after settling in with your job and your new place, you find yourself looking for a date, Tinder may not be the best place to look. Take some time to think about what you really want to find in a significant other. While Tinder is an easy way to meet people, many people on this app are not looking for a long-term relationship. Dating for fun may have been fine as a college student, but you need to think about how long it will be before you want to start dating with long-term plans in mind. Would you rather be in several subpar relationships over the course of a few months, or one great relationship for a long time?