Graduation Day marks a transition to the next phase of life. Unfortunately, that phase is adulthood.
Like most new phases, the beginning can be pretty rocky. In fact, the first few months after you graduate can be among the weirdest of your young existence. That's why MTV's Matteo Lane went around New York City dispensing advice to recent grads:
As helpful as those tips may be ("If you're gonna try new drugs, for God's sake, wear a shirt"), the biggest stresses you're likely to face this summer will be related to finances. Here are ways to get through the rest of your first year as an adult with no money.
Move Home (Seriously)
Look, you've spent four years away from parental supervision, and we get it, you’re not about to slide back into curfews and house rules about keeping the bedroom door open if you have a "friend" over.
But have you ever paid rent before? Probably not. It sucks.
Even if you're lucky enough to get a job right after college, you will be blown away by how much of your first SEVERAL paychecks go to your landlord. In fact, close to half your money will go to paying for some crappy apartment or scary haunted house that you share with 10 strangers. The other half will go to the government.
You will have no money, is what we’re trying to convey. So live at home until your parents physically remove you from the house. There’s a roof over your head, the fridge is always stocked and besides, you’re probably the only one who knows how to change the Wi-Fi password.
Cut Every Other Cost
When you enter the real world, you begin to understand the price behind nearly every experience. A drive around town means burning gas money. Turning on the air conditioner means a higher electric bill. Yeah, you love "Game of Thrones," but HBO GO costs as much as like 50 ramen noodle packets.
All told, you'll need to eliminate every nonessential cost from your life. Paying a cover at the club to see your favorite band? Eh, watch them on YouTube. Guacamole is extra? No can do. The 3D movie is a bit more? They make you nauseous anyway.
You know how your parents are stingy with every dollar, and it drove you crazy as a kid? There's a reason why, and you're learning it. Feels weird, like jumping in a pool while wearing clothes.
Find Free Food
Speaking of your mom's fully stocked fridge, you will begin to realize that food is the only good part of your otherwise aimless and empty days. Finding it will be difficult. The best sources for free food are the people closest to you. If your parents tell you to get lost, find your grandparents. If you eat all of their food, find your friends who work in restaurants.
If all else fails, open a Costco card and gorge on free samples until the manager physically removes you from the store. Yeah, adulthood means getting kicked out of a lot of places.
Find Free Everything Else
As a carefree college student, you were probably used to charging movie tickets to Mom and Dad, or grabbing free booze at a party, or stealing school supplies from your dumb roommate. In real life, movies cost HELLA money. No one hands you a red Solo cup when you walk into a room. And the security guard will physically remove you from the bank if you keep stealing pens.
So, just like with your friends who have restaurant jobs, look up every old friend and acquaintance of yours with a gig in the service industry or retail, and exploit your friendship. Buddy is a bartender? Go to his bar every night. Got a friend starting a bakery? You’d LOVE to have their day-old extras. Weird high school classmate works at the mall now? Run into her “by accident” and “rekindle” your “friendship.” Even if they can't get you free stuff, a 15% discount helps.
Sell Your Childhood Items
Remember all that money you spent collecting Pokemon cards as a kid, knowing they’d be worth money one day? You were wrong. They are worthless. But other stuff in your room may actually get you money on Craiglist. Good job, Past You.
You may have old cell phones, or computer stuff, or even government bonds from your Great Aunt Myrtle that are just lying around your room collecting dust. In general, your parents’ house is full of crap that could probably earn you a few bucks on the internet. Dad’s tools he never uses? Sell ‘em, if he's cool with it. Mom’s Kindle that she can’t work? Sell it. If it’s not nailed down and no one will miss it, flip it for a profit. That’s smart business.
Can’t find a job? Did you know they pay people to participate in medical experiments? It’s true! Check out the science lab at your local college, and get $50 for having a couple electrodes stuck in your body. Do focus groups, surveys, everything short of straight-up trading your Social Security number for cash. There are plenty of ways for people like yourself to make money -- in exchange, you just have to give up small amounts of your dignity, or let someone watch you sleep.
Call In Old Debts
If you get really desperate, it’s time to crack some skulls. Did you loan your friend $6 at McDonald’s over Spring Break in 10th grade because he wanted to finally try dipping his fries in a McFlurry? Remind him. And if he works in finance now, charge interest.
Get A Bad Job
If you’re broke, any job is a good job. “Bad” here means something that isn’t exactly a stepping stone on your preferred career path. Reach out to family friends to see if they need personal assistants or “organizational help.” So what if your room is so disorganized you aren’t entirely sure your bed still exists? Mow lawns or help old people figure out how to use iPhones. Do stuff that’s in your wheelhouse until you find something you actually want to do.