Jun 15, 2009

Journey From On-Campus Job to Full-Time Job

As we drive through our lives we take some valuable turns that remain scored onto the milestones of our living avenues. Getting into graduate school, going through the rigorous program and now getting accustomed to full-time job routine was one such turn for me. Being a student has taught me million things and so will the employee life but this transition left me pondering over few clouds of monetary inclinations that change over time and the way they change.

I had been little nostalgic about my college days lately. Those days of academic struggle, the times of temporary hardships, the laborious work hours to earn meager but seemingly ample wages, the fast ticking of my clock, those anticipated-ly productive but worthless night-outs before exams, ... and list goes on and on and on. Suddenly all golden memories have come to life today on my mind's screen.

Forgive me if this read like an article about my college time memories but it isn't. I mentioned those recollections because our college guy also has similar reminiscence. Oh, the college guy, I went to college with him, my friend. I can't believe I started working full-time 6 months ago but this person was always there with me. So let me share some of his traits with you today.
  • Survival of a student
If you are not counted among the few elites on campus, your life might not be just as comfortable. Our college guy came to school with the burden of a huge educational loan and was really committed to putting all he could into studies. He roofed himself in a cheap apartment and worked hard the maximum allowable hours on-campus aiming to earn as much as possible while attempting to ace his courses. Life could be managed with lower hours but he couldn't leave the desire to earn extra.

A saver indeed, bought only what he needs, saved whatever he could, stashed it in his bank account with negligible interest. Had $1 cheese pizza slices for lunch to save on food, saved $1 bus fares by not going to malls on weekends.

What a saver, wasn't he? Yes that's past tense there, because our college guy eventually graduated and found a full-time job for himself. But then what? Continue reading ...
  • Living the life
My friend is not going to take any criticism after living that frugal and savvy life he lived as I depicted above, it is the time and he has big cash-flow running in to his pocket. He is ought to live the life king-size. Isn't he?

A luxury apartment was indeed a dream. Hours are fixed so no worries of working more. But the views are drastically changed now. He doesn't take lunch to work rather eats out daily. Buys what he wants, keeps absolutely no account for his balances. Bought himself a nice ride, goes to mall quite frequently. Planning to marry soon, but planning to save then.

He is in his twenties, can still be some of a saver he was in college and this time his savings habits would damn going to be a boon. But no, he has started to feel light, seemingly on that heavy paycheck he is enjoying the sight of all those monetary restrictions of yore down below the height of his flight. But in this flight to nowhere, he probably forgot about his burden of educational loan and much more ...
  • Who is College Guy?
Let me stop here folks. My college guy is nobody else but one of us. This is a story of thousands like me and may be you yourself. I am not a proponent of being an ultimate saver and living a pathetically frugal life. Rather I believe in wanting to achieve what I need and what I enjoy in comparison to feeling royal at present and taste the lacking next moment. College guy was supposed to put his hard earned wealth of knowledge and experience to work here, he could be much more self-content in the practicality of this real world than living the disgruntled life he is about to see.
  • So what's the conclusion?
I have seen many friends making this transition and completely changing their lifestyles ignorant of their imminent repent. We seem to learn the lesson the hard way but the time has started to give way now, if it can't be earlier it is going to be another bad day really soon in future.
I could ascertain two reasons to this whole social pattern of progress culminated ignorance:
  1. while being students we always dream of the life after graduation. School life is full of short turns but life after that is not going to be one. Instead of anticipating what's around the corner down the lane, students ought to plan to witness any surprises. Those 2-4 years could be easily managed without any pondering but life after graduation takes a lot of planning. The real challenge starts then and will be on till the end.
  2. money saved is money earned, a long proved modus operandi. While all visit the "money earned" part, many ignore the "money saved" part.
There are numerous Personal Finance blogs today talking about budgeting, saving and frugality. It's not just about students but we all have, during some part of our lives, not just learned these tricks but even applied those skills to our daily lives. We tend to, however, forget to take these practices forward with us. It is human tendency to follow what we couldn't do but quite often we forget to continue what we know how to do. Once we start earning more, we tend to feel the freedom of our mind from the shackles of monetary fears. While we start to spend in all ways we wished, we forget that we also saved, budgeted and lived a frugal life then.

Being today's GenY, current graduates represent tomorrow's future. I am far away from politics and don't know a word about GenY's contribution in future economy. But I know that GenY makes-up a gigantic portion of society and thus influence greatly the monetary practices of the world. Being part of today's turmoil demands the youth to garner all they have experienced and all they are witnessing now, and strike the future with such a vigor that time doesn't see such a fiscal despair again.

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