21 Truths All College Students Need To Hear | The Financial Diet


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. That’s where Fresh
Books comes in. Basically it’s cloud
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designed with people in mind who are really
bad with numbers, like me. And fresh books is
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100 Replies to “21 Truths All College Students Need To Hear | The Financial Diet”

  1. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all of this advice honestly. It's so much to take in when I am hearing about this for the first time.

  2. i immediately turned this off after hearing that my "literature" degree won't get me anywhere. english degrees are useful from anywhere from writing-based positions to being a lawyer, so maybe try not to act like college admissions counselors are lying to students. they might ACTUALLY know what they're talking about, and you might be discouraging upcoming students from pursuing things they love in an effort to "get somewhere."

  3. This channel gives very unfounded improper financial advice with 0 actual fiduciary backing or evidence.

  4. This video is obviously from the perspective of American colleges. Having to worry so much about debt and price of college is stressful just to hear about. In Scotland the student debt is much less of a worry, however the living on your own aspect and being an ‘adult’ kicks in a lot earlier, which can be a bit of a shock when you’re 18 😂

  5. 1. for major companies, GPA counts in order to lessen the load of applications to look at

    2. study abroad is actually quite cheap in countries other than the US

    3. colleges want your money, sure, but you shouldn't go to the cheapest option you can find, the "brand name" of a good school tells employers you like a challenge, you have a good pedigree, and the highly renowned institution approves of you, etc.

  6. And then I watch it as a German college student who only have to pay 40 bucks per semester
    This is why I love Europe!

  7. #10 THANK YOU!

    #9 we’ll see. I just graduated, and I desperately want to go back. I feel like I’ll regret it the rest of my life if I don’t go back ASAP

    #12 I love it, so many people put pressure on their relationships and change who they are or their path in life for them destroy them by setting themselves up to resent the other person. If you change your entire life for someone, you’re going to feel like you gave up who you could have been and that is NO WAY to build a healthy relationship.

    Also, thank you for mentioning Hoku’s Perfect Day, it’s a great song!

  8. Never listen to college admissions, they don't care.
    I work in admissions and trust me I do care about students. Thankfully I live in a state that gives you a stipend per credit hour and we're the cheapest in the US.
    Also I have great credit and I take out loans each semester. It's called spending $5 on a credit card and having an auto payment plan set up.

  9. Thanks for doing these videos, I have been able to actually stay on budget- AND save $100 (good number for me). I work 4 days a week, 5 days when my manager throws me an extra shift every now and then, and go to community college in the spring and fall. Rent is basically half my paycheck, horrible i know, but I am living exactly where i want to live and do not like being in dangerous areas. I became very aware of how often i was buying clothes and extra things i do not need, and going out all the time, and changed my spending habits for the better

  10. Unfortunately, if you already are living on your own because you're starting college in your mid-twenties, you almost always need to use your student loans to live on and help pay rent and buy food, because you need to take a huge cut in your work hours in order to attend class and get projects done. Going from 40 hours/week to 15 hours/week without receiving extra money will leave you homeless and starving.

  11. So, don’t go to grad school unless you know for certain that it’s necessary for your career path, but also, you shouldn’t know what your career will be in ten years? I’m considering grad school, and these two conflicting schools of thought make it SO hard to know what to do

  12. Wish I knew this before I went to college. I would have majored in English or Animation rather than Science, something I'm not very good at, because of the hype for STEM jobs at the time.

  13. 2:00 This one I find amusing because, for me at least, I'm a huge slob at home, but at school I found that I was super ultra mega tidy. XD The teacher was surprised to hear that my bedroom was messy.

    About point 21: let's face it, you're going to fail at SOMETHING throughout your life whatever you do.

  14. this will be so helpful!
    I'm a Senior this year and will be attending college next year. I plan on living with my mom (she's told me i'll have to pay bills) because she lives near the college I'll be attending. Also there are so many job opportunities in that area! I do have job experience already but this will still be helpful!

  15. Considering that I'm beyond stressed out with college right now even if the school year hasn't even started yet, this really helped me just kind of take a step back and breathe.

  16. Every dollar I took for student loan was absolutely required. I worked 60 hours a week in the summer to pay for it and had a scholarship. I am still going to be paying through the nose. But I had to in order to get the job I have. The system has made it so that you’re screwed before you get there.

  17. I studied abroad. I received a 4.0 for my studies. All of my credits directly transferred back. I did learn the culture because I lived with a family. I went to an all Spanish speaking school. Oh. And it’s required to do so for a language major.

  18. Some of us had no choice. Had to take out loans to get my apartment because my family was a toxic environment and I never would have made it through school living there 🙂

  19. As a grad student, I second the one about not going to grad school to delay future work. I know a lot of people who wind up in seminaries and other master's programs who aren't 100% sure that's what they need to do, and even if they like it and get a career out of it, it just makes the work that much harder when you don't know why you're doing it.

    Every professor I've ever had has insisted that you should never, ever, ever go to grad school or consider a career in academia if you can do anything else. It's gotta be the thing you couldn't stop doing if you wanted to, or it won't be worth the adjunct circuit you'll undoubtedly get stuck in or the extra loans you have to take out for a master's degree that won't pay you a stipend because all the funding is for the doctoral students.

  20. I'm not sure the advice to work as much as possible while in college is still realistic. $8 an hr working weekends at walmart isn't going to make a major dent in $10,000 a semester tuition. You're probably better off focusing on your studies and learning the skills you'll need for your real job.

  21. This video deserves infinite shares. I just graduated with two degrees and minimal loans. I honestly though I would get a perfect job in my field after graduation…not the case. I’ve been contemplating graduate school to fill this time. I’m glad to hear even though this transition period sucks it sounds like I’m on the right path lol.

  22. Community College all the way 🙄 wish I would have had these lessons and more when I was still in high school so I would have had a plan for completing school. Instead I'm still finishing school at 27 and two years into community college I'm still 3 years from a bachelor's. Not trying to complain, more to confirm that this is great advice I wish I'd taken earlier. Still would have gone to CC, at least I have this advice to pass on to my own kids.

    💕 Thanks!

  23. ''You do not need to study abroad.''
    …ehm… hilarious.
    You don't need to study abroad if you live in a first world country and have basically every existing course at your fingertips. I live in a tiny country, that isn't exactly wealthy by any means and the only courses available to us here are the subjects they teach us in high school. So… yeah, I actually do have to study abroad.

  24. Truth 1, don't be American. Insanely expensive colleges with quite some horrible shit going on. On top of that if you need healthcare you're even more so fucked.

  25. Thanks for highlighting the GPA thing. If only more people knew. They'd focus more on absorbing knowledge rather than acing their exams

  26. I mean for the people that take out loans just to live on themselves can we please switch lives ? Cause as an orphan I don't really have a choice but to live on myself.

  27. Number 3 is so true. When I applied for my first job, the interviewer did not even look at my marks , they were more interested with my temp job experience, and internship projects. My marks were not even bought up.

  28. this is so true, college don't care about you, they only care about your money. you're the customer and they're the employee, of course they're going to give you the most of anything that you ask for as long as you pay them up front or later

  29. For most jobs high paying in the UK (law, consulting, banking) they ask not just about the overall grade but every single module you did since high school (GCSEs). They expect a certain minimum (normally 2.1) and want to see any resits for exams you might have done. Yes, everything else (skills, commitment to the industry etc) matters so so much, but saying that grades don't matter for high paying jobs is just not true.

  30. Never went to college yet I'm a financially successful investor….go figure. You cant beat real world street smarts and common sense, fucksticks. My former boss told me a year before I became a millionaire, nothing can beat a poor, hungry, smart person who is determined to win at any cost. As I found out one year later. He is 100% correct. Looking back, I was a animal on crack cocaine who took no prisoners, anyone in my way was getting punished mercilessly and was taught a lesson not to fuck with me again. Better then been a educated soft college fool with no balls for life in student dept.

  31. I work in the mailroom of a big insurance company and I have a BA in history. THANK YOU for saying that's not a bad thing! (I used my degree to get in the door of the company and then voluntarily took a demotion to save my sanity. Now I'm here for the medical benefits while working a good job with great pay. No regrets.)

  32. 10. I (my major) even pay for intern. Not much. Only 100% from my ordinary tuition fee. Welcome to medical school.
    And it doesn't named as "internship". They (universities) called it "clinical class". While I perceived it as: we work at hospital, try to understand their workflow, try to obey their procedures, report to our superordinates and our lecturer, then make a paper in the end of semester. Sounds like intern, huh?

  33. I am going to uni this year and I am so excited!! Mostly because I am studying what I like and finally leaving my shitlord household

  34. Also, if you need to take an extra year to finish your undergraduate degree, it’s okay. Most students finish in 6 years. There’s honestly no such thing as finishing on time when you are not ready for post grad life with no internships or a high enough gpa.

  35. Re: #13 – I'm 73, comfortably retired for 10 years and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. In the interim, I've had an incredibly varied work life that, for the most part, I enjoyed as it was happening. Don't rush it.

  36. 14 and 15 so agreed! so sick and tired when people tell me that uni years are the best years of my life

  37. I quit college and bought a house instead. Been saving money ever since I paid it off. Student loans could ruin you so be careful what you sign.

  38. It's also important to mention to avoid living on loans while you attend college! I attended college for a total seven years and finished with a graduate degree. I learned TONS of good and bad choices. Although I personally did not live on student loans (I had a scholarship), I had several friends that did. They are literally DROWNING in debt because they lived off of loans for four years straight!! They are now over $200,000 in debt! So avoid living on student loans at all costs!! Get a part-time job or get a work-study job so that you can afford to pay for a cheap apartment or to pay your way through college dorm expenses. The more you can pay on your own, the less you will be paying in interest once you graduate. I love to share this information because there are trillions of dollars in student loan debt! It is insane! We need to teach students to make better choices! Thanks for sharing these points Chelsea.

  39. This 3-Minute Guide will tell you everything you need to know about student loans: https://youtu.be/qW5apz5S78U.

  40. Found this now and this is so weird coming from a different culture. I live in Sweden and we have free collage, college loans for 0,16% interest rate (like, dumb to NOT take loans), almost no one uses credit cards, only debit, and so I don't know a single person with credit debt. Of course most of the collage partying advice and not living beyond your resources still applies but the rest is simply weird to me…

  41. If your grades aren't good you will not be considered for lots of entry level jobs. No engineering firm hires engineering grads with all "Cs", Big 4 accounting firms are only hiring people with high GPAs. The more technical the profession, the more important the grades. Some big corps. only hire the top grads from the top schools, such as Microsoft hiring engineers from MIT.

  42. The “C’s get degrees” mantra doesn’t really work if you’re a recent graduate since they do look at grades for that

  43. I nearly went to Grad school to delay real life…three years later…I'm in grad school because I have too. I'm really glad I got experience before grad school. My job is paying 4 my classes aaaaaaand I'm guaranteed a job afterwards!

  44. GPA may not matter for degrees in feminist dance theory, but for STEM, you need at least a 3.0 GPA if you want even your foot in the door. I'm studying so hard to keep my GPA higher than a 3.0 in my GIS program, because it will give me a competitive edge.

  45. 9 is very true. The answer to the question of whether you should go to grad school is almost always No with the exception being career paths that specifically require a graduate degree. As for law school, my grandfather said it best that there are too many lawyers.

  46. What every Texas University should in disclose but fail to mention in freshman orientation:

    1.) you must maintain a 2.0 GPA or risk academic suspension.

    2.). You must complete degree core classes with at least a “B” for your prospective degree Major.

    3.). You cannot drop more than 6 classes during your pursuit of a Bachelor degree.

    If I knew this from the start I would have adapted better. Also , I recommend enrolling in college immediately after high school because the longer you wait the more it will cost you. I love this video! Great job 👍

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