Millions of college students will be released from their college careers and into the Real World (not the TV show, thankfully). It’s such a promising time. Here are 9 ways to make the most of it.

9. Keep Building and Maintaining Your Friendships

Making friends after college is hard, but meaningful friendships make a big difference on almost every aspect of your life for decades to come. So make an effort to stay in touch with the friends closest to you now and make new friends even as you get busy with work.

8. Know How to Brand Your “Useless” College Degree

Not everyone graduates with one of the best-paying degrees. If yours is among those with the worst return on your money, not all hope is lost. During your job search, even a “useless” degreecan be shown as valuable.

7. Start Cooking for Real

Given the tiny (or nonexistent) kitchens most college students deal with and perhaps too much prior assistance from Mom &Dad restaurant, cooking isn’t a skill universal to college grads. Pick up some essential kitchen skills, learn how to make some basic meals and still stay within your food budget, and brush up on other top cooking tips you should know.

6. Figure Out If Grad School Is Worth It

If you’re graduating college and still don’t know what to do next, graduate school is an option. Figure out which graduate degrees are worth the debt and find out if graduate school might be worth it for you.

5. Get Your Money in Order

Once out of college, your financial picture will probably change. Maybe you have student loans and other debt to deal with, no more support from your parents, and income that you have to budget. By the way, recent (and current) students can expect some unique breaks from the tax man. Keep this in mind when April 15 rolls around again and you can get some financial relief. Also, even though retirement might seem like a distant, vague event, now’s the best time to start investing for your retirement, even if you can put just a little aside.

4. Work on Gaining Additional Skills

You can become more hireable by developing additional skills, whether it’s a new language, HTML, or any other skill valued in the workplace. It could not only broaden your job and career options, learning new skills can boost your brain and make you happier. Never stop learning.

Huge student loan debt can be overwhelming, but there are several ways you can pay it off more easily or even get the loan paid off by your employer. Working in a rural opportunity zone is another option. Missing one student loan payment isn’t the end of the world, but you should be proactive in keeping up with your payments or else your credit can really get ruined and worse.

You might have held jobs in college, but once you’ve got your diploma in hand, it’s time to completely dive into the work you want to do. Learn how to ace your job interview and create a great resume. Even though you might not have a ton of relevant work experience to put on the resume, you can still beef up your resume by adding personal projects on it. Once you land the job, learn the basics of navigating your first job: stay organized and never miss your deadlines, pay attention to the company culture, and more. Don’t get too wooed by your employer, however—remember that the company you work for is not your friend.

1. Think Beyond Work.

Your career might be your main focus as you leave college, but remember that work isn’t everything either (and you don’t want to burn out). Go see the world, even on a budget or for free. Go on dates. Keep up your own creative side projects. Challenge yourself to see the world in new ways. (Yes, take the commencement speech to heart.) Life is like a video game, so spend your time and energy in the most important areas.

Congrats to all the grads!

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