We’ve all got time before graduation, but as a Senior, it’s coming soon. Junior’s, it’s creeping up on you. Sophomores, it’s way on the horizon. Freshmen, haha, you’re just a bunch of Freshmen. But for some of us, it’s a good idea to put together a basic checklist of all the things one should have when they graduate.

1. An Understanding of the Real World.

Believe it or not, outside of college, the world gets real and weird very quickly. Human adults wake up well before noon and go to work. Often, they cook things.

Some people will tell you that you need a job when you graduate. That would be nice, but, as an English major I’ll tell you; not for everyone. Instead, if you can manage it, an understanding of the real world is easily more important. Understand what sort of jobs you should be looking for, how you should be acting. You should know what you want and how you want it as cross-examined by what’s possible. I am not going to be a famous rapper. No one is going to pay me to eat hamburgers. But I can still do both of those things while I pursue a more normal job. If you know how to pay bills, cook for yourself, meet people, behave normally, and wake up and go to sleep at half-decent hours, congratulations: you’ll be fine.

2. Your Location In Mind

Are you a California kid? Off to the East Coast? Born to work on a farm, or abroad, or in a giant tunnel?

Figuring out your post-graduation location is just as important as finding a job; often more, I’d say, because of how they overlap. For example: let’s say I want to be a comedy writer. If I live in Boston, that path is radically different than the Chicago or California paths, and moderately different than the New York track. The city you pick will shape the people you meet and date, the jobs you have and pursue, the food you eat, the places you go…everything, really. Not to mention there are certain weird factors. Being a struggling writer in New York is infinitely more fun than being struggling in L.A, for example, but being a struggling chill stoner was made for California and not New York. What if you’re both? Flip a coin, buddy, but location matters. Having one in mind for graduation early is great because it lets you mentally prepare yourself and gives you something solid to plan to.

3. Skills

More important than stuff- money, a laptop, Netflix- is skills. By the time you graduate, you should: be able to cook a little, understand paying bills kind-of, have a decent sense of budgeting, be good at work or at least great at coasting.

Sounds like you? Good. It should. The real world is full of former college graduates. You’ll be fine right along with them.

4. Money

Oh, and save some money, will ya? Produce costs a lot more when you can’t steal apples from the dining hall. Don’t get scurvy out there.