What to Keep After You Graduate College

July 14, 2016

College is ending for you. It’s been a long, sometimes arduous, but ultimately satisfying four years. No doubt there have been laughs, tears, all-nighters, a lot of community and love. It’s a milestone; a genuine achievement you earned – and you can bet relatives will be tearing up as your name is announced to accept your college degree.

Making that walk is bittersweet. Maybe some of your closest friends are moving far away or maybe others are staying put to continue their education. It’s hard to say goodbye, and oddly enough, it’s tempered by voluminous enthusiasm for one another since, you did it; you’re graduating! With that comes its own changes.What to Keep After You Graduate College

Regardless of whether you’re moving out of the dorms or remaining in your apartment off campus, you’re probably feeling that drive to clear out things you don’t need. Sell that scientific calculator; sell back, gift (or burn) laborious text books; and clear out some space in your room.

But among all this celebratory cleaning, you’re probably wondering what you should keep after you graduate. What sort of things are you going to want to hold on to, remember, or maintain so you have a record? The following is a list of seven essential items you should keep after you graduate from a college in Portland Oregon.

1. Student Loan Information

If you’ve taken out a student loan, you better believe you should be holding on to any and all records of it. Having a paper trail is incredibly important when it comes to money owed. Plus, your papers likely specify when payments are due, who to contact, what your final balance is, and various lender or extension information. It should go without saying that this is critical piece of information to keep well after you graduate.

2. Papers and Projects

You don’t need to keep all your papers and projects that you’ve completed over the course of four years, but keep some. Keep the ones that you’re proud of, that you feel you accomplished from. They’re good reminders of your time in academia and can even serve as a pick-me-up when something gets you down.

Beyond the sentimental value however, there are some employers that are interested in your GPA and papers. Some consider them akin to a portfolio piece that can help you get hired after college. And to be clear, you don’t need to keep the physical copies, you can upload them to the cloud to free up some physical space, but just make sure you have them.

3. Transcripts

If you’ve ever transferred between schools – for instance, from a community college in Portland, Oregon to a four-year university – then you know ordering transcripts and getting them sent to the right address (or fax number) can be a hassle. For that reason, it’s imperative that, when you receive your transcripts, you hold onto them – and keep a few sealed should you decide in a year or two to continue your education and an official (unopened) transcript is needed.

4. College Shirts

Many people toss or donate their college paraphernalia once they graduate, but you should hold on to these. Not only are these great mementos, but they usually make great loungewear or fitness outfits. Plus, if even after college, you find yourself a bit shy, this kind of school representation can open you up to a wealth of conversations. You may end up meeting parents who have questions about your alma mater or from fellow alumni. It may not seem like something worth keeping today, but you’ll be glad you did.

5. Books

Not ALL your books – obviously – but keep books (literary or textbook) that you actually enjoyed. Similar to your school’s sweaters and mugs, books don’t exhaust their value, so hold on to the ones that spoke to you. You may reread them or even pass them down.

Of course, what many alumni cherish most is the fact that, years later, they can revisit their favorite college texts and see glimmers of their old selves in the margins – notes that were written ages ago. It can bring back swathes of memories and transform the book into even more of a keepsake to pass down to another generation.

6. Dormitory/Apartment Paperwork

This one has a limited lifespan, but you should keep all your dormitory or apartment paperwork for two reasons. The first is, if several months after graduating you’re hit with another bill that says you owe money due to damages or missing items, then you can succinctly showcase the signed paperwork that said everything was cleared on your move out inspection.

The second reason you may want to do this (and this is especially true for graduates who stayed in the dorms up until this point), is because when you move into an apartment, they’ll want to know your rent history. A dormitory will often be sufficient enough to get the apartment you’ve carefully selected.

7. Sentimental Items

Years from now, what are you going to want to look back on with pride? Many graduates are all too eager to toss their graduation caps (and tassels) in the garbage thinking, “When am I going to wear this again?” Of course, it’s not about when you’re going to wear it again, it’s about what it represents. You should be proud of your cap and gown, it’s a reminder of what you’ve accomplished. Similarly, an ID card may be a point of bonding between you and your future child – maybe they’ll see what you looked like in college and be utterly flabbergasted. Or, maybe you can still use your ID to get a discount.

Throughout college, you’ve no doubt acquired a slew of knick-knacks and items from your experience. They may be seemingly useless mementos, but they can make a big impact. Hold onto the things that matter.