Big changes ahead for formerly insulated grads

As if final projects and exams weren’t enough to deal with, spring 2006 graduates must face the inevitable – life, as they know it, is over.

Say goodbye to Dad’s wallet, and hello to working for the man. With rent, utilities, insurance and car payments, it’s time to get serious.

And of course, money isn’t the only problem. You want to enjoy your job, right?

The good news – where there’s a will, there’s a way.

At least that’s what BGSU alumnus Sara Anderson thinks.

When Anderson moved out to L.A. last year, she didn’t know how she would pay the bills.

But her determination landed her a dream job – working in the wardrobe department on the set of “General Hospital”.

“I knew I wanted to do fashion for TV shows,” she said.

So she took matters into her own hands and called ABC.

“I told them I was working for a designer and said I wanted to speak to someone in wardrobe,” Anderson said.

To her surprise, the head designer answered her call, and many calls after that.

Anderson was able to develop a relationship with the designer, and persistently sent thank you notes for any advice she gave.

“You really have to get out there and network,” Anderson said.

Soon Anderson was invited to the set of General Hospital and got to see the designer’s job first hand.

The designer was so impressed by Anderson’s passion for fashion and TV that she offered her a job in the wardrobe department.

But as perfect as Anderson’s life sounds, her Hollywood lifestyle isn’t all fun and fashion; she still has to pay the bills.

“I literally am living month to month,” she said. “You have to budget before you move and know what you can afford.”

And with a little budgeting and a lot of self-control, most can scrape by during their first year in the real world.

BGSU Alumnus Brad Custis, who graduated with a degree in interpersonal communications in Dec. 2005, says to avoid credit cards if at all possible.

“If I don’t have it, I don’t spend it,” he said.

Senior Jeremy DuBois, a film studies major, dreams of living by the ocean, like Anderson.

But the high cost of living is a discouraging reality.

“If you go to go to the East or West where living expenses are ridiculously high it’s going to be difficult,” he said.

But Anderson says the work makes up for it.

“The price of living is so much more,” she said. “But you get paid a lot more.”

And to Anderson, following your dreams is more valuable than a well paying job.

“Don’t go to work just for a paycheck,” she said. “Go because you love what you do.”

Sounds simple enough, but for many seniors, finances are a number one priority.

Senior Diana Burbante, a communications major, is coming to terms with the idea of paying bills for the first time.

“I’ve lived on campus since my freshman year, so I never had to worry about money,” she said.

And to make matters worse, Burbante’s mom wants her to come home to Texas so bad she constantly reminds Burbante of the expenses that lurk in her future.

“I really think she’s just doing it as a scare tactic because I know she doesn’t want me to stay in Ohio,” Burbante said. “She wants me to come home.”

But, like Anderson, Burbante is moving where she wants to live whether she has a job or not.

“I just snapped one day and said ‘forget it, I’m moving to Columbus’,” she said.

And even though Burbante has been offered a job that would give her financial security, she’d rather look for a job she’d enjoy.

“Why should I just settle for something when I can find something that will make me happier?” she said.