Once the graduation ceremony sends you off to a life of promise and prospect, you find yourself learning some pretty hard hitting lessons that don't come with a textbook. You get your first real job, your first real pay check, your first real apartment and you start learning how to function in the real world. So here are the top 3 lessons I've learned after college, and how to survive them: #1 Keeping Friends Takes Effort Before, you would have to get out of bed every morning and make your way to class. Eating lunch with friends in the school cafeteria was part of your scheduled day, along with study dates, late night cram sessions and watching school football games. In the real world, you must make the commitment to see friends and schedule lunch dates. It's not as easy as it sounds, months can go by without seeing your BFFs, and you're so busy that you aren't even realizing it. So set up a routine of a weekly coffee date, or monthly girls night. Mark it on your calendar, and make it a priority. #2 Debt is Definitely Unwanted Debt sounds scary, but living with debt is even scarier. Make smart savings choices while still in school, and really calculate how much debt you have and spend time figuring out a plan to repay it. Talk with your bank, former students, your parents and formulate a workable system so you won't be in major stress mode post-graduation. #3 Embracing Change Isn't Easy, But It's Vital Post-college life is going to be full of changes. You may find yourself moving to a different city, or part of the country. You may incur loss, heartbreak, stress and inevitably spending a lot of time on your own. But change can be positive. It's not true that we "find ourselves" in college. It's actually true that we discover who we are and what we are capable of afterwards, when the real work begins. What are the biggest lessons you learned after college? Share them with us!