Congratulations new graduates–you did it! All those years of cramming for exams, writing research papers and reading text books finally paid off, and now you’ve officially earned your college diploma. You’re ready to join the “real world,” as the old saying goes. Transitioning from college senior to first-time-job-seeker can be a tricky path to navigate, but with the right mindset, you can make a seamless (or nearly seamless) transition from student to professional. We’ve compiled a list of several life hacks to help you thrive in your new, post graduation life.

Always show appreciation.

When working through trying times, it’s easy to focus on all the negatives rather than appreciating the positives. Don’t let yourself get bogged down with doubts, disappoints or bumps in the road. Take a moment out of every day to recognize everything you have going for you, and all of the people who support you. When you’re on a high, take it in stride, and let those who were instrumental in your success know that you appreciate them. When you’re low, do the same thing–thank the people who are determined to pick you back up again. You’d be surprised how much a simple “thank you” can mean to the people who care about you.

Follow your arrow.

During periods of transition (like the interlude following college graduation), it’s common for friends and family to share their opinions regarding what you should do next. Trust me, people are filled with opinions, and it can be confusing when you feel yourself being pulled in different directions. It’s important to look within yourself when figuring out where you want to go from here. Pursue a path that will make you happy. Your friends and family will always be there to support you, but it’s you that has to live with your own life choices. Don’t let someone else make your mind up for you.

Always act professional.

Even if your current job isn’t your dream job, always act professionally. You never know when you may need a reference in the future, or if a colleague of today could become an important networking contact of tomorrow. Keep your options open and your reputation clean, as you never know when you may bump into an old colleagues down the road.

Confidence is key. 

Confidence is power. Own your skills, be secure in yourself and show others that you’re up for tackling any challenge that comes your way.  Feeling a bit uneasy? Don’t sweat it. “Fake it ’til you make it” is a mantra with some real fire behind it. If you fake it long enough, eventually you’ll find that the confident persona you’ve cultivated has become who you really are. Confidence in yourself will inspire others to have confidence in you as well.

Cultivate positive influences.

Surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you to be the best possible version of yourself. Avoid spending time with people who distract you from focusing on your goals and personal happiness. Spend time with people who care for and nuture you. Those are the people who will help guide you down the road to success and a happy, fulfilling life.