You may have looked at the title of this post and thought to yourself, “But I already have an email address!” Well in 2015, I sure hope you do. But before you quit reading, ask yourself: does your primary email account fall under one of these categories?

  • An account provided by your high school
  • An account provided by your college
  • An account provided by your employer
  • An account shared with your parents

If your main email address falls under any one of those categories, it’s time to set up your own personal email address. Although all of the previously mentioned email accounts are okay to use, none of them should be your primary (or only) email account.

Why? Read on!DSC_5010

Why should I set up my own email account? So let’s say that your primary email account is provided by your school or employer. What happens when you leave that school or job? In most cases, that email address goes away. Why? Your school or employer has enough email accounts to maintain without keeping every account of every person who used to be affiliated with them. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the easiest way for most organizations to manage their workload and expenses. Set up your own account now to avoid the possibility of missing any important messages if you graduate or switch jobs.

If you share an account with your parents and you’re considering getting your own email address, ask yourself this question: Do I actually check this address or do I rely on my parents to pass along messages to me when needed? If the answer is yes, it may be time to set up your own account. It’s okay if you maintain both, but it is important to learn how to run your own email account and respond to your own messages in a timely manner. This is a free and easy opportunity to start that process.

How do I start? First, choose a trustworthy free email service (Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail are some popular choices). Then go to their site and click the ‘sign up’ button! Choose an email address that is some combination of your first and last name or your initials, and make sure that your password is secure, yet easy to remember. It is also a good idea to forward your school mail to your primary account if possible. That way you only have to keep track of one email address! Read this blog for more tips on using your new email account, and be sure to check your messages every few days. Happy emailing!