It's graduation season! With high school and college seniors prepping their caps and gowns for the big event, the one question on most up-and-coming grads' minds remains constant: What do I do next?
Luckily, Katherine Schwarzenegger can provide a little direction with hew new book I Just Graduated...Now What? ($20; randomhouse.com). In the pages, she interviews everyone from Eva Longoria and John Legend to her parents Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver about their post-college career paths, and how their obstacles had a part in how they turned out today.
"I think that when you graduate college, so many of us are so concerned about what our job will be, and if we don't get our dream job right out of college, we'll be failures," she tells InStyle.com exclusively. "The reality of it is, all of these people in the book started out in jobs you'd never imagine them being in, and they still managed to achieve their dreams, and get to where they want in life."
Schwarzenegger picked a wide range of subjects to speak with, and included stories both from those who graduated college and those who dropped out. "It's not just for graduates," she says. "It's also for anyone who wants to know more about the people I interviewed, and for people who are transitioning from one job to another, so it has great life lessons."
Though she has it figured out now, like many of us, that wasn't always the case. "I really wish I would have known that not everyone has their act together out of college, because when we were graduating, literally everyone seemed to have a plan for themselves except me," she says. "I'm such a planner so the fact that I didn't have it all mapped out was concerning. I wish I had known that just because you don't have a plan for yourself, that doesn't determine your future."
In taking on this project, Schwarzenegger gained optimistic perspective knowing that stars like Anderson Cooper, and Jillian Michaels went through the exact same thing. "I think one of the most unexpected things I learned was the importance of failure," she notes. "You grow up wanting to avoid failure at all costs and you think of it as something you don't necessarily want to experience, but every single person I talked to talked about failure being one of the most-important things you can experience out of college. It allows you to pick yourself back up, learn from your mistakes, and still achieve really amazing things."
Out of all the subjects she interviewed for the book, Schwarzenegger admits that speaking to Andy Cohen especially left her star-struck. "Andy is a big part of my generation and what my generation does with their time, and I was a little nervous before interviewing him because I watch him on TV almost every night!" she says.
With her book tour in full swing, we asked Schwarzenegger to spill all the details on her travel essentials, and no surprise to us, she has the packing process down to a science. "I grew up with the rule that we were never allowed to check our luggage; there were a lot of us and when we traveled, my mom didn't want to wait in the baggage claim for our luggage to come out, so it was easier to just take a carry-on," she says. "When I travel by myself, there's a little more leniency in being able to check a bag, but I always, always put my toiletries and makeup in my carry-on. I figure if my suitcase gets lost, I can always take care of myself even if the bag doesn't come for a few days." Great tip! Click through our gallery to see all of her travel must-haves.
1. Tumi Packing Cubes
Rather than tossing all her clothes into a suitcase and hoping for the best, Schwarzenegger sorts all of her items using the Tumi Packing Cubes ($55 each; tumi.com). "I can pack all of my shirts and pants into one, and the rest of my stuff into another, so it's very easy when you get somewhere and you need to figure out where everything is in your suitcase," she says. "They also conserve a lot of space. My friends are always super-shocked that I can fit the amount of stuff that I do into my suitcase!" We figure the cubes make packing a little like a game of Tetris-except much more organized.
2. In-Flight Reads
No e-readers here-Schwarzenegger admits that she prefers bringing an actual book in lieu of an iPad or Kindle. "I always bring a physical book along with me. One of my best friends is an avid reader, so she's always recommending great books," she tells us. "Two summers ago, I was obsessed with the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy ($10 each; amazon.com), so I was reading those like an addict, but right now I'm reading The Fault in Our Stars ($10; amazon.com)."
3. In-Flight Music
A little bit of Sasha Fierce is sure to add a dose of excitement to anyone's day-a rule Schwarzenegger knows very well. "I love listening to music and I watch music videos all the time on my phone while I'm traveling," she says. "I obviously downloaded the whole Beyonce album, and she has tons of music videos I'll watch over and over again, but if I'm trying to calm down or relax, I'll listen to either Jack Johnson or Ed Sheeran."
4. Travel-Sized Hair Essentials
It goes without saying that mini shampoos and conditioners always fly easier than the full-sized versions, but Drybar's products are a staple for the star. "I have travel-sized shampoos and conditioners from Drybar ($25 for a set; drybar.com), and I don't go anywhere without them-they're amazing," Schwarzenegger tells us. "I also always bring my hairbrush ($15; drybar.com) and tons of bobby pins."
5. A Pre-Packed Travel Pouch
Schwarzenegger stays prepared by storing all of her essentials in a Clare Vivier Pouch ($105; clarevivier.com), so she can easily toss it into her bag before heading to the airport. "If I could have a million pouches in my purse, I would, and I have one of hers that I keep my travel stuff in," she tells us. "I have an eye mask, hand lotion, Advil, hand sanitizer, earphones, allergy medicine-even those fluffy socks. It's pre-packed for whenever I need it."
6. Hydrating Oils
While celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley are singing the praises of oil pulling to the tune of Pharrell's "Happy," Shwarzenegger prefers to use the products to keep her skin glowing. "I always travel with argan oil and vitamin C oil, which I slather all over my face to make sure I say super-hydrated," she says. We're obsessed with Josie Maran's Pure Argan Oil ($48; sephora.com), and Elizabeth Grant's Vitamin C formula ($28; elizabethgrant.com). As for her body, Schwarzenegger has jumped on the coconut oil ($10; drugstore.com) bandwagon, and with good reason! "It doesn't leave you with that sticky feeling that some lotions do," she adds.
7. Gentle Face Cleansers
"For my face, I always bring a cleanser by either Peter Thomas Roth ($38; peterthomasroth.com) or Dermalogica ($10; ulta.com), and I bring a very neutral one," Schwarzenegger says. "When you travel, your skin gets super-dry-or anyway mine does. That's why I try to pick something that isn't too harsh."