Whenever I ask fellow college students what they plan on doing with their degree after graduating, they often tell me “I don’t know” or “I plan on applying to grad school.”
First off, you’re not alone. About 36% of seniors in universities don’t feel prepared for their career, according to a 2020 LendEDU-College Pulse survey.
Figuring out the next step after graduation can be nerve-racking. We, college students, feel that we’re supposed to have our lives figured out after college but that’s not always the case.
Here are some options to consider to start the next chapter of your life:
Graduates tend to take advantage of their newly found free time for exploration and travel after college graduation. Where they can encounter new experiences, learn about new cultures, and meet new people.
Traveling is the right choice to make if you want to invest in yourself and wish to explore. Some affordable places to travel as a newly graduated college student are Mexico, Spain, Germany, and Thailand.
Internships are a great way for recent graduates to gain entry into industries or companies. Internships often result in resume/work experience, recommendation letters, and even full-time opportunities.
Begin searching for internships prior to graduation, so you can immediately begin after getting your degree. Sites such as Linkedln, an online employment social media service, are one of the many ways to find internships.
Networking is one of the best ways to get connected with people in the workforce. Build connections with fellow colleagues, professors, and people on a daily basis.
Making connections may lead to getting connected with potential employers and co-workers. Networking is a way to explore your possibilities. Meeting people in social settings, through friends, and even social media apps is an efficient way to network.
Join the workforce
Some may have opportunities lined up right after graduation while others may start applying. Use the skills you gained in college like time management, communication, and creative thinking to turn a passion into a job. Do some research, line up interviews, optimize a resume, and put yourself out there.
Whether you want to enter the workforce immediately or take time off to figure out future plans, everyone has a different path and career plan for their future. College is a foundation, go build the life you actually want.
I believe that there is a set expectation in today’s society that our lives should be together after our college experience. With graduation around the corner, I’m still going through periods of uncertainty in my life.
The world tells us that a successful career and money should be our goals in life. We should stop comparing and feeling the pressures of societal expectations. Let’s decide what happiness and achievement means for each and every one of us.
Be happy you’ve come this far and accomplished a great milestone in your life. The next step is in your hands on your own terms.