So You've Graduated....What's Next?!

Graduating from college is a major achievement and milestone you should be very proud of. Graduating from college can be very exciting....but it can also be daunting (cue the anxiety). You've spent all this time focusing on campus life, financial aid, and good grades but now what? So what’s next after college? Some college students plan for their future accordingly. However, it's easy to discover new interests and goals along the ride towards securing your degree. Although college is a huge accomplishment, it's also a stepping stone towards other future life achievements. I know you're exhausted from college but success doesn't stop here. Also, remember everyone's success is different. Now that you've accomplished the goal to graduate from college, what's next for you in a world full of adventures? 

Step Towards Your Dream Job

You may have the knowledge, skills, and enough experience to secure the job of your dream. It's your moment to shine! After applying for jobs in your field of study, you finally landed a full-time position with your dream company or you have your foot in the door to start your career. Did you start your own business? Investing and focusing on your business is also a step towards the right direction. Many college students hope to find opportunities in their field that will not only make them happy but allow them to make a great living. 

Graduate School 

Are you thinking about graduate school? Although undergraduate had its ups and downs, graduate school will pay off as well. You may feel that you need more education for your job field or desired career requires you to seek higher education. Benefits of graduate school can include smaller classes, specialized courses, and statistically a higher paying job when you graduate. Although graduate school can be expensive, feel free to wait until you're financially stable, apply for scholarships and grant opportunities. Graduate school might be the right choice for you!

Part-Time Passion

Do you currently have a part-time job that you love or are you having a hard time finding the right full-time position for you? You need the money but a full-time job doesn't fit into your schedule right now. A part-time job leading up to your career can the first step towards the right direction. Find a part-time similar to the full-time job you want or that you are passionate about. Having a part-time job also gives you free time to job search, build your portfolio or take specialized classes. 

Sit Back, Relax, Travel

Sit back, relax, and travel! Become a tourist and go sightseeing to the most beautiful cities and countries. Traveling or studying abroad is always an excellent option when you find affordable ways to do so. Feel free to travel by yourself, with a partner, or in groups to feel safe. For recent grads, the university may offer opportunities to study abroad. Traveling is a great way to meet new people, create new experiences and can improve cultural competence which is useful in the workplace. 

Volunteer or Work Abroad

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer or work abroad. It is a chance for recent graduates to gain paid or unpaid work experience in foreign countries. There are several programs recent grads can work with after college from six months to almost two years. For example, I recently thought about working with Peace Corps. Peace Corps is a volunteer program ran by the United States government that allow recent grads to experience three months to two years of experience volunteering and making the world a better place. Federal government agencies love to see students with this experience. 

The Gap Year

Like myself, you may not be 100% sure about the direction you want to take right after college and that is okay. Before you continue the transition from college to new experiences in adulthood, take this time to refocus. The "gap year" just might be the best year of your life. Use this time to simply take care of yourself and reflect on your strengths, skills, experiences, and interests. Volunteer, celebrate your achievements, go to networking events, take on a new hobby or visit relatives that you haven't seen in awhile. Whatever you decide to do, do what makes you happy. Use this time wisely before you take the next step. Life doesn't stop here!

Remember, part of the adventure is really figuring out who you are and what you are truly passionate about. Find your "why."

So what’s next for you after college? You decide as you move onward with in your transition from college to the official life in adulthood. Good luck graduate!