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Dear College Seniors and Recent Graduates

Whether you have a job lined up, you’re continuing your education, or you don’t know what to even do with yourself – this letter is to you. Use this summer to get ahead; not just to sit back and figure out what you want to do with your life. COVID-19 brought many of us down and made us lose sight of our goals as well as what we are really capable of. I am here to challenge you today to take on at least one of these five things this summer. Get started somewhere and you will find your path.

Make Connections
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Whether you’re making, revitalizing, or strengthening connections with people, just do it! Creating connections can be incredibly helpful for your career or even personal life. It can feel super awkward sending a message to someone you don’t know, but it can open so many doors in the future. What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t respond, that’s all! I recommend doing some research on how to reach out to people professionally and then figuring out who you want to reach out to. Some examples of good people to reach out to include:

– People working for a company that you’re interesting in work for (even if they’re not hiring)

– People you met from career fairs (or if you haven’t attend a career fair, find one!)

– People on LinkedIn

– Alumni Network from your Undergraduate School

– Professors you liked or professors for a future school you’re thinking of attending

– Family Friends In Your Field of Interest

How do I reach out to them? You can reach out via email or give them a phone call. In the email or phone call you can also provide your availability to continue the conversation (ex. Zoom call or taking them out for coffee/happy hour).

What else should I know? Once you create that connection, don’t forget to follow up within a reasonable amount of time so they remember who you are. This is also helpful if you want to ask them something later down the line (ex. asking for a letter fo recommendation or getting connected to a job).

Go Back to School

Whether you’re thinking of applying to graduate school or just entering the workforce, you can always continue your learning. This summer, you can take free classes online (many universities offer free courses) or classes at your local community college. This could also be helpful if you feel that you need to retake any undergraduate courses for future endeavours. You can never stop learning! If you’re thinking about pursuing additional education, read my article “Is Grad School Right For Me?

Look For Opportunities Not In Your Area

So you recently graduated or are about to graduate. Maybe you’re planning on living at home for a few months while you apply for jobs or school. You have an idea of where you want to go, but have you ever thought about looking for jobs/schools not in your area? Maybe you’ve always wanted to move across the country or maybe you’ve always wanted to go abroad. Now is the time (COVID permitting)! Many companies offer relocation bonuses (or if they don’t, you can ask!). There are also many schools or companies abroad that might be interested in hiring you. It doesn’t hurt to apply and possibly get to go somewhere you never even thought you would be!

Start a Business

Have you ever had that million dollar business idea or plan? Well, what better time to start something than when you’re young and just got out of college!? You now have a degree under your belt with brand new knowledge (and maybe still a little motivation left). You can take this summer to figure out logistics, get funding, make a team (if you want), and launch your idea! If you have no idea where to start and have literally no money, refer to this article!

Make Friends and Have Fun

Lastly and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun, make new friends, reach out to old friends, and spend time with loved ones. With the pandemic, we didn’t get to spend time with all of these people or meet new people, but now with vaccine rollouts in many states, it is becoming safer to do so! Keep up with the CDC to see what is safe for you to do!

I just want to say I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to attend college. It is an experience not everyone has access to. I hope to use my education to break down those barriers to accessing higher education for future young adults.

Aloha! My name is Keilyn and I am a Graduate Student studying Public Health at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. I enjoy going to the beach, reading mystery books, cooking, and playing with my puppy, Kaiba! I love being on the HER Campus Hawaii Team and sharing my stories!
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