If you’ve recently graduated from college, or are about to, you’re probably wondering:
Life after graduation can be overwhelming and exciting. You’ve just finished a major chapter in your life but now you need to know where to go next.
Thankfully, we’ve put together this guide that will give you practical advice for your post-college life, from taking care of your finances to taking care of your mental health!
Step 1: Get a Job
Now that you have your college education, it’s time to get out there into the workforce!
Just don’t be disappointed if you have to settle for a job that doesn’t align with your degree and education. Working in a position that is not your dream job is temporary and will help you gain valuable experience for your resume.
Speaking of resumes, make sure yours is up-to-date. Add your newly acquired degree into the education section and update your skills and objectives.
Now is a good time to practice interview skills as well. The interview is your chance to make a good impression on potential employers and being prepared will help you ace this stage of finding a job!
Overall, you may not be able to jump into the career of your dreams but every job you take from now on is merely a stepping stone toward the job you studied for.
Step 2: Pay Off Your Student Loans
Once you get a job and start working, it’s time to think about paying off your student loans. The quicker you do this, the quicker you can start considering the purchase of a new home or other major purchases.
Your first step should be to create a budget. You can use a journal or planner to map out what you make and compare it to your expenses. From there, you can look at how much money can be set aside to pay off yoru student loans.
It’s very important that you dedicate your finances to paying these off as quick as possible. You don’t want to risk having your loans going into default and negatively impacting your credit score. Likewise, you want to free up the potential to borrow money for your future dreams.
If you have run into issues with paying off your student debt, or other debts, learn about improving your credit. Bad credit can be turned around if you take control of your money and focus on paying down your debts.
Step 3: Prepare For Failure
Although you should never let failure prevent you from reaching your goals, it is an inevitable outcome when it comes to the risks and choices you make in your life. However, it is a learning experience that can help you move forward to your future goals.
Many college graduates walk away with their degrees thinking that their career path is set in stone. As we mentioned earlier, it’s possible that you will have to take jobs that don’t align with your goals.
While this may seem like a failure, it is only a short-term one and actually an important step in achieving your dreams. So don’t get anxious about not meeting your goals. Likewise, don’t be afraid to ditch them for new ones!
Your original plan may not work for you for a number of reasons: unemployment, lack of resources, limited possibilities, etc. Some factors are beyond your control.
So when things are not working out your way, don’t give up! Look at ways that you can pivot your education to get you back on the road to success.
Step 4: Get To Know Yourself
Your post college life is the perfect time to discover who you are as a person. Take some time to get to know yourself through self-reflection, self-care, and even travel. Once you know who you are, you’ll have a better idea of what you really want!
As you get to know yourself better, you’ll also start to come acknowledging your strengths. When it comes to the aforementioned failure, you may feel tempted to reflect on your situation to see what you did “wrong”.
The truth is, by graduating from college, you’ve accomplished a lot! Think about the skills you’ve gained along the way and the passions you have developed. Use these tools to solve the challenges you’re about to face.
While you may feel stuck on the path you end up on, you have control over what makes you feel free and this starts by getting to know yourself.
Ready to Get Started?
With foresight and preparation, life after college doesn’t have to be terrifying at all! As long as you know what to expect, you can take on life with the same passion that earned you your degree.