Consider Your Options as You Approach College Graduation

Amidst late-night cram sessions, parties and late mornings in bed, it’s hard to imagine life after college. These four years go quickly, however, so it’s never too early to think about the next chapter.

After all, college isn’t just about new friendships and experiences, although that’s a big part of it. It’s also about transitioning into adulthood. Whether you dream of starting a business, becoming a professional or furthering academic pursuits, a clear picture of the future will provide a path for the present.

Start a Business

Parents, advisors and career counselors may tell you that the prudent post-grad choice is to get a job, but the truth is, college has trained you to start a business. Entrepreneurs wear a number of hats, shifting gears throughout the day to solve different kinds of problems. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s what you do as you shuffle from English class to statistics to web design and beyond.

Along with a well-conditioned mind, college grads often have freedom and flexibility to donate to a start-up. It’s tougher to venture into entrepreneurial waters with a family and mortgage. That’s not to say starting a business isn’t risk. You might need to take out a loan or apply for a Plum Card for cash flow, but you’ll never have a more convenient chance to be your own boss.

Enter the Workforce

It’s hard to see why some college graduates put off entering the work force. The ability to contribute to a cause and learn more about your passions, not to mention the financial compensation, seems to provide plenty of incentive. Many college graduates are trying to gain employment, but the recent recession has made it more difficult.

Both unemployment and underemployment has grown since 2008, according to Improve your odds of cutting it in the real world and get an internship in your desired profession. Not only will it boost your resume, you’ll gain valuable experience and establish a professional network.

Continue Education

If you love college life, why not keep it going? Grad school gives students another level of expertise in a chosen subject. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer or scientist, chances are you’ll need an advanced degree. A word of warning for eager undergrads: grad school isn’t a re-creation of freshman year. Classes are tougher, professors are less lenient and expectations are altogether elevated.

Academic measurables (GPA, GRE score) play a significant role in applications, but Master’s and Doctorate programs also look for leadership qualities. Volunteer and take chances. You’ll stand out in a stack of applications.

Try a New Experience

For many graduates, post-graduation is a peculiar time. Filled with so much inspiration and energy, a job feels unsatisfying or plain boring. The urge to travel strikes students who reject the idea of settling down.

If you relate to these sentiments, an alternative alternative opportunity might be waiting for you. The Peace Corps sends college graduates across the world to carry out humanitarian causes. Other post-grads opt to teach English abroad, where they learn valuable skills in a new culture.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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