It’s normal to feel a little lost after college graduation. For the first time in around 15 years, you don’t have a back-to-school season in your future; there’s no set life structure ahead of you. What can you do after graduating to get yourself on the right track? Start with these five tips:
1. Know your student loan status
They might be big and scary, but student loan statements are something that you definitely should not hide from. Go through your emails, online accounts, and paperwork, and make sure you know what you’re up against. The prospect of paying off student loans will seem a little less scary if you make a game plan. Once you figure out how much you need to pay per month, you should make yourself a budget. Talk with your parents about payment help if you need to; just make sure it gets done. It can certainly be a challenge, but try to start your post-graduate life with good financial responsibility!
2. Update your resume
Take a look at your resume, and edit it! Make sure that all of your relevant information is up-to-date and looking good. Include educational achievements, work history, and skills that you have. When you have the nuts and bolts in there, remember that formatting is also important. An organized, clean-looking resume will be taken more seriously when you start applying for jobs. And if you find yourself with a new-found sense of free time after you graduate, use that time productively to gain more experiences you can add to your resume!
3. Start job hunting
It’s okay if your first post-college job isn’t the exact career you’re after. It’s no secret that the job market is rough, so just remember that any job is better than no job. Maybe you can’t land your dream job just yet, but save money in the meantime by doing some kind of work. Once you have a gig landed, you can continue to seek out job openings that are more related to your degree and your interests.
4. Stay active in your field
Even if you’re not working in the field you studied in college, make sure to stay up-to-date on it. Keeping up with current events can be important in shedding light on future career aspirations and can be important in impressing interviewers. If you say you’re passionate about the field, it helps if you can explain why and prove that you know your stuff! Nowadays there are blogs on just about everything, so do a quick internet search and find one that can keep you “in the know,” whether it’s in publishing, marketing, engineering, or anything else!
5. Give yourself a pat on the back
Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment. If you feel frustrated about job hunting, bored from lack of extracurricular activities, or anxious about the future, just try your best to remain positive. Remember how far you’ve come since freshman year and know that you can continue to make strides in your new adult life.