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You made it… but now what should you do after graduation?  More and more college students are choosing to delay entering the workforce or pursuing further education after graduation.  If you are a recent graduate or parent of a recent graduate who is not quite ready to commit to that nine-to-five career, have no fear!  Here are a few things to do after graduation that offer unique experience and valuable life skills.

What Should Your Grad Do After Graduation?

You made it, but now what should you do after graduation? If you are a recent graduate or parent of a recent graduate who is not quite ready to commit to that nine-to-five career, have no fear!  Here are a few things to do after graduation that offer unique experience and valuable life skills. 

Travel

You don’t have to wait until you are 65 and retired to see the world – live while you are young!  Traveling is a great thing to do after graduation. It’s not easy to travel when you are bogged down with a world of responsibilities.  Take advantage of your post-graduation lack of to-do’s by packing your bags and exploring somewhere new!  Oftentimes, employers prefer candidates who have spent time abroad – it shows that you are ambitious and responsible.

Volunteer

Probably the most constructive thing you can do with your new freedom.  If you have an altruistic bone in your body, considering dedicating time to volunteer.  Whether it be one night a week or every day, even the smallest acts of giving back can make a huge difference.  Investigate if local nursing homes, animal shelters, schools, or soup kitchens could use a helping hand.  Globally, organizations like the Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity tackle broader, pressing challenges of our generation.  What better feeling is there than knowing you have helped someone else?

Teach English Abroad

English has become the dominant language for trade and is now the second most spoken language in the entire world.  Export countries, especially those in Asia and Latin America, are eager for their citizens to learn the language.  A large number of American college students land jobs teaching ESL classes abroad.  A lot of these positions don’t even require you know the native language of the country you teach in.  Look for programs and teaching opportunities through international embassies.

Research

If you’re still living close to your college campus, consider looking for a research assistantship.  Universities only have a significant amount of resources invested into the research, so they often have opportunities for graduated students.  You also have the benefit of still having connections with past professors and faculty to tap into!

Change of Scenery

If you don’t have the luxury of traveling, try a simple change of scenery.  Have you lived in one place all of your life?  Tired of your college town?  Not sure if you’re a city mouse or a country mouse?  Now is your chance to try living somewhere new!  Whatever your plans may be, living in a new city can be an exciting experience that opens you to opportunities you didn’t even know existed.

Take a deep breath, and enjoy your post-graduation life!  What you do in the first few years after taking off your cap and gown does not have to dictate your future, but it can be a great opportunity to explore your interests and figure out what you are truly passionate about.  Whether you plan on backpacking across Europe, building houses for the homeless, or even simply walking dogs at a nearby animal shelter, good luck!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science. Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!