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Congratulations to all of the new 2010 graduates! It has been a long road, but you have finally made it. From all of the papers, exams, parties and all-nighters, it is now safe to say it was all worth it. So what’s the next step? What is your plan for after graduation? After getting used to the college environment, it takes some time to transition out of the student lifestyle. What seems to be even more difficult is the incredible task of finding a job post-graduation. I have talked to several recent graduates and graduates of the past couple years to find out exactly what they plan to do, what they have planned in the past and how successful those plans have been. The responses varied depending on the student, their location, type of degree, and personal goals.
Grad School– Some students have decided that they would like to continue their education and attend graduate school. Students usually prepare in advance, fullfilling proper requirements, applications and testing. Many students feel that if they do not attend grad school now, then it will not happen. This could be because once you get used to not being a student, then it could be hard to get back in that mind set. Grad school is a great option, especially if you can find an assistantship that wil help pay your way through school.
Job Hunt– Job hunting is the road that many students take after graduation. They hope to use their newly attained degree to find an entry-level position in their field. The success of this option depends greatly on the economy, the industry of the desired position, and the efforts of the graduate. I have known students who applied for jobs months prior to graduation and have been hired. Also, I have known students that have graduated and applied for positions for months at a time. Eventually, some were hired, or at least found an internship in which they could work their way up the ladder. There are a lot of graduates who cannot find work in their field of study and work other jobs until they land their desired job.
Military- One way to get school loans paid off is through the military, and that is why this is an option for some students. Depending on what you join, you can receive different amounts of loan reimbursements, and many other opportunities. This option is disliked by many because of the chances of war and losing a loved one. Although many parents, family and friends don’t like to see a loved one go away, there is a bright side. There are many different careers within military employment that one can take advantage of that do not require combat. Although training is most likely required regardless of what you decide to do, it is still an option for some.
The “Free Spirit” Approach- There are some students who have decided to just go with the flow of life. After getting their hard earned degree, it is now time for them to just relax and see where the wind takes them. This is a more than perfect opportunity to travel and see the world. It is a stage that can feel rather awkward at times. You are no longer a student, but not knee deep in the career world yet. It is a type of limbo that can offer a student a chance to figure out exactly which step to take next in life. It’s a time to stop and smell the roses and clear ones mind. Some students decide to go backpacking across some unknown land, or concentrate on some religious study. Regardless of what you decide to do, this would be a time to clear your mind and prepare for the future.
No matter what you decide to do after graduation, it is important to remember that this is your life and you must do what makes you happy. Whether it’s back to school for a higher degree, or backpacking across Europe, you have to go in the path that will suit you best and make you happy.