Five things to take up after college
Ideas to try out for those graduating
Congratulations, fellow seniors.
After four years or more of trials and tribulations, your UB degree is just around the corner.
This is no doubt a time for celebration, but it may also be a time of uncertainty. This is especially true if you haven’t decided on a graduate school or aren’t employed full-time yet.
While the job application process shouldn’t be ignored, consider these five suggestions that may help to alleviate your existential crisis. They may even land you a job.
Here are some short-term activities that you can do after graduation to keep your head above water.
Not ready to commit yourself to a full-time job? Freelance work is the way to go.
Instead of working at a company and committing to a typical 9-to-5 job, you would essentially be working on your own. You market yourself and the skills you’re bringing to the table, whether they’re designing a website, computer programming or even acting.
Thanks to the internet, there are tons of websites like Upwork.com and fiverr.com that can help you kickstart your freelancing career.
But don’t think that freelancing alone will pay the bills.
Compensation typically depends on your experience and would most certainly require another job to stay afloat. If you stick with it, however, you may end up earning a significant amount of money.
Your experience will also be a good resume builder to help get that “real” job you wanted.
Blogging, like freelancing, has never been easier.
The internet provides plenty of platforms for writers, many of which are free. Websites like WordPress, Wix and Joomla will help give you that freedom that comes with making your own website.
You can use your blog as a way to write short stories, be an independent journalist or make a personal journal to document any adventures you have, whether it’s a road trip or time spent in another country. But maybe parks are more of your thing. Practically everything is fair game for blogging.
Once you’ve gained a substantial following, there’s even potential for making a decent sum of money from your content, whether it’s through advertisements or sponsorships. But that’s a future goal. Starting is the key for now.
Maybe your finances are good, but you want to do something to help others. If this sounds like you, then try volunteer work.
There are many types of volunteering opportunities that you can pursue. Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations are in high demand, one example being Journey’s End Refugee Services in Buffalo. Other avenues for volunteering include fundraising initiatives, tutoring children or helping the homeless.
While it is unpaid work, you may find more meaning in devoting your time to a cause you’re passionate about, whether it’s the environment or the arts. Volunteer work will also help you make connections and relationships that may spell out future opportunities.
You can find volunteering opportunities in your area on websites like VolunteerMatch and Action Without Borders.
Work in another country
If you enjoy traveling, then this option may be for you.
Working abroad exposes you to a different culture and a new sense of independence, and may help you learn a new language. This will expand your worldview and be especially helpful in marketing yourself for jobs back home.
While working abroad sounds exciting, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before packing your bags. Culture shock is an obvious drawback, but that’s only a temporary problem. Other issues include the visa process, banking and transportation. So make sure to do your homework before you pack your bags.
But don’t be intimidated.
There’s a whole new world out there, so take the plunge along with the paycheck.
Do something you enjoy
There’s a reason why this choice is at the bottom of the list.
Telling someone “do what you love” is so cliché thatit’s almost sickening to the person hearing it.
But doing something that you like may be the best thing you can do after college.
You spent nearly half a decade, if not more, working yourself to death for your degree. After pulling off countless all-nighters and dedicating most of your budget to coffee, the least you can do is reward yourself with a bit of fun.
It’s also a great way to boost your overall well-being. Simply having a hobby can relieve stress, help fight mental illness and improve your social life.
It makes sense when you think about it: Feeling good while doing something you enjoy.
So if it’s learning a musical instrument or spending more time at the gym, you can do something you love to make your time after graduation count.
Cian Gonzalez is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.