CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! You’ve finally done it: you finished college and you’re still alive! That is truly something to be proud about. To think, only four years ago you were a tiny and helpless freshman but now you've become a real person! But what now? What’s your next step and how will you get there? Where are you going to live? What will your next job or career entail? Will you own your own business or will you be flipping burgers at McDonald's?
All of these are reasonable questions to be asking. But a common misconception among many graduates is thinking that everything has to happen at once. Progress comes with time and hard work. Nothing is going to fall into your lap. If you haven’t learned anything from the past four years as an undergrad, this should be priority. You are officially an adult which means that it is now time to make adult choices.
But what kind of choices should you be making in a post-grad world?
For many careers nowadays, one degree just doesn’t cut it. The more titles and experience you have under your belt, the more marketable you are. Take the summer to look into other programs related to your major, if you haven’t already. Or if there is something else that you are interested in and you want to pursue further, look for an extensive program.
Also, be sure to do something you love. Recent Temple University graduate Lawrance Ogunkua’s goal is to increase health literacy in disenfranchised communities. He wants to continue to push himself to the max in order to excel at his passion.
“I plan on attending graduate school in pursuit of a Ph.D. in higher education administration," Ogunkua said.
This is the perfect opportunity to further your education, gain more experience in your field—or fields, if you're extremely ambitious –of interest, and expand your resume.
In the end, this means more money on your paycheck. Why not consider it?
You're probably thinking something along the lines of “I don't need one of those 'internships,' they're for the young and inexperienced; I need to look for a real job.” Well, if you were as experienced as you think you are, you’d have a job right now. So don’t knock it until you’re actually paid a real, grown-up's salary; not one by hour.
Internships mean more experience and a stronger resume. It’s all about selling yourself, people. Give employers a reason or two as to why they should hire you over the next person. Plus, if you make a great enough impression at your internship, who’s to say they won’t offer you an official position?
There will be the fortunate ones out there that land a job straight after college. Temple University graduate Alexander Brown is one of these fortunate few.
“I got a job in West Philadelphia as a full time site coordinator at LIFT and I enrolled in the MSW program at Temple with a concentration in health and mental health," Brown said.
Brown may be taking classes again but he didn't let that get in the way of what's most important: getting a job and financing all of the stupid [un]necessities you'll be blowing money on later in life. If you don't start working after college, however will you be able to afford whatever mid-life crisis you have coming for you? Take some pointers and see what others did—or who they got to know—in order to get that great job.
Now, this is not a bad idea. You’ve worked hard. You’ve pushed yourself to the limit. All of your hard work, sweat, anxiety and tears have paid off. You deserve a break. Take some time off, if this is what you feel you are called to do. Relax for a bit. Go see a movie or go on a date with a special someone. You deserve to at least have the summer off.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a breather. However, don’t use this as an excuse to not push yourself to get to the next level. Continue to broaden your horizons and find that “thing” that you love to do. Everybody has a calling. Now is the time to find yours.