The summer is here. Congratulations! You’ve spent the last four years working, partying and making life-long friends. Say goodbye to sleepless nights fuelled by energy drinks, coffee and sugary snacks. But once you’ve taken off your graduation gown and the mortarboards have hit the ground, there’s one question on everyone’s lips. “So, what are you going to do?”. If you’re dreading answering this, and are overcome with graduate blues, here’s a few tips on how to spend your post-graduation summer.
Many students are worried about taking a ‘gap’ year after college, believing that it may decrease their chances of getting into grad-school or finding a job. But, travelling does not need to be seen as a ‘gap’ from your life. Instead of viewing travels as a holiday, many employers understand that it is often a CV boosting experience. With many volunteering and work opportunities worldwide, there is more than one way to enrich your travels with some practical experience. Travelling is also proven to be great for our mental health and wellbeing. It increases self-esteem, boosts independence and decreases stress levels, which are all useful post-graduation.
2. Organize your finances
It is important to relax this summer. But, once your dorm-room is packed up and you find yourself back in your childhood bedroom, it’s natural to feel a pang of post-college blues. It’s believed that graduates start to feel down post-graduation as early as two months after the ceremony, and this could lead to depression, anxiety and other mental illness. One of the biggest contributing factors to post-graduate anxiety, is the financial strain of studying. Many students dread repayment schemes, and struggling to pay off grants and loans. Student debt may feel like something not worth worrying about until the summer has come to an end. However, it is worth considering and researching suitable options over the summer break, to prevent future stress and there could be many rewards and benefits. Using balance transfer cards can help Americans to lower their monthly payments and manage debt, including help paying back student loans. See here, for a breakdown of balance transfer cards specifically targetted at students, making debt feel a little more palatable.
3. Learn to drive or focus on a new skill
You have the whole summer to focus on yourself and what you want to do for the rest of your life. Whether you’ve got a plan or not, you’ll need some down time after college to digest and recuperate after years of studying. The summer after college is the perfect time to do all the things that you couldn’t fit in amongst your studies and socializing. Why not try accomplishing a new skill, like learning to drive. Or make the most of your freedom, by reading all the books you couldn’t whilst focusing on your class reading lists. There are plenty of summer schools and courses in sewing, fitness and foreign languages, for example, that offer post-grads the option to continue studying, whilst nourishing wellbeing and exciting the soul.
Whatever you do this summer, take loads of photos! Whether it feels exciting at the time, you’ll want to remember this time in your life.