Graduation is Over, Time to Make Decisions That Affect Your Future
By: Jessica Scarimbolo
So, you’re graduating college with your bachelor’s degree…what now?
For some, you are free to begin your career now that you have your degree; however, for others, you need to get your master’s degree before even being considered for a job in their field.
You are probably being bombarded with the question: “What are you doing after graduation?”
Remember not to panic. Whatever you choose to do will be the best for you; no one can make this decision for you, though many will try to offer their opinion.
Your other friends who are graduating may feel that they know exactly what they want to do with their lives, and it is okay if you don’t yet.
Your own personal question still stands: should you graduate from your undergrad studies and go immediately into your graduate studies or career, or should you take a year off?
Some may fear that after you take a year off, you will lose motivation and you won’t want to continue after that year is over. This is definitely a reasonable fear, but if you know yourself and understand that returning back to school will help better your credentials for your career, it should motivate you to continue.
You may even be worried that you could lose a job opportunity if you take a year off. If you are being offered a job position that seems like it won’t wait for you, it may be best for you to take the job and avoid that year off.
If you are someone who is choosing a career that makes them happy, maybe taking a year off after graduation feels unnecessary for you.
Remember your happiness and your mental state. If you feel that jumping into your next phase of life immediately after graduation will only overwhelm you and make you unhappy, it is unnecessary.
Taking time off after graduation may be healing for you; if you are going to take time off, you should use it to relax and learn who you are before you go into the job force.
Maybe you are going to spend that time off working full-time to prepare you for your career, or maybe you will travel abroad or do a dream internship.
You may be graduating and do not feel completely confident in your job choice. This may be the perfect reason to take a gap year.
It also may be scary to think that from when you entered kindergarten to when you graduated college, the average American student spends 17 consecutive years in school. So maybe you feel that before you enter the job force for the rest of your life, you have some unfinished things you want to accomplish.
If you have made the decision to take time off after graduation, make sure you are doing something to better yourself.
Don’t take a year off just to sleep and eat chips on your couch while binge-watching Netflix, though that does seem incredibly tempting.
Research from the American Gap Association showed that taking gap years after graduating has an abundance of benefits, such as helping you feel confident in your career choice and being more successful in your career.
Some who have chosen to go abroad while taking their time off have found that they learned valuable skills while being away, like learning things they would not have discovered about themselves if they had not chosen to take the year off.
No one will be able to tell you what is best for you and your future. If you decide to take the year off to better yourself, do it.
Go travel the world or do things you have always wanted to do but couldn’t because of your school schedule.
If you want to put your career first and jump right into it after graduation, you are free to do that, as well.
Your life and your future are yours to create, so make sure you do whatever will help you enjoy it to the fullest.