WHEN YOUR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IS DONE, LIFE REALLY BEGINS
If you thought figuring out what to do after high school was hard enough, trying finishing university and then wondering what do you do.
After high school, you’re still on the border of being a teenager and a young adult.
After post-secondary school, though, you’re a full-blown adult with responsibilities.
So, what do you do to get your life on track after university, especially when you’re likely drowning in student loans?
Read the following eight tips to find out how.
Decide on Employment or Self-Employed
At some point after university, you must decide on what to do career-wise.
Do you want to go work for someone, or do you want people to work for you?
Depending on what you went to school for, that could help answer the question.
Going the self-employed route is risky, there’s no other way to put it.
It’s up to you to front the money to get your business going unless you can find an investor, and you’ll be the one who does all of the work in the beginning.
However, if you can make it work, it could be one of the most rewarding decisions you make.
Consider an Internship
If you’re ready to dive into the workforce and start gaining experience in your field, look at internships first.
Internships are an excellent way to build your resume with invaluable experience that many companies require.
Internships aren’t just for those who are currently enrolled in university (although pay attention to the stipulations as many do require you to be registered).
For recent graduates, you’d be surprised as to how many internship opportunities you can find.
Even if you’re only there for a year, you gain experience and connections that will last a lifetime.
Start Paying Your Student Loans
Although you may have a grace period with student loans, don’t delay your payments.
The average student takes around nine years to pay off their loans after university.
Imagine how much money that costs each student in interest rates.
What started as a $40,000 loan could jump significantly if you stretch out the loan and factor in any additional fees.
Start paying them back as soon as possible. Budget for your loan payments and set yourself a goal.
How much do you want to put towards your loan each month, and can you do a lump sum at the end of the year?
What timeline are you looking at to finish paying off the amount?
You may need to make some adjustments to your spending habits to factor in the new monthly payments.
Do Some Travelling
Now’s your time to do some travelling.
You’re mature enough that you can be responsible while on vacation, but still young-hearted to go and have loads of fun.
So, before you dive too deep into your career, spend some time travelling the world.
If you want to go on an extended vacation, look at getting a working visa.
These allow you to spend time in a foreign country while making a bit of money and gaining life experience.
Other travelling opportunities while working include:
- A live-in nanny
- An adventure guide
- Teaching English abroad
- Joining a volunteer group
Budget for travelling so you can make the best of it.
You don’t want to have to cut your trip short or always worry about money.
Save up as much as you can ahead of time.
If need be, you have the options of small, personal loans to help pay for the last few dollars for your flights (take a look at Credit Ninja and their rates).
Just make sure you’re home in time to pay it off.
Consider a Post-Graduate or Masters Degree
Once you graduate from university, that doesn’t mean your schooling stops there.
You have the option of going back to further what you’ve already learned. Does your field offer Masters Degree?
If that’s something that interests you, take a look at the requirements and what the extra schooling all entails.
Many job opportunities require additional education besides a bachelors degree.
Going go your Masters or Doctorate can open up a whole new range of job prospects that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
Pursue Your Passion
It’s a common thought to have – you must dive into your chosen career once you obtain your degree.
However, taking a gap year to pursue your passions is never a bad idea.
For those who aren’t ready for an eight-to-five career, take some time to focus on your passions and see where it can lead you.
Many passions and hobbies can lead to a full-time business opportunity.
If you’re creative and like to paint, set up a small paint shop and start selling your artwork.
For those who enjoy writing, look into freelancing that allows you to travel and do something you love at the same time.
Learn About Finances After University
Unless you pursued a math degree and took financing courses university, quite often students leave school feeling overwhelmed with finances.
Once you graduate, you’ll soon learn the harsh truth about saving, budgeting, investing, and paying your bills on time.
Part of your survival method for life after university should include learning more about finances.
Learn more about budgeting and how it can improve your financial life.
Understand what it means to invest and how it can contribute to your wealth.
The more you can teach yourself, the better prepared you’ll be to avoid more debt and enjoy financial freedom.
Don’t Have a Strict Plan
Have you ever talked to someone that has their entire life planned out?
They know where they’ll be in five years, and what job they’re going after once they finish school.
Do you wonder how stressed they are?
When it comes to life, you can’t have too strict of a plan.
There needs to be leeway for bumps along the road. So, after you’re done university, prepare yourself for those hiccups.
You may not get a job right away, or you may not get the job you’re hoping for.
It could take you 10 years until you can finally apply for the job you’ve been eyeing up.
Enjoy the life change as you adjust from being a student to being an adult in the everyday world.
Take the time to reflect on your experience and see how it can contribute to society and you as a person.
You spent countless hours stressing over assignments and final exams that you deserve to take this opportunity to find yourself, enjoy life, and experience new things.
If you end up going a different route from what your degree is, that’s okay.
Discussion: What other tips do you have for new university graduates? Leave your comments below.