Congratulations! You did it! You’ve finally graduated from college and now the whole world is yours. It’s ripe for the picking. Just kidding, you’re probably screwed. Unless you’re some kind of trust fund baby, but let’s assume that you’re not. The fact is that most college graduates leave school these days with crippling debt and little to no job opportunities to aid in paying them back. Oh well. Don’t worry, not all is lost. While you contemplate the future there are things that you can do to stay busy that won’t necessarily hurt you either.
One of the best pieces of advice that I can give to recent college graduates is to take the GMAT or GRE exam as soon as possible. Do this even if you aren’t planning on going to graduate school any time soon. It’s not like your scores will expire, once you take the exam you don’t ever have to take it again if you’re happy with your score. The reason for taking it as soon as possible after graduation is simple, you’re still in school mode. Your brain is used to studying and taking exams and the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Try and get these out of the way as soon as possible!
Another popular activity for recent college graduates is to travel the world. Definitely! Your financial situation isn’t going anywhere, and the job market will likely be the exact same in a few months, so take some time to see the world. Now understand this, travel does not mean go to Cancun and get drunk on a beach for two months. Rather than waste your time with that you should visit as many different places as possible. Experience new cultures and interact with different people. See the sights, go to museums, and try to learn as much as possible from your travel experiences.
If you’re not looking to go too far from home you can always volunteer locally. No matter what your interests may be there is always a group or organization somewhere that is looking for volunteers like you to help. You can do anything from working with schools, hospitals, environmental groups, animal shelters, municipal bodies, and much more. The possibilities are endless. This is also a great way to test the waters in different lines of work and see what really sparks your interest. Not to mention, volunteer work always looks great on a resume.
Finally, the last thing that all college graduates should do is relax. There is such pressure to start working right after graduation and I have no idea why. You just finished a major chapter in your life, what’s the rush to jump right into the next one. Take a little while to sleep in, play some videogames, and just do whatever it is that you want to do for a little while. However, be warned. There is a fine line between relaxation and being a bum. Try not to fall victim to over-chill syndrome and become that 26 year old guy who hasn’t moved out of his parents basement.