Graduated seniors have so much to look forward to and plan as they move on to the next step in their life. Whether you graduated high school or college, there are a few steps you should take to make your transition into post-academic life easier. As you bask in the glow of finally having your degree or diploma, review this guide below.
Get Ready to Move
The first challenging thing almost all graduated seniors have to deal with is moving. Even if you don’t plan to go to college after high school graduation, if you’re 18 years old, you’re legally old enough to go out on your own and begin your adult life. If you plan to stay in the same city you attended college in, then moving will be less of a challenge than going out of state or to another country.
If you live in an off-campus apartment, you may be able to stay there if you continue to live in the same city after graduation. Are you living on campus? You only have a short amount of time after graduation to move out. Luckily, there are local moving services that may give you a discount as a student. Since most graduations happen in summer, you’ll be moving during a very busy time unless you get your diploma early in January.
Whether you move from an on or off-campus apartment, you’ll likely need a local cleaning service. If you leave the place in a disastrous state, you’ll end up forfeiting your deposit or paying for damages. In the case of an off-campus apartment, you don’t want to have your rental record starting with a bad mark from a landlord. After all, if you leave the place in good standing, you can use them as a reference when you move to a better apartment. So if you don’t have time to do all the cleaning yourself, let the professionals handle it for you.
Throw a Party
After going through two, four, or more years of college, you’ve earned the right to celebrate. Plus, you’re more than likely to have friends that are also graduating, so you all should celebrate together. Getting your college degree is a time to bust out the wine, beer, and other spirits. Make some jello shots and order good food.
If you want to have a graduation party to remember, why not call on local catering services? Some caterers specialize in all sorts of food preferences, ranging from vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and ethnic cuisines. Graduated seniors can make things extra sweet by hiring a baker to make you and your friends a yummy cake worthy of highlighting your graduation accomplishment.
Consider Your Career Paths
Graduated seniors should consider a career path long before they cross the stage and get the diploma or degree. Before you graduate, you should already be looking for jobs, taking in applications, and doing your best to do interviews with potential employers. Depending on your career path, you may need or want to do an apprenticeship, or post-grad internship before jumping into a position full-time.
Don’t be discouraged, if you’re still not 100% sure about your career path after graduation. You may have several different career fields that you’re interested in. So take the time to research different industries to learn more about what goes into them. Check out YouTube videos from professionals. Find websites that belong to industry professionals and see if they provide consulting hours.
Graduated seniors should attend conferences to meet people and network in their fields of interest. If you don’t have a LinkedIn page yet, set one up before you graduate, as that’s another great way to start connecting with potential employers and mentors. You have many career options to choose from. In addition to the trades, more people are starting small businesses or going into tech or healthcare fields. Unfortunately, more teachers have left the profession, so you may find more openings than ever in that field if you need to work in education.
Travel to a New Country
Have you ever been outside the country? If not, your graduation is the perfect reason to get a passport. What better way for graduated seniors to have a summer vacation than by using it as a way to celebrate finally completing high school or college? If you go after high school, you may be inspired to attend college abroad. In most cases, a college education in other countries is much cheaper than in the US., so why not take advantage of a gap year to see what colleges you may want to attend abroad? However, if you’ve already graduated college, you may also want to complete post-secondary education in another country.
Even if you don’t have education on your mind when going to a new country, there are many reasons to go. If you’ve studied another language during your school time, practice it firsthand by immersing yourself in the country where people speak that language. Try new foods, see historical sites, and learn about places you read about in high school history class. You can make new friends and maybe even find a romantic partner.
When you get to a foreign country, there are many different ways to see it. Hire a boat charter for the day to go around a famous lake or river like the River Seine in Paris or Lake Zurich in Switzerland. Don’t forget about Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa with an area size of 68,870 km. Ride a camel in Egypt or Morocco or drive ATVs in northern Laos.
There are seven continents on the planet and they’re just waiting for graduated seniors to see them for themselves. The reality is there are certain things about the world that you’re not going to read about in a book or on TV. So traveling to a new country is a great way to find new experiences you never dreamt of. Even if you’re not looking for all that, at least you could say you had an amazing trip and can produce great content for your Instagram page!
Pursue a Law Degree
If you don’t plan on becoming a lawyer, you may want to look into getting a law degree. Being a lawyer can certainly be a lucrative field that has different specializations such as business law, tax law, family law, malpractice law, estate planning, and so on. In addition, experienced lawyers often end up starting their practice, so you don’t always have to rely on working from one big law firm. So if you’re entrepreneurial and want to get involved in the legal field, a law degree may be a good way to start.
However, if being a lawyer isn’t your thing, that shouldn’t stop you from a law degree. Some people end up working in government, nonprofits, and various forms of business who initially started with a law degree. A law degree can look great on any resume if you’re trying to pursue various career fields. It’s also a great way to make connections with other legal professionals, such as experienced lawyers, judges, and so on. If you have a background in law and you decide to become an entrepreneur, you’ll have a leg up in your own business. You’ll know about the different laws and it’ll be harder for someone to take advantage of you.
Go On a Scenic Trip
While a trip to a foreign country sounds exotic and amazing, maybe it’s not your thing. After all, the United States is a huge country with over 50 states to visit. Imagine taking a cross-country scenic trip in which you get to visit all or most of the states. Going to Alaska and Hawaii may have a different feel from the continental United States and provide countless scenery for graduated seniors to explore and photograph.
Free time over the summer is a great time to go camping. Look into tent rentals to get a slice of the outdoor experience. However, if you don’t want to be that close to sleeping in nature, you can also do more comfortable camping by way of cabin rentals.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the popularity of RV life. According to statistics, there are over a million full-time RVers in the United States. RVs are a great option for taking a scenic trip. These vehicles provide the comfort of being able to drive from destination to destination with a built-in place to sleep, eat and bathe without having to rely upon an expensive hotel. With an RV, you can bring the whole family or have some friends come along. If you’ve never driven an RV before, try a few test drives or short trips before you take it on one big cross-country adventure.
Move to a New City
After graduation, you’re about to move on to a pivotal point in your life. Unless you decide to pursue higher education, you need to focus on work or permanent accommodations. So you may want to start over in a different location. Maybe you’ll want to move to a city you’ve been to before and fell in love with on vacation. Or maybe you’ll wing it and go to a city that you’ve never seen. Start getting quotes from local moving companies for the best deal. An outer state move can be more complex than a local one, so find the most experienced and highly rated contractor for the job.
Whatever you do, conduct your research about the type of places you’d want to live in. Review climate, atmosphere, size, population, and industries. Do you need to be near a beach or do you like the mountains? Do you like a small-town feel, or do you like disappearing in a big metropolis? Also, think about housing types. Are you cool with mostly staying in an apartment? Then someplace like New York City can work for you. However, if you prefer to quickly work your way up to a single-family home even before marriage, you may want to aim for cheaper areas, such as in the South or Midwest.
Find a Good Apartment
Regardless of what location you choose, you need a comfortable, safe place to live. So start contacting property management companies for an apartment. If you’re looking for an apartment in another city, some property management companies will have online virtual reality viewings that give you a 3D view of the apartment. Even if you like what you see with a 3D view of a place, try to find time to see it in person before you make any deposits and sign contracts.
Go Into the Trades
After high school, graduated seniors may decide to go into the trades. Did you know the top 25% of plumbers made $77,890 in 2022, according to US News? Trade schools provide training in timeless fields like manufacturing, HVAC, carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, and more. According to Forbes and Trade College, the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics and Highlands College of Montana are among the top trade schools in the country.
In the trades, you could decide to specialize in either residential or commercial work. According to Zippia, an industrial or commercial electrician can expect a 10% projected job growth. Since people need electricity to run businesses as well as their homes, being a specialist in this field is a very lucrative job for graduated seniors to consider.
Store Your Belongings
Graduated seniors have many decisions to make, such as what to do with so many belongings and mementos they’ve built up over the years. If you’re moving to a new city or state, It may be hard for you to bring everything with you at the same time. Luckily, there are professional storage options to consider. Some moving companies also provide temporary storage that you should look into. That way you won’t have to sell or give away things you don’t want to.
If you’ve recently graduated from high school or college, make sure you enjoy that time. Soak up the energy and fun of the moment but make the proper preparations to transition into full-on adult life. Hopefully, this guide will give you enough insight to have a successful post-graduation life.