Don’t Know What to Do After College? Read this.

Turn that existential dread into pure excitement! Here's everything you need to know about your next steps, navigating life after college, and mastering that tricky art of adulting.
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If you’re riding the "I don’t know what to do after college" struggle bus, or spending sleepless nights googling "I have no idea what to do after college," or maybe just staring at your ceiling thinking, "I just graduated college and don't know what to do," well, you’re in the right place.

Let’s be real—this whole being-a-grown-up thing isn’t as straightforward as they made it seem. But worry not! We’re about to dive into some real talk about life after college, armed with actionable steps and a dash of humor to guide you through this crazy, exciting time. So, buckle up and let’s figure this out together. You ready? Let’s roll!

Don’t know what to do after college?

Alright, you’ve thrown your cap and now you’re staring into the post-grad abyss, thinking, “What on earth do I do now?” No worries—I've got you covered with some tangible steps to figure out what to do after college graduation. Here’s how to get the ball rolling

Take a Breather, Then Reflect

Before you jump into anything, give yourself a moment to decompress post-college. Once you’ve taken that breath, start reflecting on what parts of your college life you loved. Was it your major, a particular class, or maybe an extracurricular activity? Pinpointing what sparked joy might help guide your next steps.

Skill Audit

Whip out a notepad and jot down your skills. Are you a number-crunching champ, a persuasive communicator, or a tech whiz? Understanding what you bring to the table can help you target your job search or further education.

Informational Interviews

Reach out to professionals in fields you’re curious about. These don’t need to be formal—just a casual chat over coffee or a quick Zoom call to get the inside scoop on what their jobs are really like.

Craft a Vision Board or Mind Map

Sometimes seeing is believing—or deciding, in this case. Create a vision board or mind map of potential career paths. This can include job titles, companies, locations, and anything else that gets you pumped about the future.

Experiment with Short-Term Experiences

Dip your toes into different pools with internships, volunteer positions, or freelance gigs. These experiences are invaluable; not only do they build your resume, but they also give you a real taste of different fields.

Set SMART Goals

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—these are your new best friends. Setting SMART goals can transform a nebulous dream into a clear-cut target. For instance, "Apply to three marketing jobs at creative agencies by the end of the month."

Prepare for a Few Missteps

Embrace the fact that you might not nail it on the first (or even second) try. Each job application that doesn’t pan out or project that doesn’t quite succeed is still a valuable learning opportunity.

Keep Learning

Whether through formal workshops, online courses, or self-guided study, continue to build on your knowledge base. The more you know, the more versatile and marketable you become.

What to do after college: your options

Try an Externship

Think of an externship as your career’s test drive. It’s quick, it’s enlightening, and who knows? It might just steer you right into your dream job lane. Dive in, get a feel for the professional world, and pick up some skills that’ll sparkle on your resume.

Hit the Books Again

Not quite ready to close the textbooks? Maybe grad school or a specialty course is your next best move. Whether you’re eyeing an MBA or want to master graphic design, continuing your education could be the perfect path to leveling up your expertise—and your career possibilities.

Travel the World

Got wanderlust? Now’s a prime time to scratch that travel itch. Backpack through the breathtaking landscapes of Asia or hit the highways for an epic road trip across the U.S. Travel not only expands your horizons but also adds some serious sparkle to your personal growth. Every new place and face could inspire your next big thing!

Volunteer Your Time

Want to make a difference and gain invaluable experience? Volunteering lets you give back to the community while padding out your resume. Whether it’s helping out at a local shelter or teaching skills abroad, you’re building connections, empathy, and skills that future employers will love.

Launch Your Own Venture

Dreaming of being your own boss? If you’ve got a business idea brewing, why not make it a reality? The startup world is full of ups and downs, but for the right person, it’s an exhilarating roller coaster. So, if you’re ready to take the plunge, now could be the perfect time to start that entrepreneurial journey. Who knows? You might just be the next big thing!

After College Tips: How to Navigate the Post-Grad Jungle

Congrats, grad! You’ve made it through the all-nighters and the final exams, and now you’re ready to take on the world. But if you're feeling a bit like a deer in headlights about what comes next, don’t sweat it. Here are some killer tips to help you navigate the wilds of post-college life without losing your cool.

Get Your Money Mojo On

Alright, let’s talk cash. You might not be making it rain just yet, but managing what you’ve got is key. Start by whipping up a budget that isn’t just a fancy spreadsheet you never look at. Track what you earn and what you spend, and get real about where you can cut back (yeah, those daily lattes might have to go). And if those student loans are lurking, get to know your repayment options—stat! We get it–Finances can be confusing, so seek some help, follow finance influencers like Tori Dunlap and GirlsWhoInvest and read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and Rich Bitch

Build Your Tribe

Your college pals might be scattered far and wide, but keeping those connections strong is clutch. And now’s the time to branch out and build new networks. Attend industry meet-ups, join professional groups, or just hit up old classmates. Remember, your next opportunity could come from a friend of a friend who knows a guy.

Never Stop Learning

Just because you’re done with school doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Dive into books, hit up workshops, or take online courses. Want to boost your career prospects? Learning new skills, especially digital ones like coding or graphic design, can seriously amp up your resume. We love resources like Skillshare, Externships, and LinkedIn Certificates.

Take Care of Your Number One

Let’s be real: Post-grad life can be a rollercoaster. So, make sure you’re taking care of your physical and mental health. Whether it’s hitting the gym, meditating, or just binge-watching your favorite show (in moderation, of course), find what helps you recharge and make it a priority.

Say Yes to New Adventures

Whether it’s moving to a new city, trying out a funky side hustle, or just exploring uncharted parts of your hometown, be open to new experiences. They’re not just great for stories; they also help you grow and find out what really makes you tick.

Keep It Real

And finally, keep your expectations in check. Life after college isn’t all glamour and glitz—it’s also about figuring out tax returns, navigating job hunts, and a whole lot of "adulting". Be patient with yourself. It’s okay if everything doesn’t fall into place right away.

What is the next step after college?

Whether you’re thinking about climbing the career ladder, backpacking across continents, or maybe just figuring out how to not turn your white laundry pink, it’s all up to you. If you’re feeling a bit lost, start by exploring gigs related to your major—or totally pivot if you’ve got a passion that’s been on the back burner. Networking isn’t just for the LinkedIn enthusiasts; it’s for you too. Connect with alums, join some clubs, maybe even slide into a few DMs (professionally, of course). Or, if you’re all about hitting the books again, grad school could be calling your name. The point is, post-college life is like a choose-your-own-adventure book, so start choosing and adventuring!

How is life after college?

So you've tossed the cap and snagged that diploma—what's next? Life after college is a bit like being handed the freedom to script your own adventure. You’re now the boss of your daily menu, choosing whether it’s takeout at 2 AM or something a bit healthier, and deciding where to live and who your new tribe will be. It’s thrilling to navigate this new freedom, but remember, with great power comes the responsibility of rent, bills, and those ever-looming student loans. Life after college can be tough, unpredictable, and sometimes downright hard, but it’s also crammed with potential to learn, grow, and start marking your impact on the world. 

What comes after 4 years of college?

Finished with college and staring down at what feels like a big ol' question mark? Totally normal. When faced with so many options, indecision fatigue can make you feel like you’re drowning in overwhelm, but there are so many exciting paths for you to choose from. Paths like: the job hunt—it’s a rollercoaster, alright. Time to polish up that resume, whip out some flashy cover letters, and tap into your college network to unlock doors you didn't even know existed. Thinking of more school? If those late-night study vibes are calling your name, maybe a master’s or another degree is your next play.

Or perhaps it’s time to ditch the textbooks and see the world, or turn those class doodles into a startup. Dive into your creative side, start that novel, or launch the next big YouTube channel. And hey, don’t forget about the adulting basics—bills, health insurance, and maybe picking a new city to call home. Whatever path you choose, it's all about learning, growing, and grabbing life by the reins. Ready, set, go figure out your "What’s next?"

Can life be lonely or hard after college?

Graduation’s done and dusted, and you’re stepping into the big, wide world. Exciting, right? But let’s be real for a sec—can life after college be lonely or hard? Yep, it sure can. Here’s the scoop on navigating those tricky waters and finding your groove.

Welcome to the Solo Squad

First off, college is like its own little universe—a place where friends are just a dorm room away and social calendars are packed. Once you toss that cap, things can feel a bit… quiet. Suddenly, you're not bumping into friends on campus or meeting up for impromptu coffee dates between classes. It’s normal to feel a bit isolated as you transition from a bustling campus life to maybe a quieter routine.

Job Jitters and Career Quests

Then there's the job scene. Landing that first gig can feel like a Herculean task. Resumes, interviews, maybe even rejections—it can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows. And when you do land a job, there’s the whole new world of workplace culture to navigate. It’s exciting but can also be super stressful.

The Budget Balancing Act

Let’s talk money. Managing your finances for the first time for real can add another layer of stress. From rent and groceries to student loans and maybe not having as much disposable income as you’d like—it’s a lot to juggle. Financial stress is real, and it can definitely add to the feeling that adulting is hard.

How to Combat the Post-College Blues

Alright, enough of the doom and gloom—let’s figure out how to tackle this:

  • Keep Your Friends Close: Make an effort to stay in touch with college friends and plan regular meetups or virtual hangouts. Building a new network takes time, but maintaining old friendships can give you a solid emotional base.
  • Dive Into New Communities: Whether it’s joining a gym, signing up for a workshop, or getting involved in community activities, find your tribe. Shared interests are a great way to make new friends and feel less isolated.
  • Embrace the Learning Curve: Every job comes with its challenges, but remember, you’re just starting out. Give yourself permission to learn, make mistakes, and grow.

And there you have it! You're officially equipped with a roadmap to navigate the wild terrain of post-college life. Remember, it’s totally fine to feel a bit lost—think of it as being on a thrilling exploration where every turn brings a new adventure. Whether you're crafting your career, jet-setting across the globe, or just figuring out how to cook something other than instant noodles, embrace the journey with open arms and an open mind.

Don't stress about having it all figured out right away. Life after college is not a race; it’s a marathon (with some really cool pit stops along the way). Keep pushing forward, stay curious, and take every chance to laugh and learn. You've got this, grad! Now go out there and show the world what you're made of.

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