The only thing better than starting university is finishing it. After three long years, or maybe even four depending on what course you have studied, graduation is the event that symbolises all the hard work you have put in and everything that you have achieved throughout your course. But then what? Here are the decisions you will need to make as you approach the end of your course, as whilst a gown and hat may be all you can think about, you can’t forget to plan for afterwards.
Now you have finished university or are about to finish; you need to have a clear idea about what you want to do next. If you are wanting to study for a masters degree, you will need to leave plenty of time to apply and maybe go to an open day or two if you are thinking of studying at a different university.
Or, if you have had enough of education and want to enter the working world, now is the time to start lining up job interviews. Whilst you are still a student you can ask your university’s employability team for help, and they may even have their own set of graduate jobs lined up from university partners. I also strongly recommend that you create a LinkedIn profile if you have not already, as this is a social network specifically designed to show yourself off to potential employers.
But if you are not sure what you want to do next, don’t panic, it’s your life and you could do anything. Why not take a few months break and travel the world, whether you are on a well deserved holiday or a volunteering trip.
However, if you don’t have the energy or funds to travel, you could take a short course or an internship to help boost your resume whilst you figure out what you want to do next. But again, these often need to be applied for in advance.
Where will you live and who with?
Since you are a student, it’s extremely likely that you are living in student accommodation; whilst this may not be halls it is likely to be with a landlord who rents specifically to students, meaning once your contract ends, you have to be gone. If you are deciding to continue your education with a Masters or PHD, then you will still be spoilt for choice with student housing. But if you have a new full-time job lined up then it would be wise to look for somewhere to live with a reasonable commute, or if you haven’t yet, you could always move back home or with friends for a while. Although if they are students too, they are probably in the same scenario.
The key thing to decide is if you are moving back to your hometown or staying in the current city you are currently in, or maybe you’re moving somewhere completely new if you have a job there. When you aren’t a student it may be hard to find housemates or flatmates, so make sure to join plenty of groups on social media to see what’s available. Or maybe you are taking this opportunity to move in with a partner or to live by yourself and further increase your independence.
How will you afford expenses?
Whatever you decide to do after graduation and where you decide to live, you need to ask yourself how you will afford your expenses, like rent, food, travel costs, etc. If you are remaining in education, you are likely still eligible for a student loan, but don’t forget to apply for one in advance. However, if you are leaving education for good, you will need to pay your own way. Which is fine if you have a job lined up, but if you are planning on travelling the world, you would need to have worked hard and put plenty in your savings account.