If you’re finishing up with your studies this year, you’re probably feeling the weight of all the adulting decisions around the corner. Graduating is a thrilling experience and accomplishment. But no one quite prepares you with a to-do list on the day after you toss your cap. Don’t stress too much. Whether you have a calculated plan laid out already or are still scratching your head, keep reading. Today, we’ll help you with that post-school to-do list. Here are three tips you can consider to ease some of the graduation anxiety you might be feeling.
1. Map Your Big Picture Objectives
You don’t have to be decisive about every detail for your life right now. But it can help to put together a list of long-term goals that are on your radar. These big picture objectives will help you with all the other smaller decisions you’ll have to make in the coming weeks.
What You Want to Be When You’re All Grown
Many graduates know precisely what career path they intend to follow. But for thousands of students, deciding what to be in life is a tall order decision. At this point in your life journey, you should try to have a narrowed-down industry or niche in mind. Maybe you love people and see yourself in a Human Resources type of role. Perhaps you’re a super-genius when it comes to graphic design. Or it could be that you have dreams of owning your own restaurant one day. Take the time to reflect now. And if you can’t decide what you want to be when you grow up, start by making the list of careers you know you don’t want.
Where You See Yourself in Five Years
You don’t have a postgraduate crystal ball to know what kind of curves lie ahead for you in life. But consider and write down where you’d like to be a year from now, three years from now, and even five years from now. Maybe you’d like to pursue a Master’s program or travel. Maybe you envision yourself with a small house in the Colorado Rockies. Whatever your vision, think about it and write it down to remind yourself of those future aspirations over the next five years.
Start Saving for Retirement
Money is probably tight. Most students staring down graduation also have looming loan debt and not enough time in the day to work enough to pay for everything. But it’s really important that you at least be thinking about saving cash when you can. Retirement is so far away, but even the most modest savings plan this early in your career and life is one of the smartest long-term goals you can achieve.
2. Keep Learning & Bettering Yourself
You might be done with school, but you’re never done learning. No matter where your life journey takes you, always be mindful of incorporating new ways to discover new things. Meet new people. Try new foods. And enjoy each occasion.
Read As Often As You Can
Don’t forget to give yourself time to pause in life. Things are going to be hectic and stressful, leaving you feeling challenged to keep up with day-to-day tasks. Reading can be your ultimate oasis and remedy. Dedicate some time to a good book, even if it’s only 15-30 minutes at a time. You’ll reward yourself with continued learning. And you’ll be taking that necessary mental pause you need to keep up with your daily momentum.
Don’t Compare Your Journey to Others’ Journeys
Now is certainly not the time to get down on yourself. And the quickest way to feel defeated or as if you’re failing in life is by comparing your path and timeline to the journeys of others. The forks in the road are different for everyone. And only you can set your own pace and navigate your own trajectory. It’s not a race to career success. Life may unfold for you in surprising new ways.
Challenge Yourself Regularly
Comfort zones are made for resting. Don’t lose your forward momentum by staying where you’re comfortable all the time. Instead, look for ways to challenge yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally to ensure you continue to improve. Reserve those comfort zones for times you might need to rest.
3. Adulting for Tomorrow
Obviously, all of these lofty goals are healthy as a graduate ready to make an impact on the world. But you also need to make some acute decisions about what you’re going to do tomorrow. Paying rent, making ends meet, and taking care of your health should all be on the to-do list.
Find a Place
If you’re still living with your folks, you might be eager to get a place of your own. Get out there and start budgeting for rent. You might be able to room with a friend to cut costs. And there are often budget-friendly deals outside the major metropolitan cities if you’re keen on finding a place that’s more affordable.
Make Some Money
You might have plans that include high-paying salaries. But you also need income right now, so you can pay rent, buy food, and put gas in your car. Don’t be too proud to take a role that feels beneath your abilities right now. And with the pandemic, there are literally thousands of jobs out there as employers are desperate for help. Don’t rule out online work opportunities either. You’ll find tons of remote positions available that won’t require expensive commutes.
Get Some Health Insurance
At this point in your soon-to-be-post-graduate life, you’re probably aging out of eligibility for your parents’ health insurance plan. And you can have all the best goals in mind, but without your health, none will be attainable. Be smart about finding a health insurance plan that works for you and your budget. Take advantage of FREE Marketplace resources like W3ll to take the guesswork out of choosing a plan. Get estimates, see if you qualify for subsidies, and enroll right now!
Life is about to get really exciting for you! You’re completing school this year and will be celebrating your graduation. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the decisions you’ll have to make next. Start with these tips to help you plan ahead, and let W3ll help you navigate the health insurance landscape for FREE.