Graduation is one of the most exciting things that can happen to anyone. You've gone through years of school and you've marked the end of your educational journey - or not. Some people choose to pursue a higher education, while others find their path without it. Either way, you can still be successful and live a happy life. But the problem is, you don't know what to do. You're at a standstill and you need help determining your path. If this is the case for you, don't fret. Take a little time and strongly consider what it is you want to do with your life. 

Take a Break

Just because you graduated doesn't mean you have to jump right into college. You can take a break to figure out what career path you want to take. A gap year, also known as a sabbatical year, is a break before or after college/university. You might benefit from taking a sabbatical year if you feel burned out from years spent learning tons of information. You might also enjoy a break to refresh your mind and do things you enjoy or couldn't do because of your studies.

Travel and Have Fun

Do you feel like you've been missing out on exploring the world? Have you been wanting to travel, but just didn't have the time to do so? By taking time off, you can focus more on traveling and doing fun things. This will allow you to relax your mind and not have to worry about turning in a paper by a certain date or studying for a big exam. Now you can really enjoy your time away from everything and just meditate. While gap years usually last a year, you can take as much time as you want to do the things you enjoy.

Do Something Meaningful

Studies show that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected. This helps ward off loneliness and depression. Volunteering can also help you feel like you have a purpose and that your work means something to someone. Doing things to help others can make you feel like you're actually promoting meaningful change, which can be very empowering. 

By volunteering, you can learn even more about yourself and things you enjoy doing. For example, say you volunteer as a victim advocate. You may find that you enjoy working with victims, which may help lead you to your desired career path (i.e., social worker, criminologist, etc.). 


Learn a New Language

Just because you've graduated doesn't mean you have to stop learning. The great thing about taking a sabbatical is you have more time to focus on yourself and doing the things that you want. This includes learning on your own time and schedule. If you want to learn Chinese, but don't want to answer a teacher, go for it. It may be more difficult to learn on your own, but at least you can do so at your own pace. This allows you to enjoy the learning experience and appreciate it for what it is and not have to focus on meeting deadlines and pleasing a teacher.

Draw on Your Experiences

Take the experiences you've had and piece together what you want to do after graduation. Do you find enjoyment in learning new languages? Perhaps being an interpreter is in the cards for you. Did you recently do an internship at a law firm? Was it a great experience? If so, a career in law could be your calling. Or maybe you enjoyed staying home and cooking with your mom. Becoming a chef might be what you were meant to do.

Anyone who's graduated should congratulate themselves with a reward, not stress about what's next - at least not right away Instead, you should be enjoying yourself and getting the fun and carefree times out of the way before you start your career.

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