Choosing a path after graduation
As convocation looms ever closer, there’s one question that senior students ponder that’s as unavoidable as encountering that one incredibly annoying relative at family gatherings. That dreaded question being: What are you doing after graduation?
We all know someone that already has their post-grad life planned out and ready to go for the day they receive their degree. However, for many, choosing what to do after convocation involves a lot of confusion, some panic, and perhaps an existential crisis or two. So, for those senior students still contemplating their future, here’s a guide for some of the options open to you after you leave StFX.
Many students are currently opting to continue on with graduate studies after receiving their first degree. For many seniors, the process of applying to graduate school is already done, besides waiting for acceptance letters or funding. It’s not an easy process, with having to gather references, writing statements of interest, and taking standardized tests, among other things. So, to all those who have already applied to medical school, law school, or any other graduate program, good luck and congratulations on getting through the application process.
For those who are still looking at applying to graduate school in the future, you should consider some things first. Ask yourself if you are ready for several more years of education, going into debt, and have what’s necessary to get in. Going to graduate school is an important decision, as the program, the supervisor, and the university you choose can have a long-lasting influence on your career and future. If you have any lingering doubts about grad school, ask yourself if that’s what you really want to do before applying.
Another option after graduation is to find a job, potentially in your field. There’s nothing wrong with polishing your resume and applying to jobs after convocation. However, it’s a good idea to take the time to consider what type of job you want, if you’re willing to relocate, and how long you want to be working somewhere before sending out any applications. Don’t be afraid to ask people already working in your ideal job field what it’s like and for tips as well, as that can help orient where you apply. So long as you are open-minded to opportunities during the job hunting process, there’s bound to be a job for you out there.
Travelling is another great option to pursue after convocation since you have the time to do so. Whether you decide to travel to relax, to learn about new cultures, or for fun, it can be a valuable life experience. You can also opt for programs like Au Pairs that allows for travel and work at the same time, although make sure you’re willing to look after children and live with a host family first. While travelling can be invaluable post-graduation, make sure you can afford to take a trip and are being safe before jumping on the first plane to a distant country.
If you’re still uncertain about any of the above options and what you’ll do post-graduation, don’t worry. After all, you have time to figure out where to go next, and you can always change your mind if a career or graduate school isn’t for you. Even if you have to find work immediately after graduation to pay off debt, there’s always an opportunity to take a step back and ask what you want out of life. You’re not a failure if you don’t have all the answers right now, but taking the time to ask yourself the daunting questions about the future can help.
Life after formal education is scary, no matter if you have a game plan or are making things up as you go along. So, as convocation gets closer, remember that you are not alone in any doubts and worries you have about the future, and choosing where to go next.