Freshman year if you would’ve come up and asked me what I was going to do after I graduate college, my answer would’ve been easy: an occupational therapist. Now as a senior, if you were to ask me what I want to do, I would tell you “I have absolutely no clue”. As we grow up, we realize just how many options are out there. We could take the traditional route and get a master’s degree or start a job and work your way to the top, or we could do something crazy, like travel the world or move some place new. For all of my fellow 21 year olds out there still clueless about their future, I thought I might lend a helping hand. As Helen Keller once said, “life is either a daring adventure, or nothing”. So why not take a leap of faith? This is your opportunity to do something different with your life, something you previously might have never thought possible. Here are 5 post-college ideas to consider.
1. Attend Graduate School abroad.
Ever heard of Bangor University in Wales? Probably not. But if you were to look into it, you would find that you can get a traditional, US recognized PhD in only 3 years, while paying nearly half the cost of tuition compared to schools here in the United States. There are dozens of internationally recognized colleges all over the world from Ireland and England to Australia to South Africa. These kinds of programs would expand your horizons and open your eyes to different cultures and ways of thinking. Check it out; I dare you!
2. Become an Au Pair.
Unless you studied abroad, you most-likely haven’t even heard of this program. What you do here is simply nanny in a foreign country, with free room and board in exchange for around 20 hours of your time that would be spent talking to children in English. This is an incredible way to learn a language, experience what life is like in another country, and make some new friends. The process is super easy, you just sign up for free and explore hundreds of options worldwide!
3. Teach abroad.
Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the world? Teaching English abroad has the potential not only to change your life, but dozens of children’s’ lives as well. All you need is a program or TEFL certification and you can legally teach anywhere! Commitments can be as short as 6 months, or if you like it so much you can continue until life calls you a different direction. It’s the perfect Gap Year after college and will both challenge your brain and allow you to have tons of fun around the world.
4. Join a volunteer program like Peace Corps or ProjectsAbroad
Speaking of making a difference, volunteer programs continue to change the lives of both the volunteers as well as all the people they work to help each day. There are widely known programs or small projects you could do that are more short term; the choice is yours. Countless programs are available online, just do a Google search and see what all pops up! This is a great way to make a difference and change your perspectives on the world and its incredible variety of cultures.
5. Become a flight attendant or work on a cruise ship.
Traveling and making money-is that even possible?! Yes, yes it is. From land to sea to air there are so many opportunities to work and travel at the same time. It is rare that you will actually find a way to have a steady income and travel, unless you are willing to dedicate thousands of hours of your life looking for the cheapest deals and work 40 hours weeks in the meantime. Becoming a flight attendant or working on a cruise ship is an easy way to travel without going broke!
Just remember, life is short. Now is the time to seek adventures and do things you never thought imaginable. The days pass by slowly but years from now when you look back, you will realize that everything has changed. What do you want to remember, that monotonous office job, or that time you experienced the world?