Your 5-year plan might need some updating after 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, and people are just starting to glimpse how it will affect the future. Young people are likely struggling to picture what life will be like after graduation. These are eight ways college students should plan for the future and find familiarity and safety in a world turned upside down.
1. Get Travel Insurance
Before COVID, you might have booked a flight across the world without a second thought. Now you may hesitate. What if something happens and you can't get your money back for your flight, hotel room or cruise? That's why many college students will likely start investing in travel insurance.
Travel insurance policies cover you in case the worst happens. If a significant weather event ruins your plans or you become sick while you're abroad, insurance will either help cover the costs or get your money back.
2. Look Into Remote Careers
The traditional office job isn't the only career option anymore. Technology opened a world of new careers, so look into remote opportunities if you're questioning your future. If your job is entirely online, you won't worry so much about losing your employment if your company stops allowing in-person work. It won't completely protect you from all future layoffs, but you'll have more job security in a worldwide health crisis.
3. Save for Retirement
Retirees who had more money saved before the pandemic were safer because they could isolate with at-home care. It's always smart to put money away, but young people may start saving earlier than ever. Even putting back a little bit every year will lead to accrued interest in certain accounts. When you get the chance, start trying to find room in your budget and start saving for retirement so you can take care of yourself in your later years.
4. Focus on Your Immune System
It's easy to feel invincible when you're young, but the pandemic taught everyone that your health doesn't come with a guarantee. If you have access to a college nutritionist, speak with them about boosting your immune system through your diet. You'll form good habits under their watch that you'll use past graduation to stay healthy even when viruses are the last thing on your mind.
5. Learn More About Technology
Follow the latest videoconferencing trends to impress your boss and stay ahead of the game before it becomes the only form of workplace communication again. You'll become a stronger addition to any professional team, making you the last person your boss wants to lay off in a time of crisis. Your helpful knowledge might even earn you a leadership position, especially if no one else knows how to set things up.
6. Rely on Passive Income
A passive income guarantees you'll still make money even if you lose your job. Since the rocketing unemployment rate is one of the main things young people will take away from the pandemic, an emergency cash cushion is a great way to plan for the future after COVID.
Research passive income options that catch your current interests, like investing in real estate or the stock market. Spread your investments out to build your income without requiring a second or third job.
7. Dive Into Reliable Sources
Misinformation took off during the pandemic, so develop your research skills before you graduate. You can ask for help from professors and tutors who will explain how to find trusted sources and facts grounded in reality.
People will likely continue spreading misinformation because it's become its own form of news. Learning how to decipher headlines could save you from making terrible health or finance decisions later on.
8. Practice More Self-Care
Taking care of your mental health became a new priority for many people after the pandemic began. Use your student discounts and free access to on-campus events to try new activities before graduation. If anything happens in the future, you'll know how to take care of yourself and weather any storm. Simple self-care habits like starting every day with meditation reinforce your mental well-being so you'll remain calm and focused when life gets challenging again.
Plan for Your Post-COVID Future
College students should plan for the future after COVID differently than they may have before the pandemic. Find secondary income, start saving for retirement and practicing positive mental health habits to get started toward a brighter future, no matter what's in store.