You’ve Graduated! Now What?! – Part 2

Graduated Now WhatA career path is an excellent choice after all you have studied for years to get the qualification in your chosen field of interest. Getting your foot in the door straight after university is a wise idea as you can get experience and really chase the career you want from day one.

However, if you chose the other path of taking some time out to decide what you want from life then this is also a great choice. You can enhance your life and really find out what you want from life and there are many options you can take. Whether that be a round the world trip, volunteering or simply just relaxing, it is a good idea to plan well and be prepared. It’s exciting to try something new and explore the world. Whilst this is good and you should always know how to keep safe and secure on your adventures. Always check that your source is from a reputable place and any agencies that require travel are backed up with ATOL and ABTA as well as ensuring that you have the correct insurance that will cover you in all cases. Most of all be safe and use your instincts to judge whether something is good or not, it is usually right. That aside, let’s get talking about all the exciting things you can do in a year out from the responsibilities life can bring.

If you chose to travel then you have a whole world to explore. Perhaps you always wanted to go to America and do Route 66 or dip your feet in the Pacific Ocean or Indian Ocean whilst soaking up the sun in Australia. How about a ride on an elephant or being a wildlife care taker where your days are looking after kangaroos or swimming with dolphins? Sounds amazing right? Whatever you chose to do you can be sure that it will give you a whole new perspective on life. You will grow as a person and discover what you really want from life. There are many companies who can help you plan and organise your year out such as Bunac, Trek America and PGL.

Have you ever thought about experiencing a new culture first hand, learning the traditions and living like the citizens? If you like children and have some experience with them (babysitting a sibling is fine) then a good way of soaking up a culture is to Au Pair. You can do this all over the world and there are many agencies that work with families and are fully checked so you are sure you will be safe and have the time of your life. If America is the culture you’re interested in then Au Pair in America is a very experienced and trusted agency that have been helping young women have a year of a lifetime for over 25 years. The process is thorough and safe so you know that you are well looked after. You sign up online and begin payments (which are very little for what you get) then you are matched to families who meet your requirements. You then spend some time getting to know some families who contact you before making a decision on who you are going to live with for the year. During your time in America you are giving an orientation in New York before you fly to your family and begin a year of a lifetime. You take care of the family’s children and get pocket money of roughly $200 per week which is yours to do as you wish as the family take care of all your food and bills.

Someone who knows all about spending time out is Emily from Sussex. She took a year out in 2008 to do Au Pair in America. It was an exciting time for her and a decision she has never looked back on. Emily began her journey on August 4th 2008; she boarded a plane to New York where she would spend 3 days on orientation before heading to Atlanta Georgia for her year of a lifetime. She got the chance to live with an American family and was treated like an older sister to the kids she looked after. She had her own apartment in the basement of a luxurious house in a picturesque neighbourhood and loved every minute of her time there. Emily told us ‘If someone is looking to gain independence and experience a new culture then this is the perfect way to do it. I had the time of my life there and would highly recommend anyone thinking of doing a similar thing to grab it with both hands.’

This is just one of a thousand options you can take on your year out. The world is your oyster and you can choose to explore it in your very own unique way. So if you are thinking of taking time out to travel you should investigate all of your options. The same applies to that of volunteering; there are many companies that deal with opportunities to volunteer either here in the UK or abroad. As will the career path, you also need to be prepared that things won’t always go to plan and sometimes situations may arise which may lead you in a different direction. You need to be wise and have your wits about you especially if you are going half way across the world on your own and you don’t know the culture. Remember every country is different and although the UK and the USA have similarities, the cultures are very different and the way the Americans do things can be very different and you may find yourself in dangerous situations. So always do your research and do the best planning you can to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable adventure.
This is an exciting time in your life, you are taking a large step from being a student to being a grown up. You should take it with both hands and go running into your chosen path. The road may be smooth but most likely you will run into potholes or come up against dead ends but do not give up. Life is a journey and we learn the most when times get tough and they make us stronger. It is good to have ambition and that drive to succeed; it’s what is going to make you great.

Plan, prepare and do your research. You will achieve great things if you do this. Graduation is just the beginning of a long road to achieving the life goals you want and if you let it, it will be a fantastic adventure.

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About Jennifer Campbell

Growing up on the West coast of Scotland, Jennifer Campbell has always been keen to get out, see the world and experience new cultures and cities. Currently studying music journalism in London, Jennifer uses writing as a way to express her thoughts. Having travelled to many places and lived in America for a short period as a teenager, she has many experiences to bring to the table when sharing her thoughts with others. A real risk taker (skydiving for charity) and an optimist, Jennifer believes you should live your life to the full. Her favourite quote: ‘You only get one today so go out and enjoy it’. Jennifer is just your typical Scottish girl trying to find her place in the world.

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