How to spend your year after graduation

Heading into these last few weeks of college life, it’s hard to have a clear picture of what your life will look like in twelve months time. Perhaps you will be working full time or have decided to go straight back into further education. Or, maybe, you will take a year out and try to figure out what it is that you want to do with your life.

After years of assignments, exams and attending lectures you have finally made it through. You have a degree to show for all the blood, sweat and tears that you have expelled over the last so many years. Now is the perfect time to do something amazing for a year.

Teaching English as a foreign language is a great way to experience, and afford, living abroad. After completing a course with TEFL, you will be qualified to teach English abroad as a TEFL teacher. From here, the possibilities are endless. TEFL has an accessible jobs board on their website where they advertise current available jobs in all corners of the world.

Another way to spend your year out is to volunteer. Pick something that you are truly passionate about. There are thousands of opportunities to volunteer here in Ireland for very worthwhile charities who would be grateful for your time. On the other hand, there is also a whole host of opportunities if you wish to volunteer abroad.

There are countless appeals for young people to volunteer abroad in areas like education, community development and even in conservation. Volunteering can make your year after graduation one full of personal growth and will help you better understand the world around you.

If you’re not totally certain with what type of career path you want to take, an internship abroad can be a great opportunity to get real hands on experience. It will allow you to gain a further understanding of the type of job you might like in the future and at the same time allow you to travel and experience life living in another part of the world.

If this is something you think you could be interested in, it’s important to start planning and doing your research now. Find a part of the world that excites you and work from there.

Maybe you just want to travel and see the world. However, straight out of college many students may find the reality of being able to afford this unrealistic. Consider working here for the summer. If moving back home is an option that can be a great opportunity to save some money. Spend time researching where you want to travel to and what you want to do when you’re there.

Once you have enough money saved, book your flights and start exploring.

Taking a gap year between finishing college and planning the next long term project in your life is a fantastic way to reset your mind and refocus on what it is that you really want to do with your life.

Elizabeth Molloy

Image Credit: Sonja Tutty