By Martha Adjei
In college, “winter” was the time we would use to prepare for spring semester, whether that meant enrolling in an extra class or taking a much needed break from the fall. However, in the post-grad world, the winter is just another month to continue working, volunteering, or keep on whatever you are doing as a post-grad.
Don’t be sad, you can still use the “winter” to relax, plan and find some peace of mind. Here are four fun and comforting ways you can make the most of your first winter months after graduation.
Visit Family and Friends
These last four years have been super busy, so once you’re all settled in your new place (or back at mom and dad’s) really take the time to bond with family and friends. It’s possible that your friends from home went to different schools, or had different life plans in general. Catch up with them and see what they’re up to. You might even get some “inspiration” for your next steps. Similarly, your family might not have seen much of you while you were away these past years. Visit them and let them know that you’ve graduated. If you come from a family where not everyone goes to college, you’re a role model. Share your experiences and knowledge with your family and let the younger members of your family know what the college experience is like. Re-connecting with loved ones after you graduate really reminds you how important friends and family are in our lives.
Hold Fast to New Year’s Resolutions
Remember those little promises you made on New Years Eve? It’s not too late to put them into effect. Whether you told yourself you would travel the world or fill out a couple of resumes, now is the time to make your dreams come true. The “post-grad” season can be a stressful one, especially in this economy where nothing in certain. However, that’s not an excuse to put your plans into practice and take some chances. Set long-term/short-term goals for yourself and make a path to get there. Ask yourself what you can do daily, weekly and monthly to meet these goals. By next January, you’d be surprised all the things you can accomplish – a little commitment really does go a long way.
Search for networking events in your area, related to the fields you want to get into. This will help you meet professionals in your area who can hire you, or at least mentor you so you can find the type of job you are looking for. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to go to a “networking event” to network. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out for a night on the town and still met people in my field. If you have business cards, take them everywhere- you never know who you might meet!
Plan a Vacation
Every post grad needs some R&R. Whether you’re planning a trip a couple of miles away or in the next state over, round up some girlfriends and take some time to be the young person that you are. Not to scare you, but once you start in the “real world”, there aren’t as many opportunities for you to take advantage of some much needed vacation time. Planning ahead works, too. There’s no better time to plan your summer vacation than at least 6 months ahead of time. You can also take advantage of some great travel discounts when you plan early, too. If you’re a travel junkie like me, get into the habit of planning your vacations around your work schedule, which typically means Christmas, New Years, Easter, and a possible summer vacation.