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What’s Next? How to Write a Great New Chapter in Your Life

This blog will be dedicated to talking about something that’s approaching very quickly for myself and many other seniors. Yes, I’m talking about graduation. Excitement, anxiety, happiness, sadness, and relief are just a few of the emotions that might be associated with graduating. Regardless of how you feel, there are some things you’re going to want to think about if you’re planning on graduating in the near future. I’m going to cover things to think about leading up to graduation and also ways to live your best life after graduation. These tips can apply to everyone, not just upcoming college graduates.

Let’s start off by talking about careers. This is probably one of the most important things to figure out because we live in an economic society and that means you have to make money to survive. Everyone is different and wants different things in their careers. Some people might want the position or job title that’s the most prestigious. Others may want to do the work that brings them the most fulfillment and makes them feel like they’re making the greatest impact they can in the world. And for some, the job that provides the greatest financial rewards might be the most appealing. Obviously there are other things you can find in a career but these are just a few you might look for. It’s fine to prioritize certain job perks more than others and there’s also nothing wrong with putting an emphasis on several perks. It’s important to think about what matters to you in your career and then you can search for or even create the job that lines up best with what you want.

Importance of Internships
I cannot stress the importance of internships enough. They are SO valuable. For me, the first internship I had was my summer leading into junior year. I applied to Celebrity Staff’s parent company, C&A Industries. I had no idea what a staffing company was but I needed a job. Little did I know I’d eventually accept a full-time position with them! The initial internship opened so many doors for me in the company and it really streamlined the process of me getting hired. Now, if you’re someone who wants to start your own business, you might be thinking, “There’s no point in me getting an internship since I’ll be starting my own thing shortly after graduating.” I would still highly recommend seeking internships with companies if you can because the experience and insight you’ll gain are invaluable. If you’re looking for an awesome internship that focuses on professional development and places value on every single individual in the company, check out C&A Industries or reach out to me! I’d love to tell you about my experience with the company and help in any way I can.

Relocate or Stay In Nebraska?
Now’s the best time in our lives to travel and see the world or move to a different city/state. Most of us don’t have a whole lot of responsibilities yet so we have freedom to see the country and choose where we want to live. If there’s some place in the country or even the world that you’ve been itching to check out, I would recommend you do it NOW. It might just turn out that you find the place you want to settle down for the rest of your life. If not, you’ll still have the experience and you won’t be left wondering “What if…?” The biggest regrets people have in life are usually not the things they’ve done, but the things they wanted to do but never tried.

Living Situation
There are a lot of factors to think about when you are trying to decide where you’ll live after graduating. For one, do you know where you’ll be working? If you’re thinking about relocating, it might be smart to line up a job before you move and then you can plan on a place to live based on that. If you’re more of an adventurous person, maybe you’ll decide to move where you want to and then figure it all out from there. Another thing to consider might be living with your parents for a bit after graduating. I know that moving back in with the parents isn’t exactly what I and most of my peers dream of after college. However, it can be a great way to save some money for a few months and speed up the process of buying or renting your own place. That’s my plan, I’m going to “room” with my parents for a few months and then buy a house to live in and rent out.

Establishing a Routine
Establishing a routine can be great for a variety of reasons, and I don’t necessarily mean doing the exact same things every day. Having a calendar and things you want to get done that day blocked off in different time slots can be so helpful. As Stephen Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” He understands that the things that people assign time to will get done. Not only will you be able to accomplish more when having a routine for your day, but you will also be more relaxed and carefree. When you have a plan in place at the beginning of the day, you can focus on each task at hand without worrying about what’s next. Once you do get a nice schedule in place, try to write down three to five critical tasks that you can do each day to move yourself forward. The results you’ll see from this will be mind-blowing!

Becoming the Person That You Want to Be After College
The high school and college years can be tough. Our brains are still developing and we haven’t learned all the lessons that our parents and elders have through the years. Also, we’re trying to figure out our place and purpose in this world. From the time we’re in kindergarten all the way through college, and many times even after college, we’re “trained” by society to fit in. We’re given standardized tests, we are criticized when we make mistakes, and we’re told things like “Be realistic”, “Don’t take too many risks in life”, and “Just play it safe”. The problem is that we’re trained like this for so many years, we start to conform to society and then forget to show off the things that make us who we are. We forget to share our incredible and unique God-given talents and strengths with the world. And we forget that it’s alright not to be the best at everything. It would be impossible for one person to be the best at every single thing they do and that’s why we need to admire others for the things they do better than us. After college should be a time where we define who we want to be and start forming habits, if we haven’t already, that will mold us into that person. I just recently read something that said 90 percent of the things we do each day come from the habits we’ve formed. That seems absolutely crazy to me! The habits that you feed are the ones that will stick, so make sure you’re feeding the good ones and starving the bad ones! Don’t worry about what other people think of your personal journey; just do your best to be the person you want to be and to live the life you want to live. And make sure to love yourself for the person you are right now!

A common misconception is that once you get through your formal education, you’re all done learning. The EXACT OPPOSITE is true. Now is the time where you can determine EXACTLY WHAT IT IS you want to learn about and then dive headfirst into that. With the internet, it’s easier now than ever in history to learn whatever you want by reading/consuming information from people that have already been successful in your area of interest. You should always strive to be improving yourself and increasing your knowledge. When you stop doing that and you’re stagnate, life becomes less exciting. Something that I started doing last year was listening to podcasts more often than music while I’m driving. They’re a great way to hear real-life experiences and they’re usually really entertaining too. There are too many podcasts out there to count and they range in so many different subjects. However, here are some of my favorites: Grant Cardone’s podcast for Sales and Success, Lewis Howes’ “School of Greatness” podcast for Self-Improvement and Success, Tim Ferriss’ podcast for Lifestyle Design, and BiggerPockets’ podcast for Real Estate.

Reading books is also a great way to become smarter and cut the learning curve down on whatever it is you’re trying to learn. Working out and eating right is something else that I think is very important. Human beings are meant to accomplish things and grow so always try to improve yourself. There’s just something about trying to become the best version of yourself that is AWESOME! Give it a shot. You’ll see what I mean.

Find My Passion or Find a Job?
Having passion in your career is something that I and a lot of people my age tend to want. And who can blame us? But many times the only way to find out what you truly love doing is to get out there, get a job, and just start working. You may not find your dream job right out of college but you will probably, at the least, be able see the things that you like and don’t like in a job. With that being said, I think that doing something you love and that makes you happy is very important. Many people work over 40 years in their careers, sometimes even 50 or more, which is a long time if you ask me. So why should we spend so much of our lives doing something that we dislike? The possibilities and options in life are limitless nowadays, especially when you live in the land of opportunity, so don’t settle for something that makes you unhappy. If you’re still trying to find that job that gives you the greatest sense of happiness and fulfillment, don’t be discouraged. It’s never too late to find it! With that being said, you can’t wait for your dream job to find you. Like Steve Harvey said, “If you want to be successful, you have to jump, there’s no way around it.” He said that it’ll be scary and it won’t be easy BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT! Steve Harvey also said, “If you are waking up with the sensation that there has got to be more in life…then there is.” Don’t get to the end of your life to wonder about what could’ve been. I agree with Steve and believe that there’s greatness in all of us. We’re meant to live happy and fulfilled lives so go out there and always try to work towards your happiest life! Also, if you haven’t watched the “Steve Harvey – You Have to Jump” video on YouTube, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

I hope that you enjoyed this blog, and please feel free to leave a comment if you took away something of value!


  1. By Patty North


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