Graduation season is upon us. Although many colleges and universities hold graduations throughout the year, the majority of high school and higher education commencement ceremonies in the United States take place in the spring and early summer. Inevitably, all graduates will have at least one person ask them about their future plans. Many graduates have clear plans for their future, others have no plans, and some are not ready to share their possible plans. Regardless of which of those categories graduates relate to the most, below are three activities for all new graduates that can also serve as their answer to questions about what they will do after graduation.
Tie up Loose Ends and Welcome the Next Phase in Life
Typically, high schools and colleges provide an email address to students. Through those email accounts students often receive important information. Therefore, graduates and future students should regularly check school email accounts even when school is not in session. Regularly checking email could mean as often as every day or at least once a week, which can sometimes be a hassle with multiple accounts. In order to save time and not miss important messages for successfully completing a diploma or degree and moving on to the next phase in life, students should consider auto-forwarding messages from all their email accounts to one main account that they will regularly check.
Failure to read email messages in a timely manner could mean missing out on vital, time-sensitive information that students need in order to fully meet all their responsibilities for graduating from and/or entering school. In addition to making sure important messages are received, graduates should also be sure to communicate with others.
Write Thank-You Notes
Sending cards through the mail might seem old-fashioned, but it is still very much in style. Just take a look at the wide selection of greeting cards and thank-you notes available on store shelves. In our technology-immersed lives, it is often tempting to just send texts or email messages because they are quick, easy, and free. But it is worth the cost and time it takes to send a hand-written thank-you note, especially after receiving gifts or money for big events or accomplishments in life such as graduating. If graduates did not receive gifts or money, they still should consider sending thank-you notes to teachers, family, or friends who were especially instrumental in their journey toward graduation.
Reflect on Accomplishments
Graduating is a major milestone in life that takes a lot of time and effort to achieve. Therefore, some self-reflection is in order. Wellesley College has a list of over 20 suggested questions to help graduates reflect on themselves and their future. Although that list is on a college website, the questions are beneficial to high school graduates as well. There is no need to answer all of the questions nor should graduates feel confined to those questions only. Self-reflection is an important practice to engage in throughout life, and post-graduation is a good time to begin developing or continue practicing the habit.
The three activities above are important and beneficial for all graduates and should not take a lot of time to complete. Congratulations, graduates, and best wishes in moving on to the next phase in life whatever that might be.