Whether its high school or college, senior year will always increase my anxiety. Junior year is the time to plan, but senior year is the time to double down on a decision that will change my future. My last semester of undergrad starts soon and I’m not one hundred percent sure of what I want to do, but I know there are plenty of options out there and I just have to apply. If you are at a crossroads like me, here are a few choices that you might want to consider.
If you’re in school, then you know the option to continue to go to school is always available. It may not be the cheapest option, but there are ways around getting your masters without diving deeper in debt. There are programs that are unique to specific colleges such as research and teaching assistantships that will cover the majority, if not all, of your tuition. This is also a great opportunity to network within your chosen field and get real-world experience that will spice up your resume. These programs are highly competitive, but so are master programs. Another way is to pick shorter-term programs, so one-year vs. two-years could be a better option.
For the more adventurous and hands-on student you should consider volunteering for Peace Corps. The Peace Corps’ mission is to change lives all over the world by connecting American values to people in more than 60 countries. They require your service for two years and three months (for training such as learning a new language and learning the customs of the country). You can apply directly to sectors which are agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth in development. The other option is apply using their general application and they’ll place you where help is needed the most. After completion, you are promised tuition discounts for the many graduate schools they are partnered with. The application is lengthy, but they have recruiters that are very open about their experience and are more than willing to walk you through the process.
Having the degree may not always be enough to get and entry-level job. Times have changed since the pandemic but it’s still hard for undergraduates to get a job off their resume alone. Internships and volunteer work will feel in time gaps on your resume while providing network opportunities and the chance to flex the skills you just spent four years developing. Sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster are great for researching and reaching out to employers.
Start A Business
This is easier said than done, but the perfect time to start is immediately. With vision, support, and determination, becoming your own boss can be the perfect transition from being a student for so many years. There isn’t a perfect way to start or run a successful business, so paving your own way and defining you own idea of success is a great investment.
Of course, these options only tap the surface of opportunities that are available after undergrad, so use this last year to talk to your professors and develop relationships that will last throughout your career.
By Triniti Maye, Saint Xavier University