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3 Routes to Consider After College

3 Routes to Consider After College

For many people, graduating college is the first time in their life where they have no set direction to take. Most people are born, they start school at an incredibly young age and they know that they will probably be in school until they are eighteen. Throughout high school they are advised to go to college and many parents will try to push their kids to specific colleges (typically colleges the parents went to).

Education is good and having guidance is great, but it often leaves people lost when they graduate from a university and suddenly there is no more predetermined standard way to go about life. There are millions of directions that could all be taken, and each leads to a drastically different path. Here are five directions to consider, and where they might lead.

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Entrepreneurial

Being an entrepreneur is hardly ever easy, especially in the beginning. It takes a very specific kind of person. However, when an entrepreneurial person starts down this path, they tend to never be able to work a regular job again.

An entrepreneurial life tends to be all about making connections. Sure, you have to have good ideas and be good at something, but everyone tends to be good at something and have a few good ideas in their life. Entrepreneurs are people that talk to everyone they meet, make connections, and use the connections throughout their life.

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Their day-to-day is almost always different and they rarely have stability in income. Some people love it, while others cannot stand it. Entrepreneur magazine has a pretty good test to take to see if you would make a good entrepreneur.

Secondary degree

For some people a bachelor just simply isn’t enough. They either want to learn more, or have a better resume down the road. This type of person will often choose a secondary degree, like a master’s degree.

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One of the common misconceptions about secondary degrees is the idea that you will have to get this in the same field your bachelor’s degree was in. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if you are unhappy with where your bachelor took you, a secondary degree is a great place to start. It can be daunting to get started on deciding how to go about this and where to go. You can find a pretty good resource here for helping you see what schools you would be able to qualify for based on your situation.

Travel

For many people, graduating from college is their first chance at true freedom. Rather than jump straight into a job, marriage, or family, they choose instead do spend some time seeing the world and meeting people. This is not a bad route and often leads to incredible memories.

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If you do not have any commitments straight out of college then this may be a great route to consider. When people are at the end of their lives they often report that they regret not traveling more. The world is an incredible, diverse place and to only see a small part of it during your entire lifetime is a travesty.

This option does not have to be expensive either. There are plenty of great ways that young single travelers can use to travel the globe at steep discounts. Use resources like The Points Guy to get good travel deals and stay in hostels when you can. You could spend a month traveling the world for just a few thousand dollars if everything is researched and budged correctly.

The thing to remember with all of these is that there is no right answer. Choose what is right for you and what will make your life better in the long run. Don’t let anyone choose for you and don’t look back once you decide!

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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