Tips for Grads: Making the Most of Your Summer

Authored By: Community Financial Credit Union on 7/6/2021

Congratulations on graduating! Whether its from high school, college, or a trade school, finishing up this part of your life is an exciting achievement. After the glitz and glamour of the diploma, grad party, and constant congratulations starts fading, you may find yourself thinking: what now?

Here are 5 tips on how you can make the most out of your summer and set yourself up for success in the future.

Set Yourself Up for Success

One of the biggest ways you can make the most of your summer is by starting the process of setting yourself up for success. If you’re a recent high school grad, take the time to really think about the path you want for your future career. Once you have a general idea of what that is, look for a summer gig in that field. Internships can help you try out jobs you think you might like, while helping you gain valuable work experience. For recent college or trade school grads, set yourself up for success by finding an expert in the field you’re working to get into and chat with them about the best ways to break into the field.

Map Your Path Before You Commit to Lengthy Higher Education

Especially for recent high school and Associate Degree grads, it may seem easiest just to pop straight into the next school or higher education program. However, these programs often cost tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s best to map out your career path before committing to another 4+ years in school. Do your research and find out what employers in your field are looking for. Is it necessary to have a Bachelor’s Degree for your dream job, or could you save money and do a 2-year program at a trade school? Is an Associate’s Degree the requirement for your field, or is a Master’s Degree required? Figuring out these requirements ahead of time can save you valuable time and money.

Perfect Your Resume

If you’re looking to snag an internship or summer job, make sure you spend some time perfecting your resume. This process involves everything from formatting to grammar and content. You can even create an account on LinkedIn, which can assist you in identifying what information should be added to your resume. Once you’re finished putting your resume together, you can identify any gaps (such as work experience or special skills) and spend time creating a plan to fix them.

Master the Art of the Interview

Whether you’re interviewing for a job, educational program, or something else, you can never go wrong with brushing up on your interview skills. Take some time after graduation to relearn the art of the interview. One of the easiest ways to do this is by working with a partner. Pull up a list of the top 100 interview questions online and have a friend ask you the questions. Challenge yourself to answer these questions in new and exciting ways, making sure to link back to your experience and key words for your field. If you’d rather practice alone, say the questions and answers out loud to yourself so you can formulate responses while getting used to verbalizing your thoughts.

Take Time for Yourself

It may seem tempting to spend your summer after graduation with a go-go-go mentality. However, it’s just as important to take a break and relax for a bit. Giving yourself down time can help reset your mind, which will allow you to make clearer decisions in the future. Taking the time to reassess could also change your mind about your plans and help you find the path you really want to go down. Don’t forget to reward yourself for graduating in the first place, too! You just completed a great milestone and you shouldn’t lose sight of that.

For recent graduates, the summer after graduation can seem like a break from everything. And while it’s important to celebrate and take time to yourself, following these tips can help set you up for your future.


Your Turn: What other tips do you have for recent graduates? Share them with us in the comments!

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