13 Things to Do After Graduation Before You Enter the "Real" World

Jun 22 2021 - 11:15am

Over the next few months, recent college graduates will likely have to start searching for their very first jobs, but the thought of being in the "real" world and starting your career [1] can be pretty scary. Before entering the workforce, you should take advantage of whatever free time you're given after graduation (even if you're working a summer job, soak up that flexibility now!). Whether you do something more adventurous like hike a mountain or take off on a spontaneous road trip [2] with your best friends, or you opt for something simple like learning a new skill or staying out all night just to watch the sunrise, there are so many ways to enjoy your time before the real world starts calling. And, hey, we promise once you get there, it's not so bad either (hello, no homework). So hang up that tirelessly earned graduation cap [3], grab your sunglasses, and get going on this postgrad bucket list [4] to have the best summer ever — you deserve it!

Go to a Concert

Seeing a live show with some friends is a great way to spend the night, and it'll feel extra special this summer after the past year. Sing along at the top of your lungs, dance the night (or day) away, and soak up the sweet feeling of live music. It truly doesn't get much better than that, especially if you're seeing one of your favorite artists again (finally!).

Stay Up All Night and Watch the Sunrise

Seeing the sunrise is absolutely one of life's simplest pleasures. It's peaceful, beautiful, humbling, and not to mention a great Instagram photo opportunity. And since staying out all night might not be doable once you have a full-time job, do it now and enjoy every second. Pro tip: grab hot coffee and fresh pastries after the sunrise since you'll be one of the first ones in line at your favorite bakery!

Party All Night With Your Friends

You may or may not have done this already at some point in college, but doing it during the summer after graduation just adds another layer of fun. Some of the best memories are made when you leave a bar after it's light out, right? Just go all in for an epic summer night that you'll remember forever.

Do Something Adventurous That You've Always Wanted to Do

Whether you're outdoorsy or not, take advantage of both the nice weather and your free time to do something adventurous. Whether it's hiking a mountain or skydiving, now is the time to go for it.

Take a Class

After four years of college you may never want to take a class again, but if you're eager to learn something new (i.e. cooking, painting, yoga, etc.), sign up for something and dive in! You can keep it as a fun creative outlet or turn it into a side hustle.

Travel, Travel, Travel

You hear that? It's the sweet sound of the world calling your name again. Now that travel restrictions have started to lift, you can check a few places off your bucket list this summer. And if you've never traveled alone, postgraduation is the best time to do it! Choose a city that you've always wanted to visit and spend some time exploring with no set itinerary.

Take a Road Trip

If traveling by plane isn't your thing or you're just not ready to take that step yet, that's OK! There are so many awesome places you can get to by car. Even if you don't want to go far, do a little research for fun places around where you live. Pack tons of snacks, make a fire playlist, and hit the road. The drive itself is half the fun!

Make Something

Making something yourself is a rewarding and fun experience. While I personally recommend making a scrapbook of your senior year, you can truly make whatever you want. From clothes to jewelry to pottery, building something from scratch that you're proud of is such a great feeling.

Go to the Local Pool

Remember when you were a kid and going to the local pool was the definition of an awesome summer day? Do that again. Grab a towel, a book or your headphones, and soak up the sunshine (while covered in sunscreen, of course).

Do . . . Nothing

Still decompressing after finals? Yeah, we get it. It takes a while. Celebrate being done by doing absolutely nothing. Grab some snacks and binge that show you've been hearing so much about. Lounging on the couch all day is truly a luxury in its own right, so don't feel guilty for spending a day (or many this summer) doing exactly that.

Volunteer Somewhere

So many people and businesses have struggled this past year, so give back to your community by volunteering. It's so rewarding, you'll meet new people, and it can also be a ton of fun!

Go Camping

Spending a night under the stars and around a campfire with your closest friends is just good for the soul. It's a great way to reminisce about all the amazing memories you've created the last four years. Plus, camping food [6] is delicious.

Have a Party

After spending four years away from home, it's a good idea to get some time in with your childhood best friends. Whether its something simple like a picnic or a large graduation party, planning something for the ones you grew up is a great way to reconnect and catch up.

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