So you've graduated: Now what?

School's out forever, and you may be wondering what to do next. How about travel, suggests Emily House, in the first of four guides to the first days of the rest of your life

As students we are all expected to have some idea of our lives after university. After all, we chose our degree path to fit, right? Well, unfortunately not all of us are that decisive.

While some of us have a clear plan of what lies ahead after graduation, others have no idea and with our final years of education fast approaching it’s about time we made up our minds.

This four-part series will look at the most popular choices for students when finishing their courses: travel, internships, postgraduate study and work. We will be looking at what each of these involves; the pros, the cons and most importantly if this is the path best suited to you, providing all the information you need to make an informed decision about life after university.


What it involves

Travelling after university is the ideal way to gather world experiences and knowledge but it involves a lot of planning. Organisation is key, whether you want to travel alone or with friends, and there is a lot to take into account. For example, where do you want to go? How long for? Do you need to save? Hostel or hotel? What’s your budget? The list is endless. So, before you start booking flights do some research and think about what you want to get out of your trip.

What it costs

This is a tricky topic when it comes to travel. As you can guess the cost of your trip is dependent on where you want to go. For example a tour around Europe can cost you north of £1,000, but travelling around America could total that in flights alone. However, destination isn’t the only factor you need to consider. The length of your trip will also affect its cost. Location and length of stay are the two main factors in the cost of your travels.

However, there are a few ways to whittle down the price. For example, websites such as, who specialise in holidays for the 18-35s, offer a number of deals to save you money. These include everything from last minute offers to discounts for early payment and group bookings. Another way to save is to look into booking parts of your trip separately - this, although time consuming, can save you money in the long run.

How to go about it

A great tip is asking for advice from travellers you know. Where do they book their trips? Have their experiences been what they expected? Is there anything you need to consider? After that it’s all up to you. When booking your travels there are a few different options.

There are many online travel companies that you can book with such as that offer a one-stop shop for tours and flights.  However, if you’re not afraid of a little bit of research, booking your travel separately - whether online or through a travel agent - can give you greater freedom and save you money.

What you need to remember

Travelling can be an amazing experience but there is a lot you need to remember. Make sure you consider the worst-case scenario. It might come across as a bit of a downer but it is always best to be prepared for the worst. If you are planning on working while you travel, what happens if you can’t find a job? What will you do if you run out of money? What do you do if there are problems with your booking?

Remember to ask the important questions to make sure any problems can be solved or prevented. It might also be worth thinking about the ramifications of travelling straight out of university. For example, missed opportunities in the job and housing market might be something you want to consider.

What makes this right for you?

If travelling, experiencing and seeing the world is something that’s important to you then it’s likely this is the choice for you. If you want to make the most of your freedom or are interested in a life living aboard, travelling could offer you the opportunity to explore and get involved in different cultures. Travelling also provides a great experience for those who are unsure of their career paths; giving people the opportunity to explore different parts of the world and discover new things while deciding on their future plans.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Learning Support Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Experienced Learning Sup...


£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a flexible inspira...

Graduate Accountant - Banking - Bristol - £140pd

£100 - £140 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Graduate Accountant - Banking - Bri...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride