What do I do now that I've graduated?
January 10, 2008 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Please help me figure out what to do with myself now that I've graduated. I have tons of questions and may be over looking all the obvious answers.

Like so many others, I have no idea what to do now that I've graduated college. I'm 21, will be 22 in February with a B.S. in Dance (graduated this past December) and for a while I've wanted to study physical therapy and possibly get a masters in it. I have a family friend who also has friends and soon I will be observing them in different settings to get a feel for it. I'm happy with this set up but now that I have so much other time, I've been thinking about all the other interests I have. Would it be unwise of me to take this year or the next few years to get a job, develop my hobbies and not worry about heading right off to grad school?

I've always wanted to design clothes, accessories and household items for both adults and babies and would love to sell them. What skills do I need for this and if possible who do I contact if I want to have them made? I also need fabric company recommendations if possible. Is it smart to get a name trademarked even though nothing is set yet? I want a certain name and don't want it taken before I get something set up.
I've sketched out designs (as best I can), have a sewing machine, chosen names just need a little more help getting them from idea to sold on a website or in a store.

I also make jewelry and would love to know how to make jewelry that involves plastics, wood, metals and other materials on a larger scale. I don't know where to look for information on techniques and production.

I'm thinking about getting a certification in pilates and yoga prenatal and otherwise. There is so many websites and companies that I'm not sure which one is good. Is there anywhere in TX or anywhere else for this that possibly includes a home course of any sort? I don't mind traveling out and may possibly be moving to Houston at the end of next month or california next year.

I also want to study nutrition and diet and fitness. What certification(s) do I need if I wanted to own a business helping people with weight management? How do I find out about this? Does anyone know how I can become a wellness coach? Its similar to life coach but the focus would be on wellness.

I've studied photography for almost 3 years and have been printing 8 X10s this past semester at school. Now that I'm done I would like to continue taking pictures but would like to have them printed larger by someone else so that I can mat and sell them. Who does this? Is kinkos any good?

How does one get involved with interior design? What books can I read, courses can I take? Ty Pennington and Nate Berkus do work thats just about what I want to do. How can I learn this? I did a kitchen makeover for my mother and I'm planning to remodel an apartment. I would like to learn how to make things, rewire things but how?

I know for sure that it looks like I bounce around with my interests and I do, its just that I want to find something among these that I can see myself doing for a while. Possibly combine them. I've been doing all of these on and off for the past few years but really want to work on and explore them now instead of wishing I could if/when I head to grad school for about 3 years. I've looked through some other threads on here but haven't been through them all. Sorry if these questions have been asked too many times.
posted by grablife365 to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Your college or university should have a career counseling service which they provide to students and graduates. Give them a ring, they can answer all of your questions and help you figure out what you want to do with all those interests.
posted by munchingzombie at 4:04 PM on January 10, 2008

As someone who shares many of your interests and often gets overwhelmed by the crazy number of things I would LOVE to do and my complete inability to just chose one, I highly recommend you read Refuse to Choose: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams.
posted by logic vs love at 4:36 PM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Aw, sweetheart. First I want you to take a deep breath and say "oh! I am lucky to be so young and to have so many interests and talents!" Because you are. And no, you don't have to go to grad school right away. Looking at your plans, it seems like many of your interests overlap a great deal. Which is fantastic, and allows you to step confidently toward a career in one while leaving you open to pursue the others. If I may be terribly practical (which is all I'm capable of doing) I'd suggest that you pick something out of the health-related bag (certification in yoga, pilates, or nutrition) and work on that - since it dovetails both with the eventual idea of maybe being a "wellness coach", and with a degree in PT, and with the need to be able to earn money and support yourself. Depending on how good you are and what equipment can afford, photography is also an excellent way to pursue artistic goals while paying the bills doing weddings and so forth. Ooh, and what's extra great is that teaching yoga, teaching pilates and/or photographing weddings are all gigs that you can keep doing evenings and weekends to earn money while you're getting your masters. I'm excited for you!
posted by moxiedoll at 7:10 PM on January 10, 2008

I'd focus on pursuing two of your interests right now: a practical one that'll allow you to make money and support yourself, and one which you can funnel your creative passion into. Take a few days to research all your interests (I think a lot of your questions can actually be answered by some Googling, to be honest). Write down the time, costs, and payoffs for your practical goal, and really figure out what makes your mind swoon as far as your creative goal. And then just do it!

And of course, it's no big deal to take time off before grad school. The only times I'd advise against it are if you're pursuing some sort of tough professional degree (medical doctor, lawyer) or really need to do strong academic work (publishing, research) for a PhD.
posted by lychee at 10:26 PM on January 10, 2008

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