Congratulations you've just graduated. You are now entering the real world with a mixture of excitement, optimism and trepidation. But do not panic, you've got a whole summer to make really special and to enjoy yourself before working for the man for the next 40 to 50 years. So you've left university and some of your mates have got jobs and some don't, some are moving home and some are not - but what are you going to do in the Summer of 2014?
Here's your 5 point guide to making your first summer as a graduate incredible.
1. Sleep well
This may seem like a bizarre starting point but for goodness sake get some rest. Sleeping patterns at university were messed up, but during finals sleep was so low down your list of priorities. Use this time off and the relief of no more submissions to get some serious shut-eye. I know this isn't a difficult sell to graduates still in the student groove, but after the chaos of hand ins and exams, followed by more partying than you've ever managed in your life. Experts do not tend to recommend a set amount of sleep, taking a "how long is a piece of string" approach but new graduates should take as much as they can, especially in their first summer of freedom.
2. Get healthy
This might appear like another nannying approach to post university life, but graduates should be make an effort try and get healthy once again. Alongside sleep deprivation, it is poor eating and going on the smash all the time that really allows you to graduate as a shadow of your former self. This might be shifting your beer gut or just doing the slightest bit of exercise that will help you feel better. It is summer after all who wants to feel shitty in the sunshine?
3. Speaking of sunshine...
More for those who have moved home, but if you haven't it's still worth trying to get in on this one, but this one is all about the groundwork. Trying to get yourself on the family holiday. A nice week in Lanzarote? Lovely, yes please Parents.
Let's be fair, it is about the last time it is officially acceptable to sponge off your parents for a week jaunt to sunnier climes without having to put your hand in your own pocket. Enjoy it, spend some quality time with your family that you've not had since the odd week at Christmas or since you left for uni.
4. Have a think
I don't want to bring the mood down and totally put you off reading any further, but it is worth having a think about what you might want to do now you've graduated. Now you've got the world in front of you and you should never feel like you should have done more before graduating. Getting your university work sorted and finished to a good standard is more important than getting a job immediately, especially in the long run.
Whether you're unsure about what sector you want to work in or what you can do with your degree, have a really good think about what you think you could commit yourself to for an extended length of time.
Internships can be an excellent way to figure out what you want to do next. Whether you're not entirely sure or totally committed to the idea of a particular profession, spending a few weeks or months working in an industry can bring on your enthusiasm by leaps and bounds. It doesn't have to be a massive commitment and this is part of beauty of working in an internship is that it is not permanent to can learn and develop skills without having to commit yourself to any long duration or 3 year graduate scheme.