What I’m Doing After College

Hello friends! Last week, I wrote about why I chose not to go straight to grad school after college. You should read that first so that you’re all caught up for this post!

Killer Harmony | What I'm Doing After College | There are a lot of things you can do after getting a college degree. Here are my plans for when I graduate in just a couple of months!

Anyway, I wanted to follow that post up with what I will be doing after graduation. I have a lot of things that I would love to do at some point in my career. There is a huge list, but I think I can manage that list. A lot of what I want to do is not necessarily stuff that would be a full time job.

I see myself having a couple part time jobs and a sort of side hustle so that I can pursue all of my interests. So, without further ado, here are my post graduation plans!

1. Move Back Home.

It’s certainly not the most glamorous of places, but it’s free, for the most part. I won’t have rent to pay, so that means I can spend more money or time working on different projects and spending time with family and friends.

Moving home after college doesn’t have as big of a stigma as it used to, but it’s still there. People who return home might be thought of as lazy or unsuccessful. While I can see why people feel that way, it can be a great way to save some money.

2. Look for a Flexible Part Time Job.

I need to start working, but I just don’t feel ready to commit to a full time job just yet. A full time job would take up a lot of my time. I’m young, and I want to live and enjoy a bit of the post college life before diving into full time work.

I would love to find some freelance writing or editing gigs or some other online job in the digital media field. That would give me the opportunity to choose where I work, such as from home, at the library or even a coffee shop.

The job search will be tough, but I plan on working on my resume and surveying the job market over the next few weeks.

3. Keep Up with Music.

This past week, I was home for spring break. Before the break, I was starting to dread playing music. There’s been a lot of drama going on in your music community, and I don’t like drama or confrontation. The week away was just what I needed to regain my love for playing music.

I plan to keep playing flute and piccolo as well as work on some music arrangements and compositions. Music is what I chose to major in, and I want to pursue it further. While I won’t be able to make it my career right off the bat, I will do what I have to to create a career as a musician.

I also hope to make music fun for me and for any future students or other contacts. Music shouldn’t be stressful; I would love to teach music privately one day. I can see myself teaching flute lessons, music theory and other related skills. Just not in the public schools…

4. Enjoy the Change of Pace.

I have been in school ever since I could remember. I’m looking forward to a different daily life. Starting my career as a writer/musician, not having to worry about homework and just enjoying my life sounds amazing right now.

My daily routine will depend on the type of job I get, but it won’t involve studying for tests or writing papers. I will be done with formal education, but I still plan on learning in my free time. I have so much more to learn about music, blogging and more.

The new chapter in my life will allow for things I never had before.

5. Work My A** Off.

As a creative person, I know success won’t come easy. I will have to take some low paying or uninteresting jobs before I get to the good stuff. I will have to play flute for free before getting paid. These next few years will be the time for me to hustle so that I can continue to do what I love all day.

I don’t necessarily want to be busy all the time, but I plan to stay somewhat busy. I will do what I have to do so that I don’t have to take a boring office job. No offense to people in office jobs…that’s just not for me.

So…

Are you looking forward to the end of the year? If you are graduating, what are your plans? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

Why I’m not Going Straight to Grad School

For all the college seniors (and juniors too), this time of year involves a lot of decision making. We have to decide what we will do once we graduate from college. There are a lot of options out there, going to graduate school being one of them.

I considered graduate school for awhile. After some time, I soon realized that I can’t afford to spend my money or time on something when I’m not eve sure if it is what I want to do. Graduate school is expensive, and I would rather take some time then return to school. That way, I will know exactly what my goals are for pursuing a graduate degree.

Killer Harmony | Why I'm not Going Straight to Grad School | Graduating from college soon? Going to grad school is one of the many things you can do. Here I see why I chose not to go to grad school.

Here are the main reasons why I am putting off graduate school, and what I will be doing instead.

1. Graduate School Costs Both Money and Time.

Money and time that I don’t have right now. I would love to continue my education in some form, because I love learning, but I have to fit my education to my life now-not the other way around.

I have spent the last 17 years of my life as a full time student. I have taken classes every semester (including summers) since 2011. That’s a long time, and I only wonder what I could do in the next 6 years with my career at the forefront.

2. I’m Ready for a Change.

I went straight from kindergarten to college senior with minimal breaks. I’m happy to have earned a degree so quickly (and graduating at only 21 years old), but school is not the only thing out there.

School is all I’ve ever known, and it’s scary to leave that. But, I have reached the point of being done. I’m ready to pack up my backpack and move to a purse or other work type bag.

I’m excited to start making more than just some side cash. I can’t wait to have a nice income and to be able to live on my own and to make my own way.

3. I Have Multiple Interests.

No I’m not complaining, but I don’t know what path is the best for me. I love writing, editing and proofreading. And I also love playing flute, teaching and arranging music.

Those two main interests are by no means mutually exclusive, but I can’t exactly do both at a professional level. I certainly can’t pursue an advanced degree in both fields.

Having multiple interests is great, and I plan on exploring my interests to see which field I should pursue long term and which would fit as a hobby. I’m definitely not ready to go to graduate school for anything.

4. Graduate School is a Big Commitment.

Just like with a bachelors program, a graduate degree is a lot of work. It will take at least a couple years to complete, unless you can afford to go all in. I can’t afford to be a full time student.

My parents were very generous in financially supporting me through my college experience, but I don’t want to put the burden of graduate school on to them-if they even want to help. Now that I have been through one college degree, it’s time to start supporting myself.

Graduate school classes are a lot to handle. You have to do a lot of reading and writing, and maybe even some research. I could probably only take a class or two at a time.

5. I Don’t Need Graduate School.

It sounds simple, but I don’t need to go to graduate school to do what I want to do. Both music and writing don’t require a degree. All I need is experience.

It makes more sense to get that experience while working. I can even get paid that way. For some fields, a graduate degree is necessary. If that is the case for you, then go to graduate school. It will be worth it.

For me, I can’t say for sure if a graduate degree will help me or not.

What I’m Doing Instead

I will be pursuing both music and writing. I hope to find some work as a writer or editor for blogs. In my free time, I will take flute lessons and work to keep improving my playing.

I will be moving back home, and I am not ashamed of that. Since I don’t have a lot of money in savings, it makes the most sense for me to live rent free until I do have some savings.

If you are graduating college and don’t have any concrete plans, that’s okay. Sometimes things work out for the better. There are many options out there for new grads. There is something for everyone. Grad school, a 9-5, or something completely different.

So…

Have you thought about post grad life? What are your plans? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele).

Thanks for reading!

What to do During Spring Break

Ah, spring break. It’s a time to take a week off from school and responsibilities, to hang out with friends and to travel, usually. What do you do if you don’t have any plans for travel? Or you can’t afford to go somewhere? There are many things you can do.

Killer Harmony | What to do During Spring Break | Spring break is a great time to go out, but what if you don't have any plans? Here are 7 things you can do for fun from your own home, for free!

While spring break is usually portrayed as a week of fun, you can also spend it working towards your future. There are multiple ways to spend spring break that don’t cost a ton of money or require you to travel.

Here are some of those ideas.

1. Look/Apply for Summer Jobs.

If you plan to work over the summer, now is the time to start looking for those jobs. It can take awhile to get a response from companies, so you don’t want to wait until finals are over to start your applications.

If you will be graduating from college, you should start thinking about what you will be doing after graduation. This could include a job. So take this free week to start your job search.

2. Enroll in Classes.

If you are not graduating, or you will be going to graduate school, you can spend spring break planning out your classes. If you wait too long to enroll, you might not get your first choice schedule.

It obviously won’t take all week to enroll in classes, but you can spend a few hours or a day planning out your schedule. Think of the classes you still need to take, what will be offered next semester, when you want to take those classes, etc.

3. Get Some Sleep.

If you are like most college students, you are probably pretty tired. It doesn’t help that this past weekend, most of the United States moved the clocks forward an hour. We all lost some sleep this weekend, and spring break is the perfect time to get that sleep back.

If you don’t have a your whole break planned out, spend an extra hour each morning getting some sleep. You shouldn’t sleep the day away, but your body will thank you for getting back on track.

Sleep is also a nice way to pamper yourself. There are so many benefits to sleeping, and it can even help you forget about some of the stressful things you have going on, if only for a little while.

4. Catch Up on Homework.

I know, I sound like a nag. But, spending this week catching up on your work is going to make going back to school a breeze. Things come up, and we can easily forget about our homework for a day or two. Use your spring break to catch up, and who knows? Maybe you can get ahead?

Homework is not the most fun thing to do over break, but if you get caught up or even ahead in some classes, you can save yourself a lot of stress later on. You won’t have to worry about staying up at all hours of the night to finish a paper. You can say yes to dinner with friends.

It’s totally worth it. Trust me.

5. Spend Time on a Hobby.

With classes, you don’t have a ton of time left over to do something fun. Use your extra free time to something you enjoy. Pick up a new (or old) hobby.

Go to your local craft store and see what inspires you. Watch some YouTube videos on things that interest you. Start a blog. Check out that new Netflix show everyone is talking about.

Do something that you wouldn’t normally have time to do. You will have fun, get to relax a little and you might even find a new activity that you want to pursue in the future!

6. Have a Spa Day.

Do you have a day with no plans whatsoever? Turn it into a spa day! Break out the soaps, nail polishes and whatever else you want to use. You can make it into a whole day event.

Start with gathering everything you need. You can make some DIY products, like skin masks or bath bombs. Take a bath. Do your nails. See if you have a friend who is free and wants to join. Or, make it a “me day.”

Blast your favorite songs, and just enjoy yourself. You have earned a day off.

7. Do Some Spring Cleaning.

This will work better depending on where you end up over spring break, so this might not apply to everyone. If you will be either in your college dorm or apartment, or you are going home, get in the spirit of spring cleaning.

Get rid of any trash or old stuff you no longer need. Break out the summer clothes. Make a few piles of stuff: trash, keep, donate, etc.

This week is a great time to get organized and refresh before spring is in full gear.

So…

What are you doing for spring break? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

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Should You Start College Undeclared?

It’s a question that every high school senior gets asked: what are you going to study/major in in college? If you have always known you wanted to go to medical school or you have always had a passion for teaching or some other thing, this question might be easy for you. For most incoming students, that question can be stressful.

Killer Harmony | Should You Start College Undeclared? | With the pressure to make life decisions coming from everyone, deciding what to major in can be stressful. Here's why it's okay to start college undeclared.

We have this idea that we are supposed to know what to do when we enter college, but not everyone does. Many people even change their majors through the course of college. So, I am going to talk about why it’s okay be undecided or undeclared while you figure things out.

Here are some things to think about when deciding if you should start college undeclared.

1. You have multiple interests…that don’t fit together.

In some cases, you can merge two different interests together when deciding what career to pursue. In some cases, they really don’t fit. Maybe your two biggest passions are music and law/political science. You would love to major in one or both of those subjects, but you aren’t sure how that would work.

You might be able to pursue a double major, but that takes time, and both music and law are time consuming.

Having multiple interests is certainly not a bad thing; it can only increase the chances of finding a career you enjoy. But at the start of college, it could be a good chance to explore those interests to see how far they go.

2. You have no clear career goal.

This is nothing to be ashamed of, but having no goals for your degree means that declaring now could be a waste of your time and money. Maybe you decide that since you like drawing, art is what you should major in. But then you get into a semester full of art classes and realize you can’t do it all day.

Going in undeclared gives you the chance to explore different subjects and fulfill general education requirements at the same time. Maybe your college has an anthropology class that can fill a social science credit. You can take certain electives to fill your basic requirements and open yourself up to new subjects you never thought of.

It’s okay to not know what you want to do after college, and spending time getting those pesky general classes done means that when you do find your perfect major, you can dedicate more time to it.

3. You want options.

Even if you have a general idea of what you want to study, starting undeclared can give you more options. In some majors, you might be tempted to start those major requirements and put off the general education classes. Music is one of these, because of all of the progressive classes you have to take. The earlier, the better.

But declaring a major like this and spending time in those classes only to realize it was never for you can be heart breaking…and wallet breaking. If you have some ideas of your interests but want to be open to new ideas, going in undeclared is a good choice.

It’s okay to not want to commit. When you start college, you’re only 18. You’re barely an adult, and who can expect you to make decisions that could potentially make or break your adult life?

4. Your interests change a lot.

I’m not going to say that changing interests is bad; I had a period of time where my career goals changed at least once a week. But if you change career interests as regularly as the days or weeks, it’s not a bad idea to put off that decision of choosing a major.

Eventually, you will find an area of interest that is so strong and that you always find enjoyment with. That is a sign that you should declare that major. If you have yet to have that moment or you look at dozens of majors on the regular, spend some time undeclared.

Use that time to explore all your interests and to talk to students and professors in those fields. What are the classes like? What types of jobs can you get? Do enough of the classes interest you?

5. The pressure of choosing is getting to you.

If you just can’t stand the constant questions from well meaning family members or you don’t want to choose, it’s okay to go in undeclared. Feeling pressured is a good way to end up making a decision you might later regret.

In our culture, we put so much pressure on high school seniors to know what their life goal is. We expect them to know just what they want to study and what they want to do after college. The only thing that does is stress out the people we think we’re helping.

If you feel pressured to decide on a major, know that that pressure is part of life, but also that you don’t have to listen to it. If you know that undeclared is for you, do it. There’s no reason to make a hasty decision just because of something your crazy aunt or other relatives tell you.

So…

I wish I went in undeclared. I would have been able to consider more options than just the one thing I thought about when I was 17: the thing I thought I SHOULD major in.

Have you been undeclared? What advice do you have for rising freshmen? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

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