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When your kids finally go to college, the first emotions you might feel are pride and relief. However, these feelings can quickly become lonely, aimless, and upset. If you find yourself wandering around the house without a purpose now that your kids have flown the nest, you should actively try to fill your life back up.

How to Fill Your Time When Kids Go to College

If you are struggling to do so, here are some of the top activities that can fill up your time when your kids have gone off to college, especially if their campus is miles or even states away. 

Take an Online Degree

When you see your kids flying off to new pastures, you might start to consider your level of education and might get bitten by the learning bug. Instead of ignoring this, you should know that you are never too old to study for a qualification, and many degrees cater to mature students. You might want to take an online degree to enact a career change, or you might have decided that you want to get a promotion or learn skills that you can then apply to your current position.

You can also learn for the joy of it and engage your mind, and, in cases like this, you should choose a course you are interested in. However, rather than jetting off to a far-off destination to take an online degree, which you might not be able to do if you have a job or other commitments in your area, you should consider studying for an online degree.

Online degrees are a great option due to the flexibility of your location. You will usually have access to a portal filled with resources and lectures. Many online qualifications also give you access to a forum where you can speak to other students. You will be able to contact your professor online, such as by email, but most of the time, this learning will be independent, and you will complete coursework and assessments from the comfort of your home.

It would help if you considered looking at the best online degrees. For instance, if you want to become a nursing leader after years in the medical field, you should consider taking a DNP online at Walsh University

Learn a New Skill

When your kids go off to college, you may have much more time on your hands than you are used to. If this is the case, you should consider learning a new skill, as these can take a lot of time to develop and practice and give you a sense of pride and achievement that you might be missing since your children flew the nest. It would help if you considered thinking about the skills you have always been desperate to learn.

Still, you may not have had time to before now, such as learning a language, playing a musical instrument, or even just becoming better at spoken and written communication. You might also consider thinking of skills that could benefit some of the different parts of your life, such as your career, which could help you get more satisfaction from life. 

Once you have decided on a skill you want to learn, you should consider how you will learn this. Many online tutorials and videos can allow you to get a step closer to your dream of being an expert at the skill in question. You might also consider looking for a professional teacher or being taught by a friend who already has the skill you want to learn and who you know will be patient with you. 

Focus on Your Career

As soon as your children fly the nest, you can think about the other priorities in your life. These can include priorities you have neglected due to wanting to be around your kids. One of these priorities is usually a career, with many parents giving up work, going part-time, or refusing a promotion due to their children. Now that your children have gone, this is a prime opportunity to focus on your career and aim for a promotion or your dream job. This is a perfect time, as your idea of a good job might have changed in the interim years since you last focused on your career. 

It would help if you considered what you need to do to get the working life you want. For instance, you might consider quitting the job you currently have and searching for another that suits you better, undertaking a complete career change, or taking on more work and hours and proving your expertise enough to get a promotion.

If you want a promotion or a different position within the company you work for, you should speak to your manager at your annual one-to-one to discuss your career progression. The most crucial step that you can take is to set specific career goals that you can aim toward, as this can help give you direction rather than struggling to follow the right path that can propel you toward what you want. 

Volunteer

In terms of filling your time when your kids go to college, you should also consider volunteering. Volunteering can help to make you feel as if you have a purpose again and can allow you to meet others from different backgrounds who you can work with and befriend. Volunteering can also help you get the career you want, as this can allow you to get experience in a specific field and build up a base of transferrable skills.

Although volunteering can be daunting for some people, there is a volunteering position to suit everybody, so you should never feel that volunteering is not for you. You can do everything from work in a charity store to conserve historical buildings or look after sick animals at an animal sanctuary. You can always find a position that suits your skillset and the industry you currently work in or want to work in. 

To volunteer, you should consider contacting some of the non-profit organizations in your area directly to find out more about the volunteering positions available and how you can apply for these. When it comes to volunteering, you should also consider looking at volunteering agencies and searching websites that can help you find the exact volunteer role you are interested in. 

Travel 

When your offspring were children, you might have found it easier to take them on vacation to places nearer to you, such as within your state or the United States. However, the world is much larger than this. If you have not had the opportunity to travel much over the past few years because your kids didn’t travel well or you were worried about the hassle of traveling without kids, now is your chance to do so. Traveling as soon as your kids jet off to college has become popular in the last ten years, so you should consider joining in the trend and hopping on the next plane that you can. 

When you are trying to decide on a destination, you should look at your bucket list and budget. It would help if you also tried to travel somewhere you have never been before and could not go to when you had children. This could be to Europe, countries like Spain and France, or beaches in Indonesia and Australia. You should look up the must-see destinations in 2022 to get inspired and ensure that you can travel at the right time to specific destinations.

You might also decide to go on a more extended trip where you can travel around different continents or even backpack or take a road trip. However, as a parent, you may still be worried about your children, so you should make sure that you can be contacted, especially if you are traveling for a long time. You can do this by getting a travel SIM card. 

Take Up a Hobby 

One of the quieter ways you can fill your time when your kids have gone is to take up a hobby. Taking up a hobby will allow you to have an independent interest that has nothing to do with your children and can help you develop goals that are entirely separate from your career.

On the other hand, though, hobbies can help your career by allowing you to get skills which you can then apply to your job. Some of the best hobbies for older adults include cycling or sports, yoga and meditation, theater, and arts and crafts, such as painting or making jewelry. 

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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