I'm 20 years old and currently attending university for a double major in engineering and science fields. My college expenses are being covered. In addition to that i have worked for the past few years accumulating savings for myself. Out of my savings i'm willing to invest more than 5k. I have opened a credit card for myself to accumulate credit. Since i wont require much of my savings for at least 2.5 years i think it'd be best to invest it. I am currently considering choosing a mutual fund and then bonds after the interest rates are increased. I would like to ask for the community's advice on my consideration as well as any other options that would be beneficial for a person in my position. Thank you for your advice, i'm eager to learn any and all recommendations appreciated.
2.5 years is a short period in the stock market. That means there is a significant chance it will be lower in 2.5 years, whereas it is very likely to be higher over a longer time period like 5-10 years. So if you want the funds to grow for sure then consider an online savings account, where you might earn 1-2%.
If you want to do stocks anyway, but don't have any idea what fund to buy, the safest default choice is to buy an index fund that tracks the S&P 500. Vanguard's VFINX is one example.