Advice to a New High School Graduate

Do you remember what it felt like when you graduated from high school?  This last weekend, my husband and I traveled to see our Godson’s high school graduation.  It sure brought back a lot of memories.  It’s been almost 30 years since I graduated from high school.  Knowing what I know now, I found it interesting to hear what these young adults were saying about graduating from high school.

I want to sit them all down and let them know that this will not be the best thing that ever happened to them.  Okay–there may be a couple of recent graduates where high school really will be the best years of their lives.  I feel sorry for those who look back on their lives and realize it never got better than that.  Let’s ignore those few and talk to the majority.

This is really only the very beginning of your lives.  You may feel that you know what you want to do with the rest of your life.  Good for you!  I will tell you that you may get there and not like it.  Very few of us have the same dreams in our 40s that we had in our late teens.  I hope that you have no idea what you want to do with your life.  I think that is perfectly okay at your age.  Now is the time to explore.  You are young; you do not have the responsibilities that you will have later in life.

You have three options when you graduate from high school: get a job, go to school, or be a bum.  I do not recommend being a bum, but if you can get away with it for a little while, go for it.  Enjoy being taken care of financially while you still can.  If you can do it, travel.  See a little piece of the world that is not your own.  It will change your perspectives on your life.

I recommend that you go to school.  It does not have to be a four-year-university.  A trade school, community college, art school, training academy, armed services, apprenticeship; any of these are okay.  The most important part is learning more about yourself.  You might find out that you like working with your hands. Maybe an instructor will present a subject you thought you hated in high school in a different way and you may discover that you love biology.  Try new things that interest you.  It may lead you down a new path and you may discover what you love.

If you do not already have a job, you may as well get one now, unless you are going to school full-time or going the bum route.  A part-time job will still allow you to take classes and it will introduce you to the real world: paychecks, taxes, responsibilities.  I will not even pretend that this is awesome.  Work sucks.  We all hate having to work, but it is an important part of life.  Work hard and save whatever money you can.  This is important–start saving your money now, even if it is only a couple of dollars a week.

You have your whole life ahead of you.  There is no reason to stress over your life at this point.  You have the rest of your life to figure it out.  Almost everyone graduates from high school.  It is not really a big achievement.  It is for your parents, but that is another story.  It is a milestone for you, one of many that will occur through your life.  Enjoy this time of your life and do not be scared.  Have faith that no matter how much the trail wanders, it will get you where you are supposed to be.

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About Carolynn Waites

I enjoy the opportunity to learn and discover new things about the world in which we live. Along with freelance writing, I work at a library and I enjoy animals, reading books, gardening, crafting, and watching good television shows. I volunteer at a local zoo where I work as a keeper aide. This is one way I feed my passion for animals. I am a licensed airplane pilot and I strongly believe in the power and importance of education. My husband Shawn and I currently have one cat (Sami) and one dog (Rocky). We live in Manvel, TX just outside of Houston.
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