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high school seniors
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harsh realities
magical moment
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higher education
pinnacle
What To Do Once You Have Graduated High School
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From the time you start school, back in your trembling young days, you look forward to when it will all be over and done with. The goals start off small at first: please just let me get to recess, let me learn to write my name and read, please let Billy Thompson stop pulling my pigtails. Then you move on to middle school where the goals become slightly bigger- let me pass this exam, let me get asked to my first formal dance, please let me get to high school.

Finally you make it to senior high and the goals are what you think are the most important of your life, (ah, to be young again, no?) getting a car, going to prom and of course, the very pinnacle of the whole educational process: graduation.

Ask any wide eyed high school senior and they will tell you that the moment that they hand that rolled up piece of paper to them, it is the most magical moment of their life, and they leave that stage an “adult”. Yeah, and then the day after graduation, they wake up and whine that their allowance is not large enough! Okay, high school seniors, I am talking to you now. Mouths closed, ears and mind wide open. Here are the things you need to do once you have graduated high school:

1. Get a job. Unless you plan to start college during the summer quarter, you will have several months of lag time between high school and college. You do not want to embark on the new and exciting adventure of higher education with zero money, and surely you do not think you can mooch from your parents forever do you? Take a week, maybe two or three off to lounge at the beach or hang at the mall, and then get out, get a job and learn a little bit about the harsh realities of the real world.

2. Take up a new hobby, sport or other worthwhile endeavor. Not only will these get you through the summer without allowing a lot of time for misbehaving, they should also get you through your entire life with something enjoyable to look forward to on a really hideous, long day at work kind of times. Remember that a well-rounded person is a happy person, so while you are working and earning a buck, take time off to relax and enjoy yourself as well.

3. If you have not done so, begin gathering the necessary items for your next life step, whether it is college, a trade school or moving into your own apartment. Make a list and then have a trusted adult go through it with you so that you can define what are wants and what are needs. Make sure that you have a realistic understanding about the cost of living expenses, even if you are moving into on campus housing.

4. Reconnect with your friends- these are people who know you well and should help you get through the challenges that face you from here on out.

5. Most importantly, thank your support group- your parents, your siblings, your teachers, your friends, your golden retriever. Whoever helped you get through and graduate high school, even on those days that you so wanted to give up, should get a big double armed hug and the words “thank you.”


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