You’re a high school graduate – congratulations! But what’s next? Until now, you’ve spent the majority of your life in school. From the moment you were old enough to read, hold a pencil, and feed and dress yourself, you were in a classroom, learning and growing with many of the same people you’ve known since birth. Then, graduation came and went and you found yourself outside those hallowed halls. No more lockers and backpacks, no more homeroom. It felt strange and maybe even a little scary. What will your life look like now, you wonder? What is life after high school really even like? What can I expect?
You may decide to enter the professional world
Now that you’ve entered the world of adulthood, most of your peers will get jobs if they don’t have one already. Whether you work part-time or full-time, getting a job before starting college courses can be a great way to add structure to your days, learn valuable lessons about money, and save up for college.
You’ll experience a lot of change all at once
Leaving behind your childhood and not seeing your friends every day is tough, and you might find yourself grieving over all that you’ve left behind. Know that it’s a perfectly normal way to feel and that you’re not alone. Most of your peers probably feel the same! With so much changing, it’s important to take care of yourself, so get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat right, and stay in touch with those you care about the most to help ease the transition.
You will have more free time
Even if you’re working and going to school at the same time, you’ll find that you have more unstructured time once you graduate high school. While in high school, most of your day was dictated by schedules, bells, extracurriculars, and your parents, but once you graduate and enroll in college courses, your days will include some free time. Of course, it’s up to you how you spend it, but be sure to make time for studying and self-care as well as fun.
You might lose some friends but you will make new ones
You probably won’t stay in touch with all of your friends from high school. Some of them might take full-time jobs, while others may get busy in college programs. While you’re bound to stay in touch with some of these friends, you may find that other friendships slowly fade away. While it’s normal and healthy to feel sad about those lost friendships, keep in mind that once you start college, you’ll have the chance to make lots of new friends.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself
Learning doesn’t end in the classroom and it certainly doesn’t end once you graduate high school. Your college courses will challenge you in ways that you never imagined. You’ll learn important skills like critical thinking. You’ll meet people with different perspectives and experiences, and your current beliefs will probably be challenged, but that’s okay. That’s the amazing thing about the world after high school.
You will grow up a lot
Now that you’ve graduated high school, expect a lot more responsibilities. Your parents may expect you to take over your own bills, do more work around the house, get a job, pay rent, or more. If you move out of your parent’s house, you’ll also be expected to do laundry, clean your own room, make your own meals, and be in charge of your own schedule and finances. While it might seem overwhelming at first, you’ll get the hang of it.
You’ll have the chance to make the most out of your time before college
In order to bridge the gap between high school and college, be sure to make the most out of the time before you start your college classes. Perhaps you’ll spend a couple of months traveling, volunteering, or spending time with friends who are leaving town. Maybe you’ll decide to work all summer and save up some spending money. Whatever you decide to do, make the most out of it and, most importantly, make it your own!
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