The idea of leaving the four walls of the high school you’ve spent the last years of your life in can be frightening, especially because it means that you’ll face the unknown next. You won’t have a class schedule to fill your days, and you won’t have your friends by your side to show their support. This means that you’ll be alone.
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However, rather than seeing this negatively, you can use this opportunity to grow out of your shell and discover a world far bigger than your hometown. This is your chance to see the person you want yourself to be and come outside the shadows of your friends and family, so use it wisely. Here are four ways you can do just that:
In the traditional sense, the automatic thing to do after graduating from high school is to enter college. If this is the path you’re going to take, then you should have accomplished the necessary steps to make it possible. This can include applying to various colleges, writing your college essays, and taking the SATs.
Of course, it will help your chances of getting into the school of your choice if you do more research and exert more effort to boost your standing. For instance, if you want to get into Washington State University (WSU), you can check out the acceptance rate at WSU and see if the odds are in your favor.
You can also do more extracurricular activities at school, apply for internships, volunteer in the community, and participate in events. This way, you increase your chances of getting into the school you want. If you want to excel in school and head straight into the workforce after you get your degree, the traditional path will be right for you.
While most students head straight into college after high school, some take a year off to explore the world and experience different cultures. Taking a gap year helps students develop their skills and grow outside of their comfort zones, far from the small corners of the hometown where they were born.
Of course, not everyone has the privilege of taking a year off to find and learn about themselves, so it’s a huge opportunity to be able to do it. The gap year can be a great way to immerse yourself in different cultures and communities; it’s also a formative experience to meet people from all walks of life.
But while others use this time to travel and learn about the world, others use it to work on their skills. They can take online learning courses to learn new skills or focus on their relationships before entering the university. This way, they won’t have to feel like they’re rushing into something they’re not mentally ready for.
Some people learn better through practice and application rather than theory. That’s why some high school graduates prefer to enter the workforce by applying to internships or apprenticeships in their chosen fields. This approach can give them the hands-on experience they need to succeed in the career path they’re planning to pursue.
Suppose you think that experience is better than having a degree. In that case, you can take this alternative and a non-traditional path to building your career. Of course, you might have difficulties when you have to compete with other applicants with college degrees. Still, if you’re confident in your abilities, then you shouldn’t be frightened.
Even if you’re not planning to pursue an undergraduate degree, you can always earn certifications related to your line of work. You can also take classes to improve your skills further. This way, you won’t feel like you’re being left behind despite not having a degree to back you up because your credentials can speak for themselves.
Sometimes, you’ll need to be practical when it comes to your future. It can’t be helped if you can’t afford to go to college or learn from your life experiences when you’re traveling the world. And because most internships or apprenticeships aren’t permanent, it might be risky to depend on them if you have people to support them.
In this case, you’ll have to go directly into the workforce using only the skills and abilities that you’ve developed in high school. Although you might think that you’re at a disadvantage because of this, you can focus on the positives and choose to work in a field in which you have a lot of experience.
For instance, if you enjoyed writing in the school paper in high school, you can use that to apply to publication houses, magazine companies, or newspaper outlets. If you were fond of your woodshop classes, then you can use the skills you learned from them to work for an experienced woodworker.
The point is that you have to focus on highlighting your strengths rather than wallowing in your weaknesses. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so you shouldn’t let the fear of failing at something keep you from achieving success. After all, you’re only graduating from high school, which means you still have your whole life ahead of you.