I Graduated High School ... Now What?!
By Adrienne, age 20, Indiana
Senior year is almost over, and we all know that the end of senior year is the BEST! Prom, senior week, spring break, and many more fun events take place. But the end of senior year is also the most critical time for success in your career and the adult world. Graduating high school is when you are officially in control of your own destiny, dreams, and future.
When I graduated high school, I went straight to college. I attended Indiana University for my freshman year, then decided to join the Indiana National Guard the summer before my sophomore year began. As you will notice, the possibilities for what you decide to do are almost endless. Here are a few options you have post-graduation:
1. Go to college! - College is fun, and one of the best experiences a person could encounter! Although there are a lot of parties, dating, and social events, the workload and assignments are more intense. Three page papers in high school soon turn into 12 page papers in college. It's more time consuming, and you find yourself spending more time in the library than you do in your own dorm room. If college is the path you choose to follow, make sure you get as many scholarships as possible. Don't forget your FAFSA, and prepare yourself mentally.
2. Join the military - Yes, we are a country at war, but the military should still be an open option. Not only does it provide a professional back-up career choice, it pays for 100% of college tuition! What if you aren't cut out for college? The active duty military is a great option. You get a chance to travel the world and meet people from all over the world. What if you need college money, but you're not into the whole "going-to-war" thing? Join the reserves or your state's National Guard unit. They pay for 100% tuition, and you are more likely to get better jobs with a military background.
3. Take a year off - After graduation, the time frame can be overwhelming in figuring out what you want to do. This is completely normal and completely fine. Take some time off and figure out where you want to go and where you want to be. Draw out a time line, and place your life events on it to make it easier to get to where you want to be. Don't wait too long, for every second wasted is an opportunity out the door!
Whatever you decide to do, know that you are in control of your own life. Make your own decisions, and do what's right for you. Fit your own needs first, then worry about everything else. You are in control of your own destiny, and your own dreams. Like Dr. Seuss said: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
Remember that, and you will be motivated in doing whatever you choose to do. You are the future. Make it bright and positive for the next generation :)