I will begin by saying that this is one of those do as I say, not as I DID type of blog posts. I do realise that in in life we all have to learn from our own mistakes (and I made a lot of them). But I hope that by sharing my advice for high school graduates I can help pave the road for at least a few recent grads. It’s truly a wonderful thing when you can be spared by learning from someone else’s mistakes. This post has been sponsored.
My son and two of my nephews have already graduated, but my nieces will be wearing graduation caps in just a few short years. This is advice is for them and all the other high school students and recent grads who think they have it all figured out.
Now is an exciting time for recent high school grads. It’s FREEDOM at last! Or so you think. Now that the newness of being a grad is starting to wear off, it’s time to begin all of those tedious tasks such as college enrollment and class selection.
Like so many, I made a lot of mistakes early on. In the end everything worked out, but there are some things I would have done differently. From the perspective of someone who would do things differently, here is my advice for high school graduates:
Some Advice for High School Graduates
Don’t let that summer job tempt you. So, you have a summer job and that paycheck has you feeling rich. A college degree? Who needs it? You do. It might seem like you have a lot of money right now, and you probably don’t want to go back to the days of relying on mom and dad for an allowance, but in the big scheme of things your summer paycheck is but a mere pittance. Think about how much you’ll have left over after paying for the rent, electric bill, water bill, cell phone bill, groceries, car insurance, etc. It doesn’t go as far as you think. Getting a college education will help put you in a position to earn a much larger paycheck later on.
Don’t put off getting a college education. The longer you wait to go to college, the less likely it is that you ever will. Sure, it’s possible to go to school later on. That’s what I did. But it’s hard to do. Really hard.
If you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life, that’s okay. You don’t have to declare a major right away. Take a variety of classes until you find what interests you. The first couple of years, you’re going to need the same general ed classes anyways, regardless of your major.
Get out and see the world. Spend your summer break and holidays exploring different cultures. Check into opportunities to study abroad. It’s going to be a while before it is this easy for you to travel. Probably not until your own future children are grown.
Don’t get in too much debt. If you can help it. Sometimes, taking out student loans just can’t be avoided. I caution you to not borrow more than you absolutely need. Student loans have a way of haunting you for a very long time. Take the time to check into grants and scholarships, and live within your means.
Friendship is important. Some of the friendships your forge in college will last the rest of your life. I encourage you to join clubs on campus and get to know people with similar interests. The first year of college can be quite intimidating, but I encourage you to get out there, be sociable and make some friends.
If you’re looking for a great read, T. A. Barron, the author of the Merlin Saga, Atlantis Trilogy and other books has a new book titled “The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life.” This book features 8 key principles for leading a meaningful life and is appropriate for all ages – and I think that it’s an ideal gift for graduates this season.