First, I would just like to congratulate the Class of 2019! Graduation is a big deal and you should be proud. But, if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what comes next. Of course, you might be going to college or straight into the workforce, but a part of you is still confused.
Was that really it? Our entire childhood, the last twelve years— all for a piece of paper?
And honestly, I don’t have all the answers. But I do know one thing. Life is about to radically change. Either for better or for worse, that’s up to you. We live in the United States of America, a place that prides itself on personal responsibility and individualism. So, as a fellow graduate, I have a few insights on what to expect and how to make the most of it.
- You’re an adult now.
Whether you’re ready or not, adulthood is about to be your wake up call. Taxes, credit scores, and bank accounts may already be a part of our vocabulary, but, for some, this is the first you’ve heard of them. And if that’s you, welcome to adulthood.
You’re going to have to learn about how to care for your financial wellness, and fast. Need a loan? Too bad, you probably don’t have a credit score at all. Getting your first paycheck? Say goodbye to 15% of your money. Someone has to pay for all the entitlements.
- Take some responsibility.
This one is sort of downstream of adulthood, but very important. You are now a member of society and subject to all laws without any minor provisions. Basically, you are responsible for your actions.. Your parents cannot save you anymore. For some of you, this may be a wake up call, but every choice that you make has consequences that are real.
- Take advantage of what life has to offer.
Sorry, I had to get through all the heavy things first, but now the fun stuff. For lack of better terms, you are now young and free. You aren’t bound to school hours, attendance rosters, and curfews.
If you’re going to college, take advantage of all the programs the school offers. Study abroad, go on road trips, serve your community, enjoy safe nights out. If you’re going straight into the workforce, find things to keep you from getting bored. At this moment in your life, you have the most freedom you will have, so don’t let it go to waste. But don’t let it go to your head.
Make safe decisions.
- Call your family.
If you’re like me, you’re going away from school. If you’re the first child in your family to do so, you know how hard this might be for your parents. You may not be as sad as them, but work to reassure them. Sometimes we get caught up in life and forget who gave it to us in the first place.
Call your family, let them know you love them and everything is okay, and that you miss them and you hope to see them soon.
- Get a job, or a least secure a form of income.
I’m not talking about paying for college single-handedly while you are in school. However, if you want to go to conferences or if you want to enjoy a night on the town, you need some money in your bank account. Lots of schools employ students, look into these programs. Many fast food also chains offer priority to students currently enrolled in school.
This is nowhere near a comprehensive list, but it’s a start. For most of us, the only thing we ever knew was high school and we are about to enter the real world, unsure of ourselves and our future. However, I hope some of these tips will allay your anxiety, because, right after you walk off that stage with your diploma, I’m sure it intensifies.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.