Some people have a plan in place for exactly what they’re going to do after high school. They might be determined to go to college and already have a plan for what to study after high school. Or they might already plan to go into the military or to go to a trade school.
Still, others might be ready to go abroad or do something inspiring with their life before they decide about anything else. But there are also those who just don’t know what to do after high school besides college. Maybe that sounds like you.
Well, the good news is you don’t have to graduate from high school and go to college. You don’t even have to graduate from high school and know what you want to do, but you might want to start thinking about preparing for life after high school so you can decide just what works for you.
What Are Some Things to Do After High School?
There are a lot of different things that you could do after high school, and we’ve only touched on a few of them. But deciding what to do after high school is ultimately going to be up to your personal preference. So, let’s take a look at some things you can do.
Go to College – One of the first things that everyone thinks about after high school is going to college, and while it’s an excellent option for some, it’s not always the best idea for everyone. In general, going to college will help you get a degree and (hopefully) find a decent-paying job when you’re done.
Go to Trade School – Similar to college is a trade school. While it’s often ignored as an option after school, it’s actually a great choice because it opens up entirely different doors for your future career. Many students do great at a trade school that focuses on something they’re interested in rather than a traditional college program.
Join the Military – This is another standard option for high school seniors, especially when they aren’t quite sure what else to do. After all, the military offers an opportunity to travel the world, support your country, and pay for college when you get out. For many people, that’s a great option (and you get paid while doing it).
Get a Job – You could always leave high school and get a job right away. Or you might decide to work for a short period of time until you make a decision on what you really want to do. While most of the good-paying jobs with just a high school diploma are gone now, that doesn’t mean you can’t find something.
Travel Abroad – Some people decide to travel, which may be domestically or abroad. It may also be for your own personal interests, or it might be a volunteer program. Either way, it can be a great experience, and it definitely gives you the opportunity to explore in entirely new ways.
Take a Break – Maybe you decide just to do nothing after high school. You’re going to just float around for a while and see what comes to you or try out different opportunities as they come through. Well, you can absolutely take a bit of a break after high school. You just need to make sure that you’re thinking about what comes next during that break.
How to Choose What to Do After High School?
If you’re not quite sure what you want to do after high school, then you’re going to want to sit down and think about it. Your parents, friends, teachers, guidance counselors, and everyone else will probably have an opinion about just what you should do after high school, but you’re the only one who can decide what’s going to be best for you.
Think about what you enjoy. The first thing you should do is think about what you actually enjoy. Do you love volunteering? Have you been interested in joining the military for years now? Do you absolutely lose yourself in computer coding? All of these are things that might help you decide what to do after high school.
Decide what you don’t enjoy. Do you absolutely hate sitting in a classroom all day, every day? Maybe a traditional college setup isn’t for you. Perhaps you really don’t like getting outside of your comfort zone. You probably wouldn’t do so well going abroad or joining the military.
See what you have. Once you’ve decided what you do like and what you don’t like, take a little time to see what some of the options are. You might find that you’ve narrowed down the list quite a bit just with those two steps. After all, you can take the things you do like and see how they apply to different options we’ve already talked about.
What are the Options After High School?
We’ve already talked about the options available to you after high school, but if you’re looking for more, you can actually pick some more unique opportunities as well. For example:
Start your own business. While not every company will succeed, and you may not know precisely what it is that you really want to do with the rest of your life, you could always take a chance on yourself and start a business doing something that you really enjoy.
Move somewhere new. If you’ve always wanted to live in a different state or a different country, this is a great time to step outside of your comfort zone and just do it. This is the last time you’re possibly going to have where you have no obligations and no ties to a job or a house or other significant expenses. So take a chance and try somewhere new.
How to Choose a Career After High School?
Choosing a career after high school is going to be all about figuring out what you want with your life. Remember, you’re probably going to be working in that job for the next 40 or more years before you can retire. So you want something that you will like.
Keep in mind that your first job after high school (whether you go to college or trade school or anywhere else) doesn’t have to be the one you keep forever. You can always change your mind later, or you can work a different job until you’re prepared for the one you really want.
What you want to do at this point is figure out what that career is that you actually want. From there, you’ll be able to figure out what it will take to get you to that career. After all, you’re probably not going to be able to just pick up that job without putting in any kind of effort or training.
Choosing the career you want, however, is going to require you to think about what you like and what you don’t like. That’s more than just things that you have fun doing. It’s also situations that you like. Would you like a job that required you to work Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm? How about a job that requires a suit every day?
Would you prefer a job with travel benefits? How about a job where you can work flexible hours? Or one where you get to call the shots for yourself? All of these are pieces of starting to choose your ideal career. And they’re going to help you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.
Once you’ve decided on the things you like and don’t like, you’re ready to start narrowing down the options of just how you’re going to get that job. Or how you’re going to create it.
3 Things to Do After High School
When it comes to leaving high school, you might think that you need to have everything figured out, but that’s actually not the case at all. After all, you’re only 18-years-old. How could anyone expect you to have everything figured out when you’re only 18?
Just have some fun
Don’t be too serious about what’s coming your way. Sure, you have your whole future ahead of you, and you have to make some critical decisions. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to have some fun and do something that you enjoy before you settle everything down.
Try new things
Once again, it’s not about having everything figured out right off the bat. So, try out new things. Get to know yourself and just what you like and dislike. You might not really know from the start, and that’s okay. So, take a little time to try out different things, and then you’ll know what to add to your list (and what to scratch off).
Talk to people
No one can tell you what to do with the rest of your life (or rather they can, but it won’t be the right decision for you). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to them. Get an idea of how they decided what they wanted to do or ask about something they always wished they had done. Get advice from people about how to make a decision but not about what decision to make.
How to Prepare Students for Life After High School?
Preparing students for life after high school is definitely not going to be easy. After all, high school is simple. It’s familiar. It’s relatively similar for everyone (at least the process of it is). Life after high school is going to look different for each person.
You might have different needs than someone else for what to do after high school. You might have different expectations for your life. You might feel like you’re being pulled in different directions because other people are trying to tell you what their expectations are for you.
The most important thing to prepare yourself for life after high school is to understand that it’s going to be different for everyone. You can’t expect your experience after high school to be exactly what your parents experienced or what your best friend is going to experience, or even what your boyfriend or girlfriend will experience.
You are going to have your own experience, and that’s great. It’s unique, and it’s fun, and it’s going to help you create the life that’s right for you, rather than the life that’s right for someone else.
3 Advice for High School Seniors
What should you do if you’re a high school senior? How should you be reaching out to make sure that you’re on the right track and you’re making the right choices? Take a look at this advice.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
You will make mistakes. It’s a part of life, and that’s okay. You’re supposed to make mistakes in the process of growing. You’re supposed to fall down a few times (or 100 times) before you figure out the right path. So don’t get too hard on yourself about what you need to do.
Don’t make rush decisions
Sure, you’re going to make spur-of-the-moment decisions like going out with friends or maybe even heading across the country on a backpacking trip. But don’t make rash decisions that could alter your life. Don’t jump into a get-rich-quick-scheme. Don’t jump into marriage with someone that you’ve only just started a relationship with. Take some time to figure out what you want with your life before you start making significant choices.
Change your mind
This is the time when you get to change your mind a million times. Sure, you can decide to move or to change careers or to go back to school when you’re 30, 40, 70 if you want. But when you’re younger, it’s going to be a whole lot easier, and that means it’s a great time to take advantage.
Wrapping Things Up: What to Do After High School?
When high school ends, the rest of your life is going to start. But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with the decisions that you make as a high school senior or graduate. This is the time when you want to venture out and try something new. And it’s definitely the time when you’ll want to get to know yourself.
The rest of your life is out there waiting for you. But you can absolutely let that life and that future wait around until you’re ready to grab onto it. And in the meantime, enjoy yourself and everything that life has to offer.