Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

5 Great Ways To Better Yourself After High School Graduation

Graduating high school is one of the most exciting and pivotal moments in life.

Date:   5/18/2022 7:49:33 PM   ( 83 d ) ... viewed 15 times

Graduating high school is one of the most exciting and pivotal moments in life. It's a unique milestone that holds promise, life-changing experiences, and plenty of challenges along with it. It's also the ideal time to focus on ways to better yourself and prepare for whatever is coming next. 

During this formative season, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin or even what it is that you're interested in doing. Since you won't be in this phase of life very long, it's important to make the most of the time you've got while you're in it. Here are five great ways to better yourself after your high school graduation. 

1. Take a Gap Year

When it comes to the general view of education, you've already noticed that it's very common to start college as soon as high school is completed. Months before graduation, testing and applications, and brochures are the focus of schools, students, and households alike.

However, it's important to remember that just because so many students have this plan, it doesn't mean it has to be yours as well. You don't have to start college right away. It will be there when you're ready. Taking a gap year could be one of the best things you'll end up doing for yourself.

If you're unsure as to what a gap year is, take some time to familiarize yourself with the term. While it's essentially taking a break from schooling between high school and college, it can also be a period where you make great strides in preparing yourself for the next step. What this means for you could mean something entirely different for someone else.

For some students, the thought of taking a gap year might not be appealing. Others may see it as a much-needed respite from classes, to see the world, or as a good way to earn money they'll need to continue their education. To determine if going this route might make sense for you, work on a list of gap year pros and cons to use when making your decision.

Whether you choose to use this time to strengthen your financial situation, spend time with family and friends or pursue an item on your bucket list, chances are you won't regret it.

It's also a good time to explore different fields of work to see what's appealing to you. For instance, perhaps you'd like to work with children, but you're not sure in what capacity. Working as an aide in a school or at a childcare center could give you the valuable experience you might otherwise have missed out on.

Gap years are also a wonderful time for becoming more mature and independent, both of which are so important for succeeding in college. 

2. Pack Your Bags and Travel

Do you love to travel? Are you craving adventure or just a change of scenery? Have you had dreams of traveling, but haven't had the chance to do so? If so, consider traveling after graduation. Where you choose to go doesn't necessarily matter; it's more about what you'll learn along the way.

Travel is not only an excellent way to get to know yourself better, but also to experience whatever life may throw at you while you're doing it. It's an excellent lesson in independence and self-reliance.

You'll obviously also need money to travel, which is a great lesson in both work and responsible spending. If you're looking to travel and work at the same time, you're in luck. There are countless opportunities available for this, often in exchange for housing and other necessities. Whether it's volunteering through organized humanitarian efforts or through a gig you tracked down on your own, remember that there is so much value in it. Also, you could even make connections that will last a lifetime. 

Another benefit to traveling after graduation is the opportunity to explore different cultures and learn new languages. These are valuable skills to add to your resume, which can make you more well-rounded and attractive as a candidate for further education or jobs of interest. And most importantly, it also feels great to learn new things, especially when they're learned through experiences.

3. Get Right to Work

It's important to remember that college isn't the only logical step to take after high school graduation. There are so many other things you can do that will utilize your skills while also allowing you to make a living doing something you enjoy. 

Is there a trade you're interested in? The trade world is a vast one, encompassing more options for work than you might even realize. Your mind might automatically go to traditional lines of work such as becoming an electrician or a plumber, but what about pursuing line work, landscaping, or a career as a dental hygienist? All it should take is reading through a simple list of potential trade job options to see that there is truly something for everyone.

While trade work requires training or apprenticeships, it also gives you the hands-on experience you'll need to eventually go off on your own or become part of a team. The earning potential for trade jobs is excellent, and the hands-on experiences aren't always something you'd find in a traditional college setting. 

4. Explore Your Options

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to slow things down. Stepping back, taking inventory of your life, and giving things some serious thought could be exactly what you need at this point in time. Remember that this season won't last forever, so make the most of it. 

Maybe you've been through a rough stretch or have experienced a major life change that is requiring some adjustments. Or maybe you're just not sure what you want to do next. Feeling lost after a pivotal chapter of life comes to a close is more common than you might think.

These can all be tricky things to navigate, so instead of throwing yourself at whatever you think you should do, try to make the most objective decision(s) you can for your next step. If you need a little more time to do so, honor your reality. However, it's important to maintain a healthy balance here and keep yourself on track. If you need support, don't hesitate to reach out for help from someone you can trust. Sometimes all it takes is objective advice. 

Ideally, you'll emerge from this downtime with a clearer vision as to what you'd like to do next and what makes the most sense for your situation. You never know what or where this decision will bring you. You could end up making connections during this time that will help to steer you in the direction you were meant to go in, or simply realize what it is that you definitely don't want. 

5. Take College Seriously

If heading to college shortly after graduation is on your calendar, there's no doubt you're feeling many different ways about it. College is a big deal. It's a big investment financially, it's an investment of your time, and it's a commitment you need to be ready to make to yourself.

One of the most important things you can do before heading to college is to get yourself in the right mindset and remember why you're going. Consider what's going into this education — maybe your family is helping financially, or maybe you needed to work extra hours during your summer vacation to hold up your end of the financial agreement. It can be easy to take this all for granted and/or lose sight of the Why behind you chose to go to college in the first place. 

It's also critical that you're choosing an area of study that not only interests you, but that will also help you to create a successful life after your time at college has ended. Think about factors such as demographics, pay, career opportunities and advancement, and possibilities for continued education.

Don't forget to listen to your intuition as well. If you're heading into college to major in education but are noticing a nagging feeling that you're not really on board, don't waste any time. Change your course of study while you can to ensure you get the most out of your classes and still meet all requirements.

Bettering yourself after high school graduation is an excellent goal to have, and the best part about it is that there are so many ways to approach how you can do it. There's no one-size-fits-all solution to this, which makes it not only attainable but exciting as well. 

Whether you decide to use this time to learn and grow, heal and rest, or venture out and begin your life, there's the potential for greatness to follow. You have to be intentional and wise with your choices, realizing that time is of the essence. You won't be of this age for long, so make the most of it while you can. Embrace the unknown. 

How do you think you'll better yourself after you receive your diploma? 


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