You’ve made it! All of the work, the struggles, and the perseverance has paid off and you are about to graduate from high school. Congratulations! No doubt your mind is filled with dreams for this summer, to travel, relax, and spend time with friends and family before you move into this next phase of life. Most likely the last thing you want to do is more studying and learning. But, these are precious and important months, the last before you fly the nest and take your first steps into the real world as an adult. And, if you want to soar into your future, and not crash land, you need to get ready and equip yourself with what you’ll need to know to reach your goals. I’ve watched thousands of graduates soar, and many fail. It all comes down to preparation. Here are the best ways to prepare for life after graduation.
6 Ways to Succeed in Life after Graduation
- Develop a strong support system. There’s safety in numbers, especially if you’re headed off to college or starting a new career. You’re going to be faced with many challenges, some of which will make you feel woefully unprepared. That’s where your support system comes in. Make sure you have wise, older people in your corner who are available to give you advice, help you stay organized, pray for you, and support you during the changes. If you’re headed to college, you’ll want to include friends you make at college, professors, and wise adults (yes, your parents should be included!). If you’re starting a new career, find a mentor at your new company who is willing to support and pour into you. And once you know your people, use them! Ask for help, prayer, and direction when you need it.
- Learn to manage your time and money wisely. If there’s one thing that causes more college students or new employees to fail, it’s poor time management. The truth is you’re about to be challenged in ways you cannot even imagine. The amount of new skills, homework, and requirements coming your way is daunting, and knowing how to prioritize and manage your time wisely before they hit will ensure you can stay on track and meet expectations. Understanding how to “work smarter, not harder” is one of the true keys to success and will help you throughout your life. Start here to learn how.
- Master “adulting” skills like laundry, banking, cooking, cleaning, etc. I know, I know, it seems silly to spend your summer learning how to clean, cook, and do laundry. But, these skills are essential for life and self-care. You never know when you’ll need to change a tire unexpectedly or use first aid. But, you certainly will need to do your laundry, stay on budget, and cook a few meals for yourself. Mastering these important skills will serve you well long after this new journey is over. Plus, your roommate and future spouse will thank you.
- Create a safety and help plan. Life after graduation is exciting and wonderful, but it can also be dangerous and scary. The best way to overcome fear is through knowledge. Have a safety plan, know how to contact the authorities on campus or at your workplace. Mental safety and health is important too! Be sure to know whom you can go to for help when you’re overwhelmed and how to get the medical and emotional care you need. Be smart and be safe.
- Read and write over the summer. Whether you’re headed to college or the workforce, your mind is about to be crammed full of new information. Chances are you’ll be challenged to read, a lot. You’ll also need to be able to write well, whether it’s essays or emails. Spend some time this summer challenging yourself to read and write often. Write a resume, a persuasive essay, a book report, and a professional email. Then have mom, dad, or your support person read through your writing and help you improve. And read as much as you can to keep your mind active and learning.
- Keep an open mind but remember who you are. You’re on the verge of the awesome, a whole new life after graduation. You’re going to meet new people, see different things, and be challenged in ways you’ve never been before. Stay open to these new thoughts and ideas, to meeting new people and making new friends, to succeeding and failing and always learning. But, never forget who you are and from where you have come. Stay connected to your family and friends, to those who have known and loved you for your entire life. Keep up the passions and habits that feed your soul and keep you grounded. Find people who are passionate about those things as well and you’ll instantly have your support system. Knowing who you are and where you want to go will help you to sift through the many new things, ideas, and people that will come your way and only keep those that enrich your life and push you forward.
Congratulations on making it this far. Your future is waiting so arm yourself with the skills and knowledge you need to face it head on with passion, practicality, and perseverance. “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”