At some point, the idea of leaving high school and going out into the big wide world will start to make itself known. Some people find it a freeing thought, and they are excited to finally get away from the restrictions of high school and their teachers; they’re ready, in other words, to explore what the world has to offer.
On the other hand, though, others are less happy about the prospect. They have felt happy and safe at school, and now that they have to leave and look into other options and really grow up, it’s not something that sits well with them.
However, no matter what they are thinking or feeling, it’s something that happens to us all – high school ends at some point, and the rest of your life has to happen. If you’re a parent of a teen about to emerge from high school, or you’re that person themselves, you might be wondering what to do next – although many people have a set path, not everyone does, and there are a lot of options to consider. Here are some of them.
The first option, and perhaps the one that springs most readily to mind, is that of additional learning in some form. There is traditional college, for example, or you can learn online at home with an establishment like Suffolk University. You can go part-time (perhaps while working somewhere else part-time in order to bring in some money) or full time. You can live away from home in a complete new state, or even country, or you can stay at home and commute to your local college.
Then there are the courses. If you don’t know what you want to do as a career, taking a generalized course is useful. Something like a business, English, or general studies will give you a degree and qualifications that you can use in many different areas of work.
If you have a more detailed idea of what you want to do, then you’ll be able to pick a more relevant course; pathology, forensic science, music, history, medicine, and law are all good examples, but there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, more. When you have your degree after two, three, or four years in most cases, you can then go out and find a job that will suit you.
Go To Work
Another good option after leaving high school is going straight into the world of work. Not all career paths will require a degree or extra learning on top of a high school diploma, and many, particularly those that are more ‘hands on’ such as engineering and mechanics can be learned on the job if you can find someone who is willing to teach you. You might start as an apprentice or intern (depending on the type of work you are doing) and learn how to do it in that way.
This may mean that you don’t earn a lot of money right from the start, but if you don’t enjoy academia and what you need to learn isn’t taught in schools or college, then it is the best way to move forward. There are some grants available, depending on where you live, that can help you with living expenses if the money you receive is a small amount or even if you receive nothing at all. Look into all of this as early as possible, and you can put everything in place before you actually need to use it.
Start Your Own Business
This option of starting your own business is certainly not for everyone, but it can work out perfectly for some people if they have the tenacity and skills to go for it. Although many businesses need a large cash injection to start, there are some that you can begin for no money at all, so research is key at this point if that is the case for you. Once you have determined what you can do in your business and have carried out enough market research to know that there is a definite need for your product or service, you can begin.
A website is going to be crucial, but it won’t be enough. You also need to have a good presence on social media and engage with your customers. People expect a lot from even the smallest businesses these days, and being there for your customers is vitally important.
You should also write out a business plan to help you. Even if you’re not going to use it to obtain funding, it will be a handy way to see just what you need to do to achieve your goals in the future. Plus, if you do need funding at another time, all the hard background work will be done for you.
Join The Military
For some, it’s action rather than sitting behind a desk that appeals the most, and that can mean that joining the military is the perfect next step for them after leaving school. As with everything in this list, proper, thorough research beforehand is essential as there is a lot to consider before taking this big step – there are many rules and regulations to think about, and if that is not your style and you don’t enjoy answering to others, then the military won’t work for you. You may find that you should be opening up your own outside adventure business instead, for example.
Many families have a proud tradition of generations serving in the military, and you might want to carry on this tradition, but it should only be done if that’s what you want too – if you’re only joining to make other people happy then you will have a difficult time and may come to regret your decision.
This is, in fact, true of every item on the list above. Doing a job or degree or anything else after high school because you think it is expected of you, or you have been told that you should is never going to be the right thing for you. If you’re not choosing the next step because it’s what you want to do, you’re not making the right choice at all.