1. Have a Plan
It does not have to be a grand, change the world kind of plan, but you do need a plan. You are an adult now, so it’s time to make some adult decisions.
And if you are a girl, your plan can not be to sit and wait for Prince Charming. You need a set of goals to keep you driven, whether you are a stay at home daughter or not.
Decide on what you want to do, make a timetable with reasonable deadlines to make it happen and start pursuing it immediately.
Want to be a Doctor? What kind? What kind of schooling will you need? Have you talked to other professionals in the field?
What to be a farmer? What do you need to know and own to do so?
Find opportunities to shadow or apprentice in that field to see if that is what you really want to do.
You may change your direction as time goes on, but don’t waste your time floating – doing nothing.
2. Don’t assume because school is out you don’t have to pursue education.
College or not, the end of high school simply means that no one will be holding your hand in education.
You have to decide what it is you want to learn and you have to pursue it. Self-directed education should have been instilled in you before this point, but if it hasn’t, it’s time for you to step up.
3. Sink Your Roots into a Church
You’re an adult now. You can do what you want right? Yes and no.
If you want to be successful you need some accountability. Create checks and balances for yourself.
If you have good parents start there. Fill an elder or pastor in on your plan. Ask him to hold you accountable. They’ll be happy to, I promise.
Now, sinking roots means you plan to stay. You need a church/small group/friend base that will encourage you to do the right thing even when the wrong way looks like a short cut.
You won’t always like them, but you must determine to stay. Don’t establish a life pattern of walking away when things get tough. If you are going to make it in this world you need to know how to keep a commitment!
4. Find Somewhere to Volunteer
You need this to keep you grounded. To remind you no matter how tough things are that it could be worse. To remind you that the world does not revolve around you and your problems.
Find a soup kitchen, a pregnancy center, a rehab facility, needy families in your community, tutor struggling kids, join a volunteer fire department… something that requires hard work and dedication without pay.
5. Employ Yourself
Whether you live on your own or at home, start your own business or find a job. There is no reason for you not to be bringing in some sort of income.
If you have a plan you should find a job or start a business that advances said plan. Consider using your hobby as a starting point for a business.
For example: I want to own a cooking school. First I have to become a chef. So right now I’m working in a gourmet sandwich shop during the day and at a BBQ joint as a prep cook/ aboyeur at night while saving the money to pay for a cooking school I want to attend in Ireland.
Finding a job is a stepping stone to what you ultimately want to be doing will keep you from burnout. When the days are hard, the work dirty and the hours long, I think Ireland. This is all for Ireland. And then the school. I’ll get there, but I have to get through this first.
Those are my top five suggestions for the high school graduate. Here’s the deal, if you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll never get there.
Life is precious, life is short, make a plan.
Make it BIG! Or small, just do it!
Follow the plan.
Don’t waste your years.
Olivia is a homeschool graduate, author of No More Wasted Years and chef at The Three Earred Rabbit.
She is working towards her goals of owning a cooking school and catering business, in hopes of her ultimate goal of teaching young girls that are aging our of foster care, a love for Christ and food while equipping them with a practical and marketable skill to help break the cycle of government dependence and broken families.