To some, the thought of life after high school can be quite overwhelming. They are starting a new chapter of their life and many young people don’t know what to do with it. Some choose to start college right away, some prefer to work for a while, and some spend time traveling now that they have the time to do so.
What to do After High School
Starting college right away is often recommended for those who want to continue their education while the learning process is still fresh in their minds. While many people have an idea of what they want to study in college by the time they graduate from high school, others are still searching for the answer.
A huge part of the higher education process is choosing not only what to study, but where to study it. There are a series of questions potential college students can ask themselves in order to help determine the best way to begin their college education. This Guide to Choosing College Majors article on PrincetonReview.com can be useful.
People who are contemplating what they will study first need to ask themselves what their strengths are. This is a good starting point to narrow down the possibilities to a few realistic choices. The next question they need to ask themselves is if they want to study business, liberal arts or sciences. Our article What Should I Major In? provides some useful approaches to answer that question.
Once these questions have been answered, it is also necessary to determine the type of environment they will learn the best in. Part of this involves deciding if one wants to attend a large university or a small college. The location of the college or university also comes into play. Some potential college students want to stay close to home while others want to experience living and going to school in another city.
Talking to current college students or recent graduates can also be helpful when it comes to determining one’s future education. These people can give guidance and advice on how to adjust to college life and what to do in order to succeed as much as possible.
Taking Time Off Between High School and College
For many people, the best thing to do is take an entire year off between the time they finish high school and the time they start college. This is a great time to do volunteer work, either in the U.S. or abroad. The experience gained by doing so can be invaluable to one’s college education and help set them on the path to a successful life. At other times, taking a year off can give one time to decide if college is the right choice for them. This prevents them from making the wrong decision to go to college and dropping out after the first year. This article on Economist.com asks ‘Is college worth it?’ and also sheds light on student loans and how to pay them off.
Another reason many individuals take a year off between high school and college is to save up the money for it. The work experience can help them learn to handle responsibilities and make them more disciplined, which goes a long way in ensuring the success of a college education.
One option that is often available is for an individual to get accepted to a college and postpone their acceptance for a year. This gives them that year to prepare to enter college and spend time experiencing the real world.
For some, the answer to life after high school is to enroll in the military. This can be good for both; people who want to go to college afterwards and people who don’t. The benefits of serving in the military after high school include a boost in self-confidence, as well as having an individual’s college education paid for. There are also many skills one can pick up during military service that they may not be able to learn anywhere else. This article on MilitarySpot.com discusses some of the pros and cons about enrolling in the military after high school and can be a useful read.
Some students are so motivated to enter the military that they don’t even want to wait until after their high school graduation to do so. Those who join the military while they are still in high school are often sent for training during the summer break between their junior and senior years of high school. Anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to do the training over the summer can join a delayed entry program that allows them to start serving after they have graduated.
Coping with Learning Disabilities After High School
Many people who suffer from learning disabilities worry about how this will affect their life after high school. College is a stressful enough experience for those who don’t have a learning disability and it can be even more stressful for those who do. Our article Types of Learning Disabilities explains their different types, detection methods and treatments.
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those suffering from learning disabilities are protected when it comes to higher learning. Colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations for students who have disabilities that affect the way in which they learn. Students in need are provided with diagnostic testing, tutoring, counseling and advocates. There are often special college courses designed for these students, and these courses are structured to accommodate the students who need them.
Technical and Vocational Training
Aside from traditional college, students can enroll in technical or vocational training as an alternative. These types of training are often the best choice for students who may not have the skills or desire to excel in book learning. Hands-on training for a number of careers can easily be obtained after one graduates from high school. This training is often less stressful and quicker than a traditional college education. This page on the National Center for Education Statistics website provides more information on vocational education in the US.
There are a number of avenues one can take after graduating to help determine what their future will be. Many options are available when it comes to life after high school. Often, the most difficult decision is whether or not to further one’s education at all, and perhaps some of the tools provided in this article will help.