I Graduated High School, Now What?
Congratulations to all the matrics who have finished their exams! It will be a while before you get your results, but I'm sure celebrations are in order! Some of you are getting ready for a matric vacation with your friends, some are just a bit worried about their results, some are looking forward to university next year, while others are looking for a job. Some of you may also be wondering "What now?".
The idea of getting a job now is suddenly real and you can't rely on your parents anymore - you have to take responsibility for yourself. This can be very daunting, especially if you still have no clue what you want to do with your life! Whether you are off to university or entering the job market, your life is about to change!
Here are some tips for what lies ahead:
1) Never stop learning. You don't have to go to university to learn and when you graduate there you shouldn't stop learning either. Life is full of lessons and there is always something that you didn't know before. Keep learning, keep growing and you will keep your mind fit while becoming a better version of yourself.
2) Learn how to manage your money. Money doesn't grow on trees - as you probably know by now - so it's very important that you learn how to get by with what you earn. If you see something you love and want or need but can't afford, save for it. Don't buy it on credit! By buying on credit you are setting yourself up for disaster in the future.
There are some exceptions, like buying property, a car, etc., but you have to check the monthly payments and be sure that you can actually afford it as well as your lifestyle.
Can't afford the new iPhone? Then settle for something you can afford - there are many other cellphones out there that can do everything you need from a cellphone without it being the latest and greatest.
Now is a great time to learn how to budget and stick to it! Make sure to leave room in your budget for savings as well.
3) Learn how to micromanage yourself. Out there nobody cares about you. Your lecturers aren't going to care whether you show up to class, did your homework, or study for a test. They will just fail you without even batting an eyelid. You have to be your own manager and get your priorities straight. No-one else will do it for you or hold you accountable. If you don't show up for work, is constantly late, or don't do your job with integrity you will be fired and no-one will care. Take charge of your own life and be responsible for your own choices.
4) Life is not like high school. Who you were, what you achieved, your social status in high school - none of this mat
ters in life. Nobody cares if you were on the first rugby team. If you were a nobody, you will find some like-minded friends soon. Your life isn't defined by high school and you have to earn your place in the world by proving you are reliable and have integrity. You can't rely on your high school status anymore.
5) Find a job you love. The best job is the one you feel guilty for being paid for. You will spend most of your life in the work force, so doing something you love is vital to your happiness. No amount of money can make you happy if you dread going to work and hate every moment of it. If you don't enjoy your work you will just do it to finish it whereas when you do enjoy it you will go beyond what is expected and be proud of your work. For mental health and a happy life do something you love and you will go to work with a smile and do your job with enthusiasm!
6) Find out who you are. In your twenties you are finding yourself and finding your place in the world. It can be a confusing time, but it's a learning curve. Speed up that learning curve with a Genetic Brain Profile. It is the best gift you can give yourself (or a perfect gift from your parents as you get ready to leave the nest). Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, the way you communicate, etc. is vital to your work relationships and it will also help you find the right job!
7) Don't get hung up on your high school mistakes. We all make mistakes in high school. You can't really blame yourself - the teenage brain is just a jumble of hormones and you might feel ashamed about some of the mistakes you made when your brain was jelly. The only person who remember them is you. It's in the past - move on! You will make new, better friends now and you have already learned from those mistakes.
8) If at all possible, go to university and stay in a university residence. It's not just about getting an education - the life lessons you learn there are incredibly valuable and you get to discover yourself in a relatively safe environment.
Your life is yours and you will write your own story from here on. The school chapters in your book doesn't matter to anyone else, but they have taught you many lessons about yourself. Stop blaming others for your misfortune, stop relying on others for your success.
Start your new chapter with enthusiasm and a go-getter attitude!
You alone are the author of your life!