What We Wish We’d Known about Graduating High School

You'll learn many lessons after graduating high school.

Bevan Von Weichardt / Shutterstock.com

Congratulations on graduating high school!

It’s time to say goodbye to your favorite teacher, clean out your locker, and enjoy your last hallway huddle. Rejoice in your final standardized test and celebrate that the school monitor no longer is able to confiscate your cell phone. You’re free!

It’s all bittersweet, isn’t it? At Student Caffé, we know the feeling, because we were there not too long ago (though, not recently enough to tell you how long ago). We remember saying goodbye to the simple days and the tinge of sadness knowing that everyone is going in different directions. Leaving high school for the real world can be tricky, of course, and there are some new things on the horizon you’re going to wish someone warned you about. So, our writing staff is here to tell you what we wish we’d known when we graduated.

Invest in a good set of suitcases.

Chances are, you’ll do so much traveling in the years after high school that you’ll want to have some sturdy suitcases of your own at your disposal. I wish I’d gotten mine as soon as I graduated high school, but I’m making up for lost time. My new ones have helped me move dorm buildings, cities, and countries. -- Gwen

After graduating high school, invest in suitcases. This cat is enjoying one!


Google will be your best friend.

You have a lot to learn that won’t happen in the classroom. After high school, you begin learning things like how to do your taxes, change a tire, and fill out all kinds of paperwork. It’s okay, though. As frustrating as those responsibilities might sound, you’ll gain a newfound respect for hard work (and downtime). -- Katelyn

Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live says "Oh, ze things I have Googled."

Saturday Night Live / Giphy

You don’t have to party to find a good set of friends.

In fact, the people you meet when you’re out partying are less likely to become good friends than the girls you study with, the people you meet in extracurriculars, or the other students in your freshman dorm. Going out on a Friday night can be fun and exciting, but your real friends are the ones who you can talk to when you’re sober. -- Megan C.

Zendaya and Bella Thorne talk about how they connect.

Zendaya and Bella Thorne / Giphy

Community college isn’t as easy as you might think.

Don’t commit to working 30 hours a week before knowing what you’re getting yourself into with school. If you get halfway through the semester and realize that your plate’s full and you’ve underestimated the gravity of community college, you’re going to be in trouble. -- Katelyn

Malcolm X smacks a book and removes his glasses.

Malcolm X / Giphy

You’ll lose touch with a lot of high school friends, and that’s okay.

The ones you keep in touch with are the ones you’ll keep in touch with for the rest of your life. -- Gwen

Two skeleton hands reaching out of graves and high fiving


Just a friendly reminder, you don’t need to decide on a major or career path just yet.

Take your time to figure out what you love, then decide. -- Katelyn

High School Musical characters dancing in the rain

High School Musical / Giphy

The chances of your high school relationship lasting through college are slim to none.

It happens, but you will change so much and meet so many new people that it’s not worth it to be tied to someone who you met when you were a sophomore or junior in high school. Breaking up is hard, obviously, but your college social life will thank you for it and you’ll be free to grow up, learn who you are, and explore other romantic options. -- Megan C.

Aria from Pretty Little Liars says "You were right. There was never a happy ending for us."

Pretty Little Liars / Giphy

It gets much better than high school. It just does.

-- Gwen

Daria says "From my experience, high school sucks" after graduating high school.

Daria / Giphy

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