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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
It gets much better than high school. It just does.
Extreme Makeover: High School Résumé Edition
What Makes College So Different from High School?
Why You Should Participate in Extracurricular Activities during High School
Do This, Not That: The Summer Before College
Preparing for AP and IB Exams: Advice from Student Caffé
Using Your Winter Break Wisely in High School
Finishing High School Strong: What to Do after You’ve Been Accepted
Preparing for Standardized Tests
Finding a Summer Job in High School
Why It’s Important to Prepare for College in High School
Things I Wish I Knew before I Left for College
Community College: The Unsung Hero of Higher Education