After graduating from high school, many seniors go straight to college. While there’s nothing wrong with going from high school straight to college, this path is the right one for everyone. Just because you’ve graduated high school, that doesn’t mean that you need to immediately pack up and head off to an institution for higher learning. Here are 6 things that you can do after graduating high school that don’t involve going straight to college.
Finally graduating high school gives you freedom from homework, exams, and extracurriculars. With fewer responsibilities, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a gap year and travel. Traveling abroad allows you to immerse yourself in cultures you’ve never experienced and see sights you may have only ever seen in photos before.
Traveling right after high school is perfect. You don’t have the same responsibilities as other adults. While you can still travel when you’re older, it’s much easier to do when you’re young.
Get a Job
College is expensive. Even if you want to go, you might not have the funds to do so. You also may not want to take out student loans.
Instead of going straight to college, you can get a job and start saving. Setting money aside for college will help you to avoid expensive student loans that you might otherwise spend years paying off. This can help to set you up for greater financial freedom in the future.
Start Your Own Business
If you have an idea for a new product or service, why not use your newfound freedom to start your own business? If you don’t yet have a full-time job, you’ll have the time to devote to developing your ideas and getting your business off the ground. It may be a difficult path to follow, but if you have some money saved up and someone to help guide you, you may be able to bring your business idea to life.
Take an Internship Opportunity
You might not yet know what you want to do after graduating from high school. Not everyone does, and that’s okay. While college can give you some opportunities to explore your options, you can also explore potential paths with some real-life experience.
Taking an internship position gives you the chance to try on a career before you commit to it. This way, you can make sure it’s something you really want to do before you start spending thousands on a college degree. If you end up not liking the career, at least you have some experience that you can apply to other opportunities.
Do Something for You
You’ve spent years working on class assignments, studying for tests, and trying to impress others. Rather than continuing to do the same thing again by going straight to college, take some time to focus on you. Use this time to focus on something truly important to you. Focus on your passion and develop the skills you might not have been able to do when you were deep in classwork. Try something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to. You may find something you really love (and that you’re really good at) that you never knew before.
Another option to give you some real-life experience is to volunteer with a non-profit organization. While you may have done some volunteer work while in high school, you’ll have much more time to give the following graduation. Research organizations in your area and devote your time to a cause that you’re passionate about. In addition to helping to make a difference, you’ll also be able to gain some valuable experience that you put on a college application later or apply toward your future career. You may even find that working for the non-profit is the right position for you.
Graduating high school doesn’t necessarily mean your next step is going to college. There are plenty of things that you can do instead. College isn’t going anywhere. If you want, you can always apply and work towards a college degree later.