This Is For You High School Grads

First off let me congratulate all of you class of 2017!  You are now going out into a real cold world and I would like to share with you some suggestions in the hopes that you’ll stay on track.   Of course you will at times run into rough patches however since I’ve been around awhile & I’ve taken many wrong turns with my own life I want to provide some suggestions in the hopes that it may help you with transitioning out in the world.   Now, with that said here is the number one thing you should be doing.   Either go to school i.e. University, community college, or learn a trade.   Usually you can learn the trade at the community college, or go to a state accredited trade school.  Steer clear of those “for profit schools”  such as Pima Institute, or any place that has the word “institute” in it or any so called school not state accredited.  What happens is that financial aid won’t cover all the way over priced tuition so whats left for you is those burdensome student loans which you don’t EVER want to pay back.   If possible tuition should be paid one of three ways:

1. Grants

2. Scholarship

3. Out of pocket ( or have parents pay if that’s feasible)

I would HIGHLY recommend some form of schooling for as long as possible e.g. if you choose college study all the way through to at least a masters degree.  If the option of a trade is appealing to you I would recommend an apprenticeship program, however I would recommend some community college courses in math prior to applying.   If math is what your great at, and you don’t wish to pursue the college path then apply straight for the apprenticeship programs.   I would recommend trying to live at home for awhile but if that isn’t an option check into some youth programs in your local area for possible independent living programs.   Look into that do your research.   I had NO ONE guide me, talk to me, or anything when I graduated high school.  I was ignored, no one listened to me, I didn’t know how to communicate with the adults I knew b/c all they did was talk down, insult, or become hostile & abusive towards me.  It got to the point where I couldn’t trust any of the adults around me.   Even the high school teachers, counselors didn’t seem to bother with any kind of guidance they weren’t exactly approachable.   No joke.  Avoid going into the military unless there really isn’t a whole lot of other options for you or if joining the military is something you really want that may include those of you who are lucky enough to gain an appointment into one of the nations military academies if that is what you want go for it kids.   Believe me I understand this all too well.  You may live in a very rural town with not a lot of options or anyone to really go to for some consultation due probably to the fact that the people you are surrounded with don’t really know too much.   I would recommend the Air Force as a possible branch but you will need to get tested, then pass a psychological test.  It’s not easy.  Just make sure you pick job that you like then if you do well your first tour which usually lasts between 2-4 years stay in for as long as possible (20 years usually) to earn a pension.  It would be worth it, you can go to college + there are other benefits.   I’m telling you all this because I planned poorly in my younger life b/c I was scared, didn’t know anything, and had no one to talk to nor someone to ask questions that may have helped me along .   Luckily I’m now beginning to get my life on track.   Now is the time youngsters to begin maturing emotionally and start down that road because trust me you don’t want to end up on that treadmill of dead end jobs or work the same mindless dead job year in year out.  Whatever place you are at in your life as a teen, if you didn’t finish getting that high school diploma then get that GED then keep on learning going to school or learning a trade or whatever.  If you just barely made it but did graduate high school that’s okay too get your butt to a community college.    If there are problems at home and you need to leave see if the military ( preferably navy or air force) might be an option and do your best to get some support to get some kind of temporary lodging remember go to the computer search engine for help, go to a friend, maybe a relative.  If you have a little part time job try to stick it out for as long as possible, if living at home is an option & you get along with your family chip in what you can for utilities.

I wish I had something like this when I graduated but there was no internet.  No really there wasn’t any internet.  The internet was first available sometime in 1991 (according to Google) so I had NO ONE telling me, guiding me.   It was horrible.  At least there are more resources available today & it seems that perhaps teachers + school admin give more support than when I was in school.   I didn’t grow up in the great depression era, but it was still a deprived education system nonetheless.

Good luck grads!  It won’t be an easy road but than again nothing in life ever is. 

Next time I’ll talk about college housing but some of you may already know about that for  those of you headed to University this Fall.