The last four years of your life have gone by in a blur. It seems like only yesterday you were nervously stepping over the threshold of your high school and became low man on the totem pole. Now you are the big man (or girl) on top, a senior in high school, ready to graduate and move on to college.
Here are the top 10 things you should do before high school ends.
10. Realize that you will no longer be the big man (or girl) on top.
You are going to have to start all over again, being at the bottom of the food chain on campus. It will take some hand shaking, elbow rubbing, and even a few activities bordering on hazing to get out of your lowered status.
9. Learn about money.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, your mother’s part down her scalp is NOT the slot on a piggy bank, and sooner or later you’re going to have to get a job. Try one out now if you don’t already have one. You may have to change jobs when you get to college, but it’s worth a head start now.
Remember that no job is beneath you because everyone has to start out at the bottom and work their way up.
Learn how to write a check, balance your checkbook, and stop throwing away your bank statements. If you don’t have a bank account, get one! Start saving, you’re going to need it for textbooks, food, and not to mention, going out and having fun!
One more word on money: There will be a lot of opportunities to get easy credit cards in college. Don’t fall for it. You’ll have enough things to pay for without breaking the bank on new CDs or a big TV that you can’t afford. If you can’t afford it now, you can’t afford to pay it off in small doses either.
8. Learn how to do laundry and dishes.
No, you can’t use dish soap in the clothes washer OR the dishwasher, there’re specialized soaps for each of them.
- Learn how to sort laundry by colors, temperature washes, and cycles.
- Learn when to use what cycle, and what can and can’t go in the dryer, lest you wind up with a $300 cashmere sweater that is now fit for a small doll.
- Learn how to load a dishwasher correctly, you know, the way Mom wants you to, not the way you do.
A lot of college dorms don’t even have dishwashers, so better learn how to wash and dry by hand!
7. Learn how to cook.
There is no better joy in life than knowing how to cook, and cook well. We don’t mean macaroni and cheese from the box, either.
Yes, you can survive on Ramen your whole college career, but you won’t be any better for it.
Pick up a few good cookbooks from Alton Brown or Rachael Ray and start experimenting. Mom won’t mind as long as you clean up.
6. Learn how to clean up.
Your socks won’t walk themselves into the laundry bin on their own, and Mom’s kitchen won’t clean itself after you experiment making buffalo wings.
A clean dorm room will show people you take pride in yourself and therefore take pride in keeping a clean dorm room. It will also show people that you are responsible and have grown up a little.
5. Take time out for family and friends.
You may see your family and friends every day right now, but when you’re off to college, even if it’s close by, you will see them much less frequently.
Tell your family you love them every chance you get. You never know when someone won’t be there anymore.
While you’re at it, take the time to thank those who have made a difference in your life. Whether it’s Mom, Dad, another relative, a favorite high school teacher, or even your kindergarten teacher, take the time to thank them.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy schedules that so much time passes by so quickly, and we don’t stop and appreciate those who have supported us and made us who we are.
You may surprise them by doing so, but taking the time out to thank them, in a letter, phone call, email, or even in person, shows them how much they’ve truly impacted your life, and shows them how much they are appreciated.
Sometimes it can make all the difference in the world.
4. Go to Prom and party the whole weekend after, but be safe.
Even if you have no interest in dancing or the Prom, GO. You will have fun, we promise!
Afterward, go to the beach, the boardwalk, the mountains, wherever it’s popular for your school to go.
Hang out with your friends, and if you’re going to drink, please be safe, and don’t drive.
3. Get a yearbook, get pictures, make a journal or a scrapbook.
Take some time for holding onto the memories.
You may or may not go to your reunion in 10 or 40 years.
You may or may not remain friends with all of your high school friends, but make your memories last.
You’ll be telling stories of these times to your children someday.
2. If high school hasn’t taught you these things already, try and learn them now:
The U.S. isn’t the only country in the world, figure out what the rest are, where they are in relation to us, and who lives there.
You may never need advanced calculus in life, but you will need most basic math concepts, from counting to 21 in Las Vegas to measuring for your new windows, so make sure you learn as much math concepts as you can.
Learn how to really type without looking at the keyboard or hunting and pecking.
Learn how to use the internet: for researching, for news, for communicating in email, and for self-expression in blogs and other fun websites.
Learn how to read, speak, and write fluently and correctly. There’s a correct way to speak in each situation, with friends a btw or lol may be acceptable, but it is certainly not acceptable in schoolwork or the workforce.
Climate change IS real; try to find ways in which to lessen your global footprint.
1. Take time out for yourself.
Focus on a favorite hobby, or pick a new one. Read a book, pamper yourself, take a nap. Go to the beach, a theme park, go on a picnic, go to a party, and just have fun!
Remember as you get older, when your life is hectic, when you have a crazy work schedule, and eventually you have a family, you need to take the time out for yourself.
Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.
The Last Advice
You may not get to do all of these ten things before you graduate from high school, but certainly strive to do as many as you can.
These ten things will help you on your way as you grow and mature into adulthood, but there are a few, like prom, a yearbook, or making time for friends and family that you may regret not doing.
The last bit of advice we have for you to take with you in your final months of high school is this: this is your time, and it will go fast. Enjoy it.