What Happens After High School: Helping and Guiding Teens

Graduating from high school is a major milestone in life. Many teens look forward to it but are still on the fence on what to do afterward. Parents have to do their responsibility and give them possible options for their future so they can choose. Here are some potential choices on what they can do.

Go To College

The obvious path is to go to college. But that has its challenges. The decision to go to college is not simple. If your child does want to go to college, then they will need to start preparing for it early. College applications are usually made months before graduation, and those will take quite a few resources. They also need to decide on what college to choose. This is not an easy decision, so you will need to sit down with them to determine what they want to study and whether they can afford it.

Some students plan for college several years ahead of time. They do their best to perform academically so that they have the qualifications for the right college and even apply for scholarships.

Take Time Off To Work

A high school diploma is all you need for some jobs. If your teen wants to, they can enter the workforce immediately. But this is not an easy move since a higher education assures employees a higher initial wage. Your teen can get into some jobs that don’t require formal education and develop a career from there. If your child is talented, then they can start their careers early. Artists, musicians, and others have gone down this path. For example, a skilled guitarist can start offering lessons to children. While not as profitable as formal work, it does allow for maximum flexibility.

Choose Another Educational Path


College is not the only way to learn. There are other educational institutions that they can try out. For example, there are trade schools that provide people with essential training on how to do various jobs. These schools have a shorter training time and focus on giving people the essential skills so that they can start working a lot faster. Instead of the usual four-year course, they can get certification and start working in just two years. They can start even earlier in some professions. To illustrate, a nursing school might offer to give students on-the-job training as well as the usual classroom courses.

There are also internships and apprenticeships. While not a formal school environment, your teen can potentially learn a lot of things from working with an expert. By the time they are done with their training period, they should also have earned quite a bit of money.

Take A Year Off

Many teens take a gap year to decide on what to do. While this can potentially slow down their academic career, it can also have great benefits. For one, it will allow them to get a handle on their identity and what they want to do. While the usual gap year experience is traveling abroad, they can also do it at home. The main idea behind it is to decompress and figure things out after all the years of schooling. They are technically a few years off from being adults, so allowing them to stretch their wings a bit can help a lot in determining their identity.

Go Into Public Service

Another option that usually doesn’t come up is public service. Your child has a choice to sign up for the Peace Corps or the military. Military service may seem grueling and risky, but it does provide a lot of benefits that they can use to their advantage. As long as they pass the physical requirements, then they will have a secure source of employment for years and enjoy several bonuses at the end of their enlistment. Peace Corp volunteering is not as good as the military, but it does have its perks. It allows your child to travel the world and help out, all for free. It would be good for teens who want to have some direction in their life and need to experience the world.

While college is the tried-and-trusted path, there is something to be said about the other options out there. Considering them ensures that your child has thought through their decision. They can even mix-and-match. After all, college is not going away, and they can sign up for it later after they have explored the other paths in life. With how free the world has become, they should have the freedom to try things out before they become full adults.

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