10 Tips For Graduating High Schoolers


2015 is a different world than the one I entered when I finally got out of high school. Jobs back then were a bit more plentiful and folks with college degrees were more apt to start careers that were connected to their college studies. The job market today is not as bad as a few years ago after the economic debacle of 2007, but to say the economy is in great shape is simply not true. There are lots of jobs that are basically part time deals with absolutely no benefits. Insurance and a retirement plan used to be a given with a new job. That is the rarity in today’s new economy.

What should young people do to get ready for the real world? Here are a few tips to help them navigate the world that is waiting on them like a minefield.

  1. Put them big boy or girl pants on. Life as a minor is pretty easy for most of you. Things are fixin’ to get a bit tougher.
  2. Be prepared to work more hours than you would like. Unless you are a miser, good for you if so, you will need plenty of income for all the shiny items in this world.
  3. You won’t be the same person after college that you are as a graduating high schooler. The same is true for every few years you manage to stay alive. Keep that in mind with each and every decision.
  4. You don’t have to study the same things everyone else does in college. Lawyer pay is great if you’re only interested in money. Just keep in mind that the rest of your life is a long time to work a job you are not into.
  5. Better become an expert at insurance and medical costs. These costs play a huge role in how much money you will be able to set aside.
  6. The internet is awesome, but real people in the real world get things done. That includes how you get hired, advance your career, and get help when needed. Twitter is great, but probably won’t help you get out of a dead end job.
  7. Stay sharp and keep adapting. The job skills you have today will not be the same as the ones in demand in five years.
  8. Don’t take your parents for granted. They are not to be used as an ATM! Trust me, they have likely sacrificed more than you can possibly realize already.
  9. Get tougher. Saying that kids aren’t as tough as older generations has always been a theme, but it is true. I can’t tell you how many young people I see that want things handed to them on a platter. Assume people will knock that mythical platter off the table instead of handing it to you.
  10. Expect nothing. Expectations are a good way to trip yourself up in general. We all try to bend the world to the way we would like things. It is much easier to go with the flow. Water in a river doesn’t stress out over the twists and turns ahead. It simply rolls along and takes things as they come.
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Shane McLendon
Wannabe geek and FLOW Seeker