Graduating from high school is one of the most highly anticipated and noteworthy moments in life. In terms of memorable stepping stones, it’s easily compared to attaining a college degree, being offered your first job, buying a home, and even getting married. While countless adults look back on their high school years fondly, the unfortunate truth is that too many people regret certain aspects of their youths. Looking back, it’s often easy to identify missed experiences and opportunities; hindsight is, after all, twenty-twenty. For those who have yet to complete this meaningful rite of passage, however, there’s still time to live this period of life to the fullest. Here are five things you should seriously consider doing before you graduate.
1. Participate in More School Activities
Upon reflection, many individuals wish they had been more involved in the activities and opportunities provided to them by their high schools. Prom, for example, may seem insignificant now, but choosing to skip it is a decision you can’t take back later. Likewise, extracurricular activities, such as basketball, band, and debate, help prepare you for success in college. You only get to enjoy things like this for free for a very short while; take advantage of them while you can.
2. Spend Time with Family and Friends
On the flip side, it’s also easy to get so caught up in your extracurriculars that you miss out on important, quality time with friends and family. There will be very few periods in your life when you will have this much free time to spend the way you choose. After high school, you can get bogged down by work, chores, and other daily responsibilities. Cherish the moments you have with those you care about. The memories you make with loved ones today will mean a lot to you in the future.
3. Sign Up for Auto Shop and Home Economics
Contrary to popular belief among teens, being an adult is hard. As you get older, there will be all sorts of requirements expected of you, including cooking for yourself and taking care of your car. Reliable transportation is an absolute must in today’s society and frozen pizzas will only get you so far. While focusing on academics is vital, it’s just as important to acquire useful life skills like these during high school. Taking an auto shop or home economics class now will make you more self-sufficient, save you money, alleviate future stress, and enable you to live a healthier lifestyle.
4. Focus on Building Healthy Habits
It may be hard to believe, but you won’t be this young forever. That’s why it’s so important to begin taking care of your body now. Starting to build healthy habits, like regularly brushing your teeth, running in the morning, and eating right, will set you up for a long and productive life. Don’t automatically assume you can make up for eating a whole pack of Oreo cookies when you’re older – it’s much more difficult to break a bad habit than it is to establish a good one.
5. Travel Abroad
When you’re in high school, it’s easy to forget there’s a much larger world out there. There are people who speak different languages, drastically diverse cultures, awe-inspiring historical monuments, and natural wonders that will take your breath away. With so many things to see and experience, it’s utterly impossible to do it all. That’s why you need to start now. Whether you travel through a study abroad program or with family on a vacation, visiting another country at least once before you graduate will open your eyes to what the world around you truly has to offer.
Contributed by Amanda Vosloh Bowyer