The end of another school year is finally here! For most it’s a nice summer break before another year to come, but for some, this is the end of a long journey, the end of high school!! Graduating high school is quite the accomplishment and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But my hope for those graduating high school is for them to know it doesn’t end there, it shouldn’t end there. Sorry, but if there was anything that I wish I would’ve been told, or that I was told when I graduated high school but didn’t listen, it would be to keep going. You’re already used to the school routine, it already fits into your life, now is the time to keep going and get ahead! Do you know how many people take years off after high school before getting the degree that will launch their careers? Well, by 2020 the older students will comprise 19% in the classroom. That’s a huge number! Many of these older adults who go back to school have families, which makes it that much harder to go back to school.
A lot of people think that life right after high school is the time to party, that college can wait, or they are ready to get married and settle down. All I can say is, please don’t. Seriously, just don’t. You should be getting yourself in order before you bring in anyone else. You have a lot of growing to still do. The person who is your “high school sweetheart” is going to change and grow too…and sometimes that doesn’t mesh well. Yes, you have a lot more freedom now, but choose carefully and spend your time wisely. Your twenties are not to be taken lightly. This is not a time to sit around and say, “Well, I have plenty of time. I can go to school later. I can get my dream job later.” Why are you willing to waste your life to only have it be that much harder when “later” comes? This is a time for reflection, a time to decide what you want to do with your life and DO IT!
Why do I care so much? Well, because I’m there right now. I am speaking to you as a mother who is turning 38 this year, who is just finishing up her master’s degree. I took a year off of high school, got my AA in Paralegal Studies and then took about 12 years to go back to school to get my BA in Psychology which took 2 years…and then another 2 years for my Master’s in Psychology –Child & Adolescent Development. I really want to go after my PhD…but that’s another 6 years of school. There’s no time for a “break” if I wanted one, but I have a family that comes first and frankly, I’m tired of school right now. I’ve been going 4 years straight, and at this older age it’s just hard….really hard. Then I look back and realize if I would’ve kept going I would’ve finished by the time I was 25, that’s 5 years before I had my daughter! Let me tell you, it is HARD AS HELL to work full time, go to school full time AND raise a child!! Hard, but I did it because I had to…you don’t have to!
Now I understand that what you want to do when you’re 18 is probably going to be different than when you’re in your 30s. That’s what happened to me. But, by the time you want to make a change in your career later on, it is much easier to at least have the majority of your schooling done when you’re younger. If you want to go back and get your master’s degree or PhD because you’re 35 and want to up your game, that makes sense and is very doable! But when you’re 25 and decide that you should probably start thinking about going to school, you’re already behind all of those people who started when they were 18. The competition is fierce and now you’ll be on a time crunch! I know school isn’t for everyone, but if you have dreams of being a doctor, or being a professor or a therapist, the fact is you can’t get there without school! So you want to be a newscaster or sportscaster? Guess what, the schooling is going to put you ahead of everyone else. Again, the competition is fierce!
So while you are celebrating the end of another school year, keep in mind that you still need a plan, you still need that motivation and determination to set up a better life for yourself. I’m not saying you have to have it all figured out, but you can at least get started until you do.
A couple of more words of wisdom for those still in high school and those about to graduate:
“Tell them to keep up with his studies and to not fool around! High school passes by quickly” ~ Kelly
“Start saving for retirement with your first pay check, don’t spend more than you have because debt causes stress, always have a balance between work and play, and don’t get married for the first time until at least 30. LOL Travel and make lots of memories.” ~Lori
Blogger | Mom of 1 Stepmom of 5! | Psychology Grad | Life Motivator | Social Media Influencer | I ❤️ My LEO, our puggle Mossie & our 2 cats | all things Madonna ?