What to do to after graduating from high school?

Published 10:39 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

Q. I’m a young man excited about graduating from high school but, honestly, I have no clue what to do after I graduate. What now?

A. Congratulations on almost graduating from high school. That is an accomplishment all by itself, so don’t stop and don’t give up.

I also want to commend you on thinking about your life’s direction and purpose. Don’t beat yourself up too badly. There are many people your age and a lot older who don’t know what they want to do when they grow up either. It is not uncommon to have these feelings.

Many young people feel anxious and excited about graduating from high school and college. You are excited because you are finally at the end of completing a long journey, but you want to be ready for the next step. However, many people feel anxious too because they don’t know what the future holds.

Guess what? No one knows. However, we can plan as best as possible and point ourselves in the direction of success.

I want to encourage you while you are still in school to take advantage of school resources such as your guidance and school counselors.

The guidance counselor is trained to help you look at colleges, whether it be a trade school, a community college or a 4-year university.

The guidance counselor can also help you explore other options such as joining the military or the reserves. He or she should also talk to you about making yourself employable, i.e. helping you prepare a resume, helping you to dress for success, and teach you good interviewing skills.

The school counselor is trained to help you deal with any anxiety you might be feeling about transitioning into a new part of your life and any other barriers.

Hopefully, reaching out to these two trained professionals in your school will help you to feel motivated and also help you to develop a plan for your future.

As you are developing your plan, don’t be afraid to seek out mentors whether it be a parent, a member of your community, a member of your church, or perhaps a relative that went to college, joined the military or owns a business.

A mentor can be anyone you look up to that will offer you guidance at times like this.

I am so excited for you and I say to you what I say to my students, do great things!

DR. CARLETTA N. PERRY has a doctorate in clinical psychology, with specialties in marriage and family. She is a professor of psychology, a therapeutic life coach and relationship expert, as well as author, radio and television host and entrepreneur. Catch her new television show, “It’s Life Changing with Dr. Carletta Perry,” on Sundays at 11 p.m. on WSKY/SKY-TV Channel 4. Email your own questions for this feature to contact@drcarlettaperry.com.