Advice for Graduating Seniors

Well, you've finally made it. In the blink of an eye, four long, hard years are nearly over. Congrats on surviving high school. Before you disappear into the future and cease visiting websites like this one, we figured we'd send you off with a few last nuggets of advice. Some of these are concrete actions and some are merely ideas. Heed what you'd like and ignore the rest (i.e. welcome to adulthood)!

Practice creating a budget. Once you leave for college or begin your post high school career, you'll likely have more control over your finances. You want to be aware of your spending habits and how much you'll need for both necessities and social outings. Learn how to carefully manage your money so you can avoid unnecessary debt.

Purchase some professional attire. Crossing the dais in your high school auditorium doesn't mean you need to begin dressing formally or act like you could be pulled into a conference room at any time. However, it's a good idea to have a few items you could wear to an interview, an office, a meeting with a dean, etc. You never know when an opportunity will arise and you want to be able to show up looking mature, professional and like someone who should be taken seriously.

Don't be afraid to fail. Sure, this might sound a little cliché but it's important nonetheless. If you want to grow and evolve (in your career and life at large), it's vital that you take risks and engage with new ideas and experiences. Some of these opportunities will pan out. Others might implode in your face. All of these occasions will be valuable.

Craft a resume. Whether you're heading to college or the working world, you'll find you need a resume sooner or later. If you haven't already done so, consider typing one up now. Even if you don't have a big work history, it's good practice. And you'll appreciate having a template to work from when you do begin applying to jobs and/or internships.

Foster relationships with professors (and other possible mentors). Don't simply put in your time in the classroom and then disappear. You want to build relationships with your professors. They can provide greater insights than their lesson plans. Indeed, instructors can offer emotional support along with life and professional advice. You never know where friendships with professors can lead. And you'll certainly be able to use them for recommendations for future jobs and graduate school applications.

Don't be afraid to change your major. College is all about exploring new topics and ideas. You might arrive with one set of ideals, dreams and notions but graduate with others. Know that it's okay to change course. Follow your passions and you'll be okay!

Approach less desirable jobs with a good attitude. It's rare that our first jobs are our dream jobs. Heck, sometimes our fifth or sixth jobs aren’t that much closer. However, even if you're washing dishes or just putting invoice sheets into the correct numerical order, it's important to approach every gig diligently and with a smile. Don't underestimate the people you meet and the connections you might make while you're slinging burgers. These relationships could play a large role in your professional (or personal) life down the line.
As we said before, you can take or leave our advice. However, we find these are pretty good rules to follow.

Congrats and good luck!

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