It’s that time of year again: high school graduation. If you’re finally walking the stage instead of watching your siblings or friends, then you know that the ceremony is a pretty big deal. Moving on from a school where you likely spent the last several years of your life is an even bigger one, and it’ll take more than a ceremony to completely transition out of it. To help, here’s a list of tips that can help you tie up loose ends and smoothly ease out of high school.
1. Write Thank You Notes
This one is pretty self-explanatory. But whether or not you already planned on giving out thank you notes to your teachers and coaches, there’s one group that usually gets missed: non-teaching staff. Give notes to your cafeteria workers, front desk attendants, custodians, librarians, etc. Better yet, buy a card so that all your friends can sign it. And if you know that any of the staff speak another language, try to write a short note for them in their language!
2. Be Honest
You’re graduating soon—that means you will probably never see most of the people you went to high school with, except maybe at the occasional reunion. Do your best to let go of any anxieties you have about how others receive you. Be honest to yourself, your friends, and everyone else at your school. Compliment others genuinely and frequently. Call people out if they’re being rude or intolerant. If there’s a misunderstanding, work to resolve it. Just don’t stop yourself from doing something out of fear or looking weird or making waves.
3. Check In With Your High School
Chances are your high school has already asked for information on where you’ll be headed in the fall. But it’s still your responsibility to check that they are sending your final transcript to your school, as well as any other documents they might need. It’s also a good idea to let your school know if you’re willing to come back for any alumni events, such as assemblies where you may be asked to speak about your college experience or give tips on applying for financial aid.
1. Serve Some ~Looks~
Congratulations, it’s the big day! Now it’s time to look your best. Even if the graduation ceremony isn’t a big deal to you, just think about all the heads you want to turn. Make all your classmates wish they were you, and every parent wish that you were their kid. Just make sure it’s comfortable, because you’ll be in it for a while!
2. Congratulate Band/Orchestra/Choir Director
I know that this is the day where everyone is supposed to congratulate you, but just hear me out. If one of your school’s music programs is playing for the ceremony, there’s a fair chance that the director may not be getting paid any extra for doing so. And they’ll likely be there for a while after the event finishes to help clean up the chairs and music stands, so there will definitely be a chance for you to squeeze back in and congratulate them on the performance!
3. Take Some Photos
This is another one that probably seems obvious, but here’s your extra shove. Even if you’re camera shy, you should still take the post-ceremony opportunity to take photos with your friends and family. And if there’s someone that you want to take a photo with, but are too nervous to ask for whatever reason, just go for it!
1. Save Your Final Transcript
Even though your school is sending your final transcript to your future institution, you should still have an unofficial copy saved for yourself. Because final transcripts typically aren’t released until after graduation, you should email your school afterward to request a copy. This way you can have it handy for scholarships, internships, or anything else that pops up unexpectedly.
2. Do A Social Media Cleanse
As much as we would like to believe that we followed our classmates on social media to feel closer to them, the truth is that probably didn’t know any of them beyond a surface level. Taking the time to go through your friends list and finally delete people that you barely even talked to, no matter how nice you would always be to each other, will be a huge weight off your shoulder.
3. Burn Your Homework
What better way to celebrate the end of an era than by (literally) watching it burn away? Collect all the homework, assignments, and notes you still have (making sure to take out anything you want to keep) and invite your friends over for a burning homework party! Put your favorite songs on blast and feel all the stress from high school melt away in the best way possible.
After spending many stressful years in high school, finally getting to leave sounds like the simplest thing in the world. But if we get caught up in the rush of freedom, it can be easy to ignore the idea of taking things slow. But whether you’re graduating this tomorrow or in two weeks, there’s still time to make each remaining moment count.
Congratulations Class of 2018!
Lead Image Credit: Dani Vivanco