Tips and Advice for Summer Secondary School Leavers

by Tiffany Harper 4 months ago in student

After years of hard work, class rules, and standardized testing, you've graduated from high school...

Tips and Advice for Summer Secondary School Leavers

This is it… the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve written the final page of this chapter of your life, and you can’t wait to turn the page and start a new one.

The big question is… what are you going to do? Here is some advice for new high school graduates who are wondering what to do next.

1. For students going to college or university

Study institutions close for the summer vacation, just like schools. For the next 10 to 12 weeks, you are footloose and fancy-free. What will you do? You might be lucky enough to go on a short trip.

Even so, what will you keep yourself occupied with during the coming weeks and months? It might sound like a brilliant idea to sit around and do nothing. After all, you’re exhausted. But sitting idle is only fun for a while, and it soon becomes boring.

The transition from high school to college or university is rocky for a lot of students. Prepare yourself to go from being top dog to being at the back of the pack.

If you’re moving away from home, start thinking about what you need to take with you. It’s a good idea to start drawing up lists to make sure you don’t forget anything. The last thing you need is to strain your budget by having to buy things you could have brought from home.

The first few weeks of college are full of parties and social occasions. You might want to update your wardrobe for college. There will be specific equipment and appliances you need. These might include a new computer, tablet, or phone. What do these things have in common? They cost money! Secure a summer job to earn some money to buy what you need before you start college.

Start preparing for your course by doing some background reading. One of the things most new college students struggle with is critical thinking and research skills. You might also struggle with written assignments. Find out about best writing services sites and find a bid4papers review, top essay writing services review, assignment masters reviews, in case you need help.

2. For students entering the world of work

Some graduates will take on summer jobs to keep themselves busy. They take these jobs to earn extra money and pass the time. These jobs are highly unlikely to be in the field or industry they want to work in one day.

Other graduates are leaving high school and going straight into their first job, which will set them on their chosen career trajectory. It’s an exciting time. There’s nothing that will make you feel more adult than entering the workforce for the first time. But don’t expect it to be easy.

Your transition to working may be a very stressful time. You’re going to be a small fish in a huge pond, unlike when you were at high school. Going in and trying to make too much of a splash is not the way to go.

Take the time to acquaint yourself with the job requirements, the working environment, organizational culture, and employee working relationship dynamics. The first few weeks should be spent observing and learning. Your ability to function in a work environment relies not only on knowledge but also on your personal qualities.

Remember that you don’t know anything. While your opinion may have been relevant at high school, it probably won’t count for much at work at first.

You might have thought you were held to account for your actions at high school, but it goes to a whole new level when you work. You’re going to make mistakes, and some of them might have serious consequences. It’s important that you recognize your mistakes, accept responsibility for them, and do what is necessary to rectify them.

3. For students who will become interns and apprentices:

A lot of high school graduates opt to take an internship or apprenticeship. It is the ideal way to get work experience and on-the-job training. Part-time study is also possible. It is usually a requirement as part of your internship or apprenticeship.

As an intern or apprentice, you need to be prepared to do the work no one else wants to do when you start. An intern might be spending long hours in front of the copy machine. An apprentice will spend a lot of time cleaning tools or handing them to their supervisor. Be ready to do the less glamorous tasks. Doing them shows commitment, which indicates your desire to learn. This will endear you to your supervisor.

The point of an internship or apprenticeship is to observe and shadow your supervisor. It’s unlikely your supervisor is going to explain things more than once patiently. Keep a notebook and pen handy so that you can write important information down.

One of the things supervisors expect of interns and apprentices is the ability to work under pressure. Adhering to deadlines and remaining focused on the task at hand is vital. Supervisors also want their interns and apprentices to think independently and critically. Keep in mind that you are being assessed not only on your knowledge about the work but also on how you do it.

4. For students who haven’t made the final decision yet

A growing number of students are leaving high school without firm plans for the future. They are not alone. Not everyone leaves school knowing what they want. Making a big decision about your future when you’re still unsure is not advisable.

Don’t let anyone pressurize you into making immediate decisions about your future. A lot of college dropouts left because they realized they’d spent two years studying something they weren’t interested in pursuing.

A lot of high school graduates take a ‘gap year’ to decide what they want to do in the future. While there’s nothing wrong with taking your time to decide, use it productively. You’ll be surprised at the difference a year can make in the decisions you make for your future.

Spend time reflecting on who you are and what you want to achieve. You could do this by volunteering at a charitable organization. You can acquire a lot of the soft skills you need for adult life while you volunteer.

Some students choose to travel after school. Many do work like waiting tables or bartending while they travel to pay their way. Traveling is an excellent way to meet new people, learn new things, and find out things about yourself you didn’t know.

Explore different career options by talking to friends and family. They can offer you some valuable insight to help you make the final choice.

Some high school graduates leave school with a brilliant business idea. If you feel like that, try starting your own business. Take advantage of your idea before someone else does. Some of the world’s most famous billionaires like Richard Branson didn’t even finish high school, let alone go to college.


Leaving high school is one of the most exciting times of your life. You have a blank canvas and how you fill it is your decision. Life is full of obstacles and opportunities. Take advantage of them all and learn to be the very best version you can be. Regardless of the path you choose, apply yourself, and certain success awaits you.

Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Tiffany Harper

Tiffany Harper began her career as a journalist in the educational publishing house. Now she works as an experienced expert writer, mostly in education, business, and technology area. Please, contact her on Twitter.

See all posts by Tiffany Harper