Worst Mistakes Teenagers Make After High School Ends
Growing up is tough, but it can be a whole lot tougher if you don't check out today's new blog! Find out the worst mistakes teens make after finishing high school so you can avoid them and go on to lead a happy and successful life!
You're 18, you've just graduated- and one wrong move can ruin your life. But don't worry, because we have your back on how to avoid disasters and painful lessons you'd otherwise only learn the hard way. Mistake #1 – Rush, rush and more rush! You've probably been getting it from your parents starting your junior year, and it only got worse as graduation approached. What are you going to do with your life? It comes from a good place- your parents want you to be set up for success- but it can be a huge trap and massive pitfall when you get pressured to jump straight into your future! Modern life makes it seem like you have to go straight to college after high school, because if you're not a success by 25 then you're going to be a lifelong failure.
That may have been true in years past, but modern life is much more flexible, and it's become more and more socially acceptable to not have a dedicated career path until your late 20s or even early 30s. Take it from your elders- few people know what they want to do with their life when they're 18 years old. Your parents may have grown up in a world where they had to have their entire future planned out as soon as they graduated high school, but that doesn't mean you have to as well. It's ok to take some time to yourself and figure things out, and luckily there are plenty of opportunities to do just that while still developing as a person and earning a living. If you live in America, you have the option of joining the military for a few years, and you also get to enjoy the best benefits of military service anywhere in the world. The Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines have a minimum service length of 4 years, with the Army and Navy having 2-year commitments available with certain caveats. During those four years, you'll receive free housing, free food, free medical, on-the-job training in a variety of fields- some of which will be very attractive to civilian employers- and free education while in active service. After your honourable discharge, you'll also receive the MGI Bill, which will pay for your education while paying expenses as you study, including money for rent and food. Four years may seem like a lot of time, but if you join at 18 you can get out at 22 and have your education paid for at any school you want, being one of the few American students to graduate with no debt. But that's if you don't just get your degree while enlisted, which is something the military highly encourages you to do. Plus, depending on your career field, you can come out with years of experience in a variety of technical fields- which puts you light years ahead of civilians applying for the same job. The best part though might be just having the time to grow as a person and figure out what you want to do in life. If the military is not for you though, there's always the Peace Corps or even Job Corps. Both US government programs are designed to help young people figure out what they want to do in life, and can provide very valuable real-life experience. These are only three examples, but there are plenty of things you can do with yourself while you take a few years to figure things out.
So don't let anyone pressure you into deciding your fate as soon as graduation hits- it's ok to be a late bloomer and you don't want to get stuck in a career you hate. Our next biggest mistake happens when you take too long to figure things out though. Mistake #2 – Procrastination Trap It's pretty stressful to think about leaving high school and jumping straight into college for even more schooling. You've been a student for 12 straight years, and the last thing most people want to do is another four years of even more studying. That's why many teens take a year or two off- but be careful you don't fall into the procrastination trap. It goes something like this- you're not ready to go to college, so you get an entry-level job at a local fast food place. Your parents are probably a bit upset, but you're earning your own money and soon you move out into your place. You're just going to take a year, you tell yourself, but then three years later you're still working at Mcdonald's and spending your weekends licking Cheeto dust off your shirt while sitting in the queue to join the next Fortnite match. You're now 21 years old and living with four other roommates, and still telling yourself you'll start taking life seriously next year. It's fine to take some time to figure your future out, but the convenience of modern life and the rush of freedom you get when you move out of your parent's house can be a fatal trap. Try and set some goals for yourself, as well as some hard deadlines- and if you're afraid of going to school for the wrong thing, don't fret about it so much. It's never been easier to retrain into a different career field, and often your previous degree can earn you credits towards a different degree. The next worst mistake you can make is taking childhood commitments too seriously. Mistake #3 – Puppy Love You met in high school and it was instant sparks. Two years later you're about to graduate and you just can't picture your life without this person in it, so as soon as you've ripped off your cap and gown, it's time to hop into a tux or wedding dress and hit your nearest church. But pump the brakes there, because jumping feet first into a lifelong commitment with a high school sweetheart might be the biggest mistake of your life. Love can make us think and feel crazy things... like the fact that this person is the only one for you in the entire world. But it's a pretty big world out there, trust us, and to be perfectly honest- you don't know what you're talking about. Think about it, you've been a mature adult for maybe a year, and almost your entire life experience to this point has been dictated by the adults in your life. Unless you were raised by wild wolves, you've pretty much spent your entire life living with family, obeying their rules, doing the things they did, etc.
What we're trying to say is that you haven't had a chance to develop your own identity yet. You have no idea who you are as a teenager. You simply haven't lived enough to figure out an independent identity, and neither has your significant other. Jumping straight into a lifetime of marriage together when you haven't even figured out who you are as people yet is one of the biggest mistakes high schoolers make after leaving school. So pump the brakes and take it slow, give it a few years and let your lives settle a bit. Ideally, wait until you're out of college to even consider getting married. If you both have managed to survive all the maturing and developing experiences of your early 20s together, then congratulations because you've probably got what it takes to go the distance. But if you rush into something straight out of high school, you're in for a rude awakening as you both grow up and realize you're completely different people than when you first met. Or even worse, one or both of you can make your entire relationship your identity- and that's extremely toxic. So give it a breather, if it's a real love it'll still be there once you've figured things out. The next worst mistake might be responsible for more derailed lives than any other on this list. Mistake #4 – Too Much Freedom If you're watching this and still living at home, you probably can't wait to finally be out there on your own, out from under your parent's thumb. If you're watching this and have already moved out of your parent's home, well, you're probably wishing you still had free rent and utilities right about now. Moving out is great, and being independent is great. The United States is still one of the few nations in the world where young adults are so independent; in many countries, children are expected to stay at home until they get married- even if it takes until their thirties or if it never happens in all! But this is America, home of the bald eagle, the monster truck, the monster-truck-driving bald eagle, and moving out of the house at age 18.
For better or worse, Americans are fiercely independent, a fact that comes with many positives and just as many negatives. But all that freedom can ruin your life if you abuse it. Turns out your parents had rules for a reason, and partying all night until five in the morning can seem pretty awesome until you're showing up late to work and get fired. Your parents probably didn't let you throw any parties while you were in high school, and the first party you throw that results in expensive property damage is going to show you the wisdom of their ways. They probably also moderated how much time you were allowed to watch tv or play video games, and those rules won't make sense until you wake up one day and realize how much of your life you've wasted, and the responsibilities you've ignored, because you were too busy 360 no scoping noobs all day. Freedom is great, but too much of it can be toxic if you don't have the common sense to control yourself. It might be fun to get wasted all the time or spend every waking second playing your video games on the computer box, but you'll soon regret it when you lose your job or start developing some seriously unhealthy habits- which can take your entire life to fix. So go out and enjoy your independence, but remember that your parents gave you rules as a kid for a reason, and practice moderation. The next biggest mistake is probably the one that even teenagers who have avoided all four previous mistakes still fall for and it will ruin your life. Mistake #5 – Not Planning For The Future Alright, let's say you've managed to avoid the pitfalls we've listed so far. You're either working or going to college, got your wits about you, and aren't overdoing it on the partying. Are you thinking about your future though? In your teens and twenties, life can feel infinitely long.
You've got decades and decades ahead of you, and the furthest thing from your mind is going to be things like retirement or future health issues. But that's a fatal mistake which will cause you a lot of pain much faster than you can imagine. First, let's talk money- if you're a student you're probably not going to be earning an income. But if you're working, are you taking any steps to ensure your future? The average retirement costs about 48 grand a year, but by the time you are ready to retire, you can expect this figure to rise significantly. So don't make one of the most common mistakes young people make and simply blow through your cash as soon as you make it. Living paycheck to paycheck is a great way to ensure that one day you'll have nothing to retire on. But disasters can strike at any time, and if you've got no savings, you better have a very generous family or friends, because some financial disasters can be impossible to come back from. You don't have to do much to help secure your future, simply get into the habit of putting away 10% of everything you earn into a savings account- and then don't touch it. Even better, find a way to invest it and leave that investment in for the long term.
Your bank can help you explore many of these options, but investing on your own has never been easier thanks to a plethora of financial apps- just make sure you know what you're putting your money into. But money is only half the equation because your health matters more than you know. Sure, you're in your teens or early twenties, so you probably feel invincible. But your body is breaking down every single second as you march inexorably ever forward into the empty abyss that awaits you at the bottom of a cold, dark grave. Your very DNA is slowly accumulating errors that have placed a very real ticking clock on your life, and as that clock winds down your body is going to suffer for it. Try and build healthy habits now while you're young so that you'll hang on to them later in life when you'll need them. Getting exercise and adopting a yoga routine will help you keep your body well-maintained, which may not mean much to you now but you'll be grateful the moment you hit your thirties that you've been treating your body kindly. Ageing will hit you like a semi doing 80 on a runaway truck ramp, and if you don't take care of your health now your body will be ruined in a decade or two.
A healthy diet, a good stretching routine, and some aerobic exercise will do wonders to keep the ravages of ageing away and ensure your body remains healthy and strong for a long time to come. Plus, it will seriously reduce the need for doctor's visits and medication- a cost that will increase exponentially throughout your life. So being healthy now is not just good for your body, but your bank account too. And lastly, wear sunscreen with moisturizer. Just do it- trust us on this one, your skin will thank you.