By: Mel Sundquist
Issue Date: 3/24/08
Unfortunately, for many people, graduation isn’t the end of high school.
Even though they move on to college and get jobs, they still might as well be planning club events and going to prom.
On television, the transition between high school and college is a complete and obvious change; but in real life, it sometimes seems anti-climactic and hard to recognize.
This leads to a pattern of denial, where graduates ignore the fact that their high school years are far behind them. This must be avoided at all costs. And here’s how:
1. Change your activities. If you were a drama geek in high school, find another hobby. Don’t eat lunch every day at your old favorite off-campus haunt. In the end, we are made up of what we do every day; and if your activities don’t change, neither will your mindset. You must live like you are officially not a high school student.
2. Have goals, not just hopes. In high school, it’s easy to say “One day I’m going to be a (insert dream occupation here).” But now, you’ve got to get past that and actually do some work to get to where you want to be. You no longer have an excuse to remain stagnant.
3. Never go back. Even if you made friends with the sophomores and you want to watch the football games, you must not allow yourself to be on campus again. Don’t date anyone who is still in high school. Don’t even associate with them. Ignore that the institution exists, if need be.
4. Associate with older people. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that you no longer need to sit at the kiddie table. You can stay up past curfew. You can smoke, drink and gamble. Convince yourself that you are an adult, and should therefore associate with other adults.
5. Move out of your parent’s house. Sure, it’s tough. Nobody wants to do his or her own laundry or buy groceries. But you can only grow up so much without moving out.
6. Change your wardrobe. An important aspect to moving on is looking like you have moved on. If you dress like a high school student, you are going to be treated like one. This doesn’t mean that it’s strictly collared shirts and nylons from here on out. You should make a physical distinction between yourself and the local high school students.
7. Get it out of your system. Even though it may seem that after graduation you should make drastic changes, give yourself some time to adjust. Don’t buy houses and have babies immediately. Give yourself a year or so to remove yourself completely from high school before doing anything too extreme.