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LIfe After High School by Megan Costanzo

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Wondering about life after high school? There is not always a clear path to follow, and independence comes with challenges, but overcoming them is possible. Some of these challenges include managing time and budgeting finances, and trying new things and having a strong support system is also advised. With the help of some friends that have recently graduated, let’s find out  what everyday life is like together! 

Morro Bay High School alumni, Adam Rainbolt (2021) and Marissa Dinsmoor (2020), share some of their experiences and thoughts about what their everyday life is like after graduation. 

Adam lives in Ireland, and shared that being on your own, (in his case, living on an entirely new continent) can be stressful and confusing. Especially at first, but the new level of independence in his everyday life is also extremely exciting. Marissa agrees, and says that “With my new independence I feel more confident in who I am as a person”. 

Finances and factoring in things like budgets, grocery lists, as well as management of time and environment can also be a challenge. Independence can actually be really fun, and is freeing to do everything on your own – to cook, clean, shop, and manage time because it is completely up to you. Adam learned an important lesson to manage his time: He tries to find a “good balance” between his academic and social life. He offered, “I’ve been doing my best to set aside time for socializing, traveling, and just simple free time”.  

After high school, the new academic standards will probably be very different. Adam advises that structure is also really helpful. Keep a strict study schedule or just find a study spot that can come back to whenever you really need to focus. Although the standards are more difficult, he says, “it’s much more important that you’re finding value in the work you’re doing”. 

Both Adam and Marissa shared how their interests had changed after graduating. Marissa has continued  to grow  her love and passion for theater. She has met so many friends who share her passion, and who are kind and supportive. Life after high school is a time to start fresh. Marissa adds, “I have only grown happier and more passionate as I’ve been on my own. Trust your gut and surround yourself with things and people that make you happy”. Likewise, Adam states that life after high school is a great time to try new things—you’re surrounded by so many interesting people from a variety of backgrounds who you can get to know and explore new ideas and interests through those connections. 

To help overcome new challenges, Adam advises  that having a strong support system is essential. Remember that challenges are a key part of growing. Try to find friends who you can talk to if you have any issues, since the people you surround yourself with do genuinely define your experience. He emphasizes, “When you’re living in an entirely different environment than the one you’ve grown up in, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important to you, and having people you care about to fall back on is invaluable”. Finally, if you’re going to be living away from home, call your family regularly. It’s really good for both them and you!

Thanks to Adam and Marissa for providing their experiences and thoughts for what life is like after high school! As a senior who will be graduating soon, I have enjoyed their advice, and I hope this article is helpful for you as well. Your future is all up to you, so have a lot of fun with it!

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