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the Courier

the Courier

After Graduation, What’s Next?


For some people, their vocation strikes them in the earlier stages of life. Whether they have known what they have wanted to do since they were old enough to dress up as it for Halloween or became inspired after a Career Day presentation in fourth grade, they have got it figured out. Others, not so much. Figuring out what to do for the rest of one’s life is a little harder than previously thought. For those who have not gotten it all figured out, here are some options to consider.  

Many people choose to pursue higher education after graduation. Whether they ae choosing to specialize in a specific academic field or are vying to get into med school, this is often the step that is most expected of new grads. There are many different paths one can take when completing a degree, such as pursuing even further education to get their Masters, Doctorate, JD, or even their PhD in the respective field they have chosen. Whatever it is, college is a great step for those who just want to figure out what to do in their life. In a large community with new people and new experiences, one will learn a lot about themselves, which might be just what they need.  

If another four-plus years in school does not seem to strike one’s fancy, there are other more hands-on options for getting an “education.” Trade school is a great alternative for college and can offer real-life skills necessary in the trades. Plumbers, electricians, nursing, health sciences, paralegals, information technology, and automotive technician training are all various programs to choose from at a trade school. Programs usually last from around eight months to two years, depending on the trade school and the program of choice.  

If one has absolutely no idea what path they want to choose and no direction or choice appeals to them, gap years offer time to try and figure everything out. Some people travel abroad looking for new experiences, people, and ways of life, or volunteer somewhere around the world waiting for something to inspire them. Taking a gap year may feel a bit like being left behind, but everything happens at different times for everyone. There is nothing wrong with taking a gap year and waiting to figure out what the best path is.  

Many people also choose to join up with any of our four military services right out of high school. Some choose to join up with the promise of college paid for, and then after graduation serve their conscripted set amount of years in the service, which depends on the branch one joins. The Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force all accept and recruit at local high schools in one’s area and are always looking for new recruits. One can never be too late to join the military.  

Whatever it is that one wants to do with the rest of their life, there are so many different paths and roads to choose from. There is no linear path for the rest of one’s life after high school, and no two people’s journeys are the same. Congratulations to the graduates of 2024, and good luck to the rising senior class of 2025! 

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