Tips to help new high school graduates transition to college, work

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By Renee Sloan, Page Designer/Staff Writer

In just a few weeks, Brunswick County students will throw their mortarboards in the air and say goodbye to high school and hello to the real world.

Most of those students will embark on a journey to a college or university, while others will jump right in to the working world. What many of those students don’t realize is graduation may be the last time they see some of the people that have been part of their lives for the past four, eight or 12 years.

For those students going to college, here are a few tips to help make the transition easier:

•Have a plan--but don’t make it set in stone. It is good to have an idea what your major will be and what you want to do with it, but keep an open mind. Every class has the potential to be interesting, thought-provoking and present a subject in a new way. It could change your major or your intended career path.

•Get involved in campus and community activities. By becoming involved, students will meet new people and gain life and career experience that will help them after college graduation.

•Be sure to make good grades. The importance of making good grades is already instilled in every student by the time they get to college, but the freedom of college can do crazy things to people. It can make them forget the things they already know. Making good grades is as important in college as it was in high school, because those that excel in college will be the leaders as they leave the university for the career world.

•Learn everything you can. College is about learning and the more you learn in college, the more you will be able to bring to the different aspects of your life. For example, I took some child development classes as electives, just because they were offered at night. Those were some of the most valuable classes I have ever taken because I use that knowledge almost every day.

For those students who are choosing to enter the workplace after graduation, evaluate your decision. If there is anything you want to learn more about or any chance you want to go to college, try everything to make it happen.

Here are a few tips to remember when entering the workplace:

•You’re not in high school anymore. This may seem obvious, but it is important not to act like you’re still in high school. The code of conduct in the workplace is much different than that of South, West or North Brunswick high schools. Act professional.

•Enjoy your job. Whatever you do, try to make it fun. When you spend 40 or more hours a week at a place, it is important to enjoy it. Try to make work fun.

•Learn every chance you get. Any time there is an opportunity for you to learn a new program or a new skill, take advantage of it. It may help you advance yourself at your current job, or change jobs.

I wish all Brunswick County’s graduating seniors the best of luck in whatever they do, and hope they will remember their high school days fondly, and for those who feel really nostalgic, there’s always Classmates.com, and Facebook to help you cope.