Life After the System
By Emma Wynkoop
We’ve grown up reliant on the school system to teach us to talk, read, and solve basic problems in the world, but suddenly after senior year, we are thrown out of the nest and forced to fly on our own.
Here’s how to cope with living in a world without bell schedules:
- Thank the school system for teaching you the ABC’s, formulating five paragraph essays, and stressing out about things that don’t really matter.
- Realize that you have learned valuable skills and can put them to use in life after the system, whether you’re entering college or the workforce.
- Set an alarm: No one gets anywhere in life, by sleeping through it. The alarm doesn’t have to be before dawn, just having one before noon can help prevent you from losing quality time out of your day. Not being rushed in the morning allows you to ponder your life and get a calm head before going off to your daily activities.
- GINGER TIP: Plan something in the morning that motivates you to get out of bed. For me, it’s the overnight oats (yummy cold oatmeal) that gets my blood moving in the A.M, or knowing that I have leftover pancake batter in the fridge. Maybe for you it’s doing morning yoga, watching a quick episode of Modern Family, or slowly sipping coffee.
- Make a decision: gap year, college, work, etc. Remember that whichever choice you make, it can’t be the wrong one. After a year or even 6 months, you can change your mind, drop out of college, apply for college, or change your job.
- If you’re going to college, get a summer job to save up money for the school year, so that you don’t have to work during the year. The expenses will add up.
- If you’re taking a gap year, decide on what you are going to do and write out a gameplan. Yeah it’s boring, and takes out the “I will just see where life takes me” vibe, but when it’s winter break and all your friends come back with their funny college stories and all you can say is you worked at Taco Bell, you will thank yourself. Distractions happen, plans change, and fate sets in, but if you have at least a backbone of things to accomplish while taking a year off from school, it will make it easier to check things off your list.
- If you’re going straight into the workforce, choose wisely. Before applying for a job, do some in-depth research. Check the process of moving up the ranks. Make sure that it can lead to a position that will pay enough to afford your desired lifestyle, or will give you enough experience to move past an entry-level position.
- Remember: “As you’re growing up, they’re growing old.” Don’t forget to get quality time in with your family because whether you move into the dorms or live in Uganda for a year, you will be seeing a lot less of your family.