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What plan should I follow to be most successful in life after graduation?

I’m about to be in high school and want to have a set plan to follow so I can be the most successful me after I graduate! #planning


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John’s Answer

Addie your high school years may be the most exciting and important ones you will spend in school. For the first time, you'll have lots of choices to make about what you study. It's important to know that the choices you make for 9th grade – as well as 10th, 11th and 12th – will affect the choices you'll have for the rest of your life. No matter what you dream of doing with your life, preparing yourself for more education beyond high school is your wisest plan right now. Post-high school education can provide valuable experiences that contribute to a better quality of life for you. Whether or not you go on to a college, university, career or technical school, the information and skills you learn in your high school classes will always be useful in the world of work.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF IN SCHOOL
Select classes that will stretch your knowledge and skills…and impress colleges down the road. If you are planning on applying to a college’s premedical, pre-dental, or otherwise pre-professional program, you might want to think about using this opportunity to pick classes according to what will help your college application. If you’re considering going pre-medical, take a biology or anatomy course to make the assimilation into college science classes easier. You can also consider picking up an AP elective—once you pass an AP exam, that class counts as a course credit in college. This means you come into college with more credit hours (that you didn’t even have to pay for!), and could potentially mean you graduate early! Talk to your teachers and counselors about AP classes and how they count towards college prerequisites: the more AP exams you pass, the more you increase your chances of admission to your dream college.

FIND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Don’t be afraid to make a class schedule that mixes business with pleasure. If you are a singer, you could choose Choir and Jazz Choir as two electives. Some schools offer “tech” classes, where you learn a new trade (cosmetology, mechanics, web design, etc.) in place of a traditional class period. This can be a great opportunity to discover a new love for something, or give yourself a chance to relax during the day in a subject you are comfortable with (if you’re a great artist, take a drawing elective!). While it is important to keep college in the back of your mind in everything you do, it is also equally important to find a balance in your class schedule and do things that bring you joy. Don’t load yourself up with difficult classes and end up burning out before you even start university. Try to counter each difficult class with something that you have a genuine interest in, but more importantly, choose classes that you want to take, not ones you think you should. While this is a great time to figure out what your skills and interests are, also be willing to try activities that are new to you whether it’s volunteering, a new sport, or a club.

FORM RELATIONSHIPS WITH TEACHERS
Make an effort outside class to connect with your teachers, whether it’s school related or not. Not only will they be able to help you throughout your high school career, you’ll feel much more comfortable asking them to write the recommendations for your college applications.

Hope this was Helpful Addie

Thanks so much, John!! Addie J.

Your Welcome, Nothing will work unless you do. John Frick

Thank You Kim. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Addie!

You are very wise to be asking this question!

I can look back on my high school years, and recognize many mistakes. So, I can definitely tell you where I went wrong, and hopefully that will give you some guidance.

Don't think you don't need certain classes. Your future is undetermined, so, take the difficult math and science classes. Get a good background in literature, writing, world history. Take a business class or two.
Get involved in activities. Learn to get along with other people, including those you may not like!
Learn how to socialize! In many professions, it will help you in furthering your career. Going to social functions is an important part of career development. This doesn't mean wild parties and getting drunk, but, being responsible, meeting people, and having a good time.
Don't be afraid of failure. It is by making mistakes that we learn and grow. Don't be afraid the other kids will laugh at you. Do your own thing!

On a personal level, learn to manage money. The secret to financial success doesn't lie in how much you make - it's about how much you spend! Learn to distinguish between wants and needs. Start learning about saving and investing (it's a lifelong education, but, you should start learning the basics at a young age!)

As to your future career, there are lots of people who will tell you to have a goal and a plan on how you will get there. That is good advice. I want to tell you to not be so focused on that goal that you refuse to consider other opportunities that come along. As an example, when I was in the police academy, one of my instructors offered to help me get a position as an insurance fraud investigator for a big car insurance company. It would have meant giving up law enforcement. In hindsight, I know it would have been a better career choice. But, I was too focused on starting my career in law enforcement to appreciate what he was trying to do for me.

In closing, I want to encourage you to take some time to enjoy your teen years. I know we are in some crazy times right now, but we will get through this. Have fun with friends, and enjoy getting the giggles (I miss that!)

Kim

This was soooo helpful!!! Thank you, Kim! Addie J.

You're welcome! And remember we are always here for you, we don't stop helping people at any particular age. Life is a journey, and sometimes some outside advice helps you along that path! Kim Igleheart

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Addie! High school is definitely a time whee you begin to plan your life; in high school I decided to pursue the route of being a physician, I also became more dedicated to my classes and even was placed on the honor roll, so a lot of changes occurred. I would recommend that when you begin high school to do well in your classes, keeping up a stellar GPA will help in college, and even though you may not think about college right away as a freshmen or even sophomore, the time will come quick to start planning. I would also recommend to join some clubs/activities you find interesting and that appeals to you; these activities will not only help you in making you a strong applicant for college but also help in shaping your future goals. For example, my friend wants to be a publisher and loves photography so she was part of the yearbook club at our high school where she edited content and took pictures as well. Around junior year you begin to plan for your SATs and college applications, so I would recommend to study for the SATs well; Khan academy has great free prep resources to help ace the SATs, as well as CollegeBoard, this is the site where you can get free SAT daily questions and check out colleges as well. It definitely is early to be thinking about every detail, but for now do well in classes, find good friends, and when the time comes start visiting colleges and prepping for the SATs.

I wish you the best!

Thank you very much Yasemin!! I greatly appreciate it! Addie J.

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