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What to Do After High School: A Guide to Help You Navigate Your Options

Congratulations, you’ve made it through high school! But now, the question arises: what’s next? It’s normal to feel a bit lost and overwhelmed with all the options out there. This guide will help you navigate your choices and make informed decisions about what to do after high school.

Understanding Your Options

There are several paths you can take after graduating from high school.

College or University

One of the most common options is to attend college or university. This path can lead to a wide range of career opportunities and a higher earning potential.

Vocational or Trade School

Another option is vocational or trade school. This path provides hands-on training for specific jobs, such as plumbing, electrician, or mechanic, to name a few.


If you’re interested in serving your country, the military is another option to consider. It provides opportunities for education and training while also serving your country.

Gap Year

If you’re not ready to commit to any particular path, taking a gap year can be a great way to gain life experience, travel, and figure out your next steps.

Entering the Workforce

Finally, entering the workforce directly after high school is also a possibility. However, you may want to consider that entry-level jobs may have limited growth opportunities and lower earning potential.

Tips for Making Informed Decisions


Before making any decisions, it’s important to assess your skills, interests, and values. This self-assessment can help guide you in choosing the right path for you.


Do your research on the different paths you’re interested in. Look into the job outlook, earning potential, and education and training required.

Talk to Professionals

Talk to professionals in the fields you’re interested in. They can provide valuable insight into their careers and what it takes to succeed.

Visit Campuses

If you’re considering college or university, visit campuses to get a feel for the atmosphere and programs offered.

Financing Your Education or Training


There are many scholarships available to help finance your education. Do your research and apply to as many as possible.

Student Loans

Student loans are another option to consider, but it’s important to understand the terms and the impact it will have on your finances after graduation.


Grants are a form of financial aid that doesn’t need to be paid back. Look into the grants available for your chosen path.


After high school, the world is your oyster. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right path for you. By understanding your options, doing your research, and assessing your skills and values, you can make informed decisions about your future.


Should I go to college or university right after high school?

There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on your goals, interests, and career aspirations.

Can I change my mind if I choose the wrong path?

Yes, it’s never too late to change your mind and switch paths.

Is vocational or trade school a good option?

Yes, vocational or trade school can lead to stable and well-paying jobs.

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