I wish someone told me, chapter 1

School is important. I should probably start there. It teaches you obvious things like math and letters and how to (reluctantly) dissect a frog. It also teaches you intangible things such as how to mentally prepare for hard things, like dissecting a frog or algebra. But those are things you already know. Today I would like to begin a series of posts about the things that don’t show up in a text book but are vital to surviving adulthood. Listen, dear heart. Learn from the ignorance of my youth. Do better than I did, learn from those who went before you.

I did the normal tour of duty in high school. I entered Junior College two months after graduation, state college three years later then moved to out-of-state private college to fully round out my Tour de Education. So I have a bit more experience than most in this particular area. I speak from hard fought victories and spectacular defeats. Shall we begin?

In high school, nobody knows where they are going and the ones who tell you they do, have not lived enough life yet. I vividly remember my senior year, I was doing extra homeschool classes just to graduate because in my earlier years I just couldn’t be bothered with minor details like homework and attending class. But I put my head down (cried) and got the work done. It just didn’t seem right for the student council Vice President to not graduate with her class. But what about the day after graduation? What about college in the fall? NOT. A. CLUE.

The night after graduation I loaded two of my girlfriends into my car and took a road trip. The first stop was to my dad’s house. I left my two friends there the next day and drove over to my cousins wedding. I was a bridesmaid and not a very good one. BUT, she sat me down at a table with the Director of the Music Department at the local junior college, the Show Choir Director and Assistant Director. Thankfully, my cousin had (and still has) a stellar reputation resulting in me walking out of that wedding with a full ride scholarship. Boom. College decision made.

My degree was determined at birth, music courses thru my veins. And so it was written. I am eternally grateful that I agreed to wear a puffy pink dress for my cousins wedding (this was before I fully appreciated the more feminine things in life). I thank her regularly. My point is, you may have an idea where you want to go next or you may be sitting in a cap and gown ( or maybe in a pageant dress after giving up your last title…) not knowing what you are going to eat for dinner. THAT’S OK!

What is not ok is staying there. Google some stuff, visit some schools and get yourself enrolled somewhere. Junior College, Vocational School, Military…all are viable options. Just pick one and go. Your life is not poured in cement. If it doesn’t suit after the first year, try something else. I did not know this sort of fluidity was an option. Not because I had dictatorial parents, quite the opposite. I had wonderfully loving and encouraging parents. I just didn’t know I had options for my future. Let me tell you, bright-eyes, you have options. Your life is not predetermined. You have many talents, some haven’t even been uncovered yet. You graduated high school, thats step one of succeeding at this life thing! 

So deep take a deep breath. Take a good look around your life and start walking towards a goal. You can do this. You are not lost, a failure, unable or unworthy.