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How to Do the Things You Encounter After High School That They Don’t Tell You About
I am an allumnist of Artesia High School in California. When I was a senior I had this class called “SOS”, “Survival Of The Singles”. Some schools call this class “Survival Of The Seniors”. It is a class that teaches about bank accounts, writing checks, investing money, getting a job, what work will be like, kids, and more. This class helped a little in preparing me for the real world. I learned a lot from this class and had a very good teacher. Her name was Mrs. Stonebreaker. Maybe one day she will come across this article online and see this sentence,
“Mrs. Stonebreaker, Thank you for all you taught me in school. You and your husband were the best teachers I ever had in high school.”
I noticed that high schools are not really geared toward creating a smooth transition from high school into the big wide world. I would like to present this article to those of you who, dropped out, are not going to college and want to work, and those who are done with high school and don’t know what the heck you want to do.
Regardless of what you do there are certain things you must do in order to survive. You may have parents that will support you but they won’t be there forever. The sooner you are able to survive on your own, in today’s world, the better off you and your parents will be. Below is a list of basic things you need try to establish right away:
Go online and create yourself two email addresses. One will be for business and one will be for personal. The two main companies that give free emails are MSN (Hotmail) and Yahoo. Click on “sign up” and follow the instructions to get an email address. The reason you need two email addresses is because you want to separate your personal email from your business email.
Use your business email to sign up for online programs and offers, and applying for jobs. Use your personal email to talk with your friends and family. Always try to get the email addresses of all your family members and friends and stay in contact with all of them. They are invaluable resources in your life.
If you are completely new to email you can always do a search on Google for walkthroughs. Don’t be afraid to read the help files that are offered on most email providers. They are there to do exactly that, to “HELP” you. Remember Google is your friend. You can always search with Google for answers to most questions. Get really good at using email. Most companies use email as their main source of communication these days.
Go down to your local bank and open a free checking and savings account. Establish this account and it’s online services so that you can keep track of your money online. Get a debit card with a visa or mastercard logo so you can buy stuff everywhere. Get a wallet and keep your cards and the wallet safe. Get in the habit of putting it on or inside your dresser drawer or something. Get used to balancing your check book often and keep all of your receipts.
Apply for one major visa or mastercard. Listen to me very carefully, only one. You are going to use this card for 2 specific purposes only! One is renting a car and the other is to establish credit. A credit card is not real money and you should only spend from what you make. You will most likely have no credit history so you will need this to start establishing credit to buy a house someday. Try to find a card with the lowest interest rate as possible, no annual fee, and cash returns on purchases. Buy small things with it and pay it off every month to establish credit.
Create a Resume
Your resume is your key document that tells potential employers what skills and experience you have. You need to learn how to create at least a basic one. There are lots of online resources on how to build a resume. Simply search around and read. If you don’t know how to use Microsoft Word, learn! Go to Microsoft.com and find out how to use Word. It is very useful and is practically required these days. If your computer doesn’t have it or you can’t afford it then download Open Office and use it. Word has resume templates where you practically just fill in the boxes. If not, you can always search for a free professional template on Google.
Learn About Public Transportation
If you are lucky and your parents buy you a car then you really don’t need to worry about public transportation; but you will have to learn about vehicle maintenance. Why not just avoid all that for now and learn about the buses and trains in your area and how to use them. It is a cost effective way to get around the city or town.
Find a Job
Try to get a job through one of your family members. You will have more chance of getting a decent job that way. Since you are fresh out of high school it will be tough for you to prove you have work experience or skills. Try to avoid working at fast food restraunts if possible. Apply everywhere. Go out one day with your mom or dad or someone and have them drive you all over collecting applications from various locations. Fill them all out and return them all the same day. This way it looks like you are motivated. About.com has some good resources to assist you in finding your first job.
When on interviews, be yourself and be honest. Don’t be afraid to ask many questions. This is a potential place you may be working for a lot of hours a day. You want to know what you are getting into. Prepare to be rejected. Not every place is hiring, just be sure to be polite and thank them for their time. Go to work everyday and try not to miss.
Once you get a steady paycheck you should start saving money. You will have the resources to start working on your future. With a steady decent paying job you will be able to survive on your own. Saving is important because you will need to afford your own place one day and pay bills. If you are one of those who prefer to stay with their parents then you are only hurting yourself. People will say that it is OK to stay with your parents as long as possible. I agree with that only if you are going to college. Remember that it is nice to give your parents a break. Of course they love you, but it is just out of respect to give them some freedom because they sacrificed a lot and worked really hard to get you where you are.
Check out my Investing Basics page to get the skinny on investing.
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Find Your Passion
The key to happiness is finding your passion in life. You will know when you find it because you won’t stop doing it. You won’t let anything get in your way of doing it. It is even easier if you take care of yourself and work hard. You will feel like you deserve it, and you do! Do realize that your passion could change, depending on who you are. I thought my passion was computers forever but now I feel like I learned as much as I wanted to and am moving on to new things. Currently my passion is blogging! Who would have thought!
Never Stop Learning
You can never, ever know too much. Higher education doesn’t always have to be learned in college. You can take free courses online, read books, or even read this blog, etc. If you are like me and don’t really care for the classroom environment then don’t be afraid to find other means of educating yourself. Even though I graduated from DeVry University I realized now that I probably won’t be back in the classroom again. You just need to read and do! Try things! Don’t be afraid to fail because that is how you really learn.
Ok, so you are on your own now. It is time to go out in the world now because you have all the answers from this simple little document, right? Ok, maybe that is not true, but if you take the steps I said in this document seriously, I think you will be surprised where you will be at in a couple of weeks.
If you have any questions whatsoever, you can always contact me. I would be happy to help! Take care.
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