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You Go Graduate

By Maiya Drennen

The first seventeen years of my life were pretty easy as far as knowing what to do: schoolwork. My mom would give me my assignments on Sunday, and for the next five days, I knew exactly what was expected of me: to complete these assignments. Obviously, there’s more than just marking off my schoolwork to-do list. But that’s the watered-down version, so to speak.

But after school is all over, if you sense—as I did—that God wasn’t directing you to college, you might be tempted to feel lost. You don’t have your parents giving you science and history assignments each day to complete. So what does one do when not heading off to their new dorm room? I mean, there aren’t any options other than the typical go-off-to-college path, right? And we’ve already crossed that one off the list.

Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t know what you should do.

That’s something you are going to have to figure out with the Lord’s guidance. To tell you *another* truth, Your not knowing what you are going to do is probably right where God wants you for a little while.

It’s a growing experience. God wants you to grow in your faith and dependence on Him. One way He does that is by allowing you to have no idea of what you will be doing in the next few weeks (or more). It can be a scary place to be, but when you put your trust in God and His timing, there is no better place to be. Even if it seems like it isn’t the best place at the time. While you search for the next BIG decision, do the next small thing before you. More than likely, that is simply to fill a responsibility you already have. Do what is expected of you now, while waiting for wisdom for tomorrow.

I can’t tell you what you should do tomorrow however, there is something I can do. I can give you a few options of the things I know are out there and available for you to consider as you near that finish line (graduation). So here we go—six options after graduating high school:

Volunteer: There are opportunities left and right for volunteering and right in your community, too! There are places that will appeal to both guys and girls out there. It’ll just take a little time to search for just the right fit for you. And you might even already know of a place you would be interested in volunteering at. I personally work at my local crisis pregnancy center, because it is very close to my heart. Always make sure it is something near and dear to your heart—and then give them your best efforts while you’re serving them.

Teach: Does your family go to a co-op? Depending on the size, there should be plenty of opportunity for you to offer to teach a class on something you are passionate about. Are you skilled in woodworking? Enjoy science? Do you like to sew? Are you passionate about history? Teaching younger students will never be a waste of time! You might just spark a life-long passion in them, too!

Courses: Going off to a college campus is the most popular after-high school route, but not the only option. For those who don’t feel led to leave home but still want to pursue further education, there are plenty of college-level courses online that you can take for any number of subjects. Here are some suggestions:

Hillside College

Liberty University Online

Regent University

Hillsdale, in particular, offers free online classes. All three of these schools would be great ones to look into.

Nanny or Mother’s Helper: This might appeal to ladies. I know my own sister is interested in putting her foot in the door as a nanny, and this would be a wonderful opportunity to work with young children if that is something you really enjoy doing. Lightening the load of little ones for a mom will not only be a blessing to someone else, but it will also help you gain valuable skills in dealing with children and managing household tasks with a baby on your hip and a toddler talking your ear off!

Learn a trade: People will always need the services of a tradesman be it plumbing, auto mechanics, woodworking, and so on. So learning a trade is a very worthwhile option.
Here are some websites to check out to learn more:

Trade Schools Guide

The Apprentice School

National Shipbuilders Research Program (NSRP)

ECPI University

Military: I had to add this one because my very own father is getting ready to retire from 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy! I know of many people who decided to join the military after high school, including my father. This is a great and honorable option for you. If you are, in fact, considering this as an option, I would strongly suggest that you get in touch with two or three veterans from each branch of the military that you are considering. They can sit down and talk with you and help you understand things about the military that a recruiter may not tell you.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of options available to you after you’ve graduated —other good suggestions would be to look into things such as mentorships, internships, starting your own business, etc—but I do hope this list has at least helped you to see that there ARE many options besides just going off to college. Remember to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 He has a plan and a purpose for you. He may not reveal it to you right away, but part of this not-knowing time and time of searching and seeking is a part of His plan for you to trust Him with your life. Wait on Him.

Maiya is a homeschool graduate currently pursuing a life as a stay-at-home daughter. She enjoys her days teaching piano, volunteering at her local crisis pregnancy center, taking hold of opportunities to encourage and minister to younger girls, doing projects with her seven—soon to be eight—siblings, and writing her blog at Blessings, Bliss, and Bedlam! 

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