It’s the season of high school graduation. Graduates, you will take your first steps into adulthood through the yearbook autograph session, the glamor and atmosphere associated with caps and gowns, and the senior party. That step may be a small step for some and a giant leap for others. Good luck everyone!
I would like to share some practical skills that will make the transition to adulthood easier. I also don’t want you to feel overwhelmed, but no matter what year you graduate from high school, we’re all still figuring things out.
I hope you have a solid work ethic. You’ll need it throughout your life, from paid employment to raising children to volunteering. You’ve probably heard the phrase “under-promised and over-delivered.” This is very good advice. When Joseph Campbell said, “Follow bliss,” some people took it to mean relaxing and waiting for good things to fall into your lap. Frustrated, he later said he should have said, “Follow the blisters.” Life needs work. But like most things, it can go too far and turn into a workaholic who ignores the people most important to him.
I hope you know the basics of owning a car, washing, cooking, cleaning, and toileting. I hope you know how to get a passport, how to mail a letter to the post office, how to open a bank account.
I hope you have mastered management skills such as time management. money management, Stress management, emotion management, relationship “management”. Maybe your mom already has the skills to make sure you’re out of bed in time for school or go to bed early enough to wake up on time. Repeatedly arriving late has real-world consequences, such as getting fired from work or missing early morning classes.
I assume you took a financial literacy class before you graduated. Now is the time to put what you have learned into action. Don’t spend more than you earn, spend your budget, start building your credit, and save for the future. Watch out for debt, especially at this young age.
managing stress It’s a skill that will last a lifetime. If you can find a healthy way to cope in high school, that’s great. If not, get started now. Stress can be released through exercise, journaling, daily gratitude practices, mindfulness and meditation, and supportive friends. If you go to college, most people will have some help or training in managing stress. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your therapist.
When I say “emotion management,” I’m talking about being able to manage and regulate your own emotions. Do you know how to disagree without personalizing or insulting your opinion? How do you resolve conflicts? Give up and give up? Are you passive-aggressive? There are healthier ways. Do you know how to lose gracefully? What skills are you already using to stay calm when you’re angry? Offended? Do you know how to get feedback from your boss? Teacher? friend? A roommate you just met? Growing up means putting in a lot of practice to learn how to control your emotions.
have healthy relationship It means knowing how to be true friends and how to set healthy boundaries. It means knowing how to show respect to teachers, bosses, and other leaders. It means knowing how to keep social promises (meaning not ghosting!). It means not bullying or mocking other people, whether they are present or not. Healthy relationships don’t just happen, they take effort. Be a builder and a giver. Also, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.
I hope you’ve mastered (or plan to develop) professional communication skills. Do you know how to write a professional cover letter for your job application? What about your resume? Can you put together a professional paper without using acronyms and emojis in your text messages? Can you work in teams and give feedback to team members? How to be a good digital citizen, i.e. online Do you know how to make good comments and conversations? If not, many employers review your social media posts before hiring you to see if you fit the company culture. You should know to check. Communication skills are the foundation of all aspects of life.
We hope that our services will become a part of your life. I know you don’t have the time, you don’t have the money, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone can serve. In fact, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said just that. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. The subject and verb do not have to match. All you need is a heart full of grace. A soul created by love. ”
Finally, I want you to know that you don’t have to “get it all” right now. Move forward with a plan and know that life is full of unexpected twists and turns. You have this
Holly Richardson is editor of the Utah Policy.