High school was the time of your life, and it can be intimidating to know that a whole new chapter is about to begin. However, there’s no reason to stress: high school can’t last forever, and there are bigger and better things waiting just around the corner! Coping with your post-graduation blues can be easy if you follow these four steps.
1. Spend time with high school friends
It may seem sad that high school has come to an end, but think about all the great times you’ve had in the past four years! Create more memories throughout the summer by doing fun things with your high school friends, like beach trips, movies and campfires. You’ll feel much better heading off to college knowing that you spent an awesome summer with your besties.
“It’s so bittersweet leaving such good friends but knowing that you are about to go start a whole new, exciting chapter of life,” says Ashley Caporoso, a sophomore at Bentley University. Rather than be upset about leaving your friends behind, create memories with them while you can. Chances are you’ll reunite with your high school friends over fall break or Thanksgiving.
2. Get ideas for your dorm room
At this time of year, tons of places will be advertising dorm-room furniture and decorations. Planning out your dorm room is an excellent way to de-stress and get ahead on shopping. Choosing bedding and decor and printing out pictures will clear your mind from any worries you may be having.
“I hang pictures of my friends from home on my walls and keep up with them in a group text,” says Allison Zeppuhar, a sophomore at James Madison University. Incorporating your friends from home into your college life is a great way to cure any homesickness or blues you may have.
3. Get psyched for what’s to come
With a tight high-school schedule, chances are you weren’t able to do as many things as you would have liked to. After graduation, you have more opportunities to travel, explore and be who you truly are. Going to college, taking a gap year or working will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about yourself that you may not have had before.
To get even more excited, talk to current and prospective students on admitted-students Facebook groups; it’s a great way to learn about everything the school has to offer and to see what you have in common with other incoming freshman.
“College itself doesn't change a person—it’s what you do with the experience,” says Susan Fee, licensed professional counselor and author of My Roommate Is Driving Me Crazy!“Your life will not suddenly change unless you behave differently.” Get hyped up about this new chapter you’re beginning!
4. Take in the freedom
Early-morning alarms, dress codes and curfews all come to an end once you graduate (well, unless you have strict parents or a strict school administration). The freedom after high school is something you may not have ever experienced before, which should be another way for you to cope with your post-graduation blues. You can stay out late, sleep in and wear what you want. Taking a step closer to the real world may seem frightening, but your college years will give you a fun bridge between high school and being an adult.
“The most resilient students focus on the now, not the fairytale future,” Fee says. “Someone who feels overwhelmed is focusing on the future, but doing absolutely nothing in the present to address fears.” Spend time thinking about the opportunities right in front of you rather than worrying about what’s ahead.
Graduating from high school is a huge accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated. It gives you the foundation you need to pursue your dreams and become who you truly want to be.
“Know you’re not completely leaving all high school experiences behind, but simply expanding on them,” says Emily Montgomery, a sophomore at James Madison University. “Times you’re feeling homesick, you can always call your best friend from home or family.”
Of course it’s intimidating to know that you’re beginning a new chapter of your life, but there’s no reason to be worried! It’s important to focus on the present and deal with problems when they come.
Congrats to all of you high school graduates, and good luck transitioning to college!