“Yay!! I graduated!! I’m off to college!”

“Not me!”

“You’re not going to college?!”


“…Wait, so if you’re not going to college, what ARE you doing after High School??”

College is an awesome option for some, and it can be an amazing experience, but we want you to know that there are SO MANY OPTIONS after you finish High School!

What are these options, you may ask? Great Question, I would love to tell you. (To Quote Elyse Meyers)

  • Internships
  • Working
  • Start your own Business
  • Travel
  • Gap Year
  • Specialized Training
  • Other Types of School (Trade School, Real Estate)

So how do you choose?! It’s important to ask yourself some important questions. What do you want to do? What do you enjoy? What would you like to try? What do you absolutely NOT want to do?

Answering these questions might help you find your game-plan! Once you have an idea, you can jump into some of these options!


Internships are a great option when you want to spend time working in your desired career before spending buckets of money on a degree in it. Oftentimes you don’t have time in High School to figure out what you want to do, what you are good at, and what you enjoy.

To get started in an internship first write out some career interests, then narrow it down, then search your area for similar programs and businesses. (Google maps and plain ole google is great for this.)

PRO TIP: Most places will not have internships listed or internship programs. Don’t let this stop you! There is a lot of opportunity when you present your idea to the company! This might look like a personalized email:

“Good Afternoon People of the Company,

My name is Interested Student and I am inquiring about Internship opportunities at your company. I have recently graduated and am interested in this field, and would like to learn more about it. I am capable, driven, hardworking, and eager to learn new skills.
My availability is Monday-Thursday from 9-3pm. I am looking for a compensated position and am willing to discuss these terms further. I have my resume and references ready, if you would like to see them. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

I look forward to hearing form you,

Interested Student

Replace all of the Italicized words with words specific to your situation. Be sure to have a resume ready to go, and be prepared for a phone or in-person interview. We know this idea can be nerve wracking, but don’t worry, it’s all experience, practice, and there is always room for improvement. So if you trip over your words-No Biggie! A good employer will have grace with you and be understanding. Be wary of an employer who responds to your mess-ups poorly. You are worthy of being treated well, and there are more opportunities out there.

Oftentimes with internships, further employment opportunities in the company, or affiliated companies, often come about! Some companies will even contribute to, or pay for, your college education!


Some of you have been working hard since high school. We want to take a second to honor that. Many of you have helped support your families or have begun saving your money for the future, we are so proud of you and want you to be proud as well- but to also give yourself extra grace, as it is normal to see early burnout in these cases. Sidebar over-take care of yourself and reach out when you need it.

Okay! So you are interested in working as an option after High School! This will also depend on a few factors! Check out the Careers Tab to explore some options! There are some great resources and quizzes there!

Start your own Business

If you already have a skill you want to monetize, you can try starting out your own business. Nannying, Photography, Customized crafts and art, Woodworking, Pet care and training, Consulting, and so much more! There are so Many options when it comes to starting your own business! Here are 13 Business Ideas for College Students, and Here is How to Start your own Business Step by Step! Here are some more Legal Aspects of Starting a Business!


There are many work-travel opportunities and trades out there for the adventurers of us! Many places offer work-housing trades and there are also Nonprofits that will offer free or discounted housing to volunteers.

Check out Go Abroad for some leads! You can also search opportunities on Work Away!


If you speak more than one language you might look into getting certified as a translator so you can work and travel at the same time. You might also look into becoming a flight steward if you want to travel to many places! Then you can plan your travel with your shifts! Some work as a travel Nanny in order to live somewhere else in a safe environment. And there are many ranches and farms who are always looking for interns and workers to add to their team!

Traveling after High School can be a beautiful way to build perspective and appreciation for other places and cultures.

Gap Year

Not sure what to do? That’s okay too! If you have the privilege of being financially able to take a year off of School and Work to explore many different opportunities, this can be a great way to get to know yourself! During this gap year you can still work or study or do anything that you are interested in. It can be a good way to give your mind a break from the grind and learn more about who you are and what you want to do.

Specialized Training

Many occupations that one might go into don’t have degrees that you can get at a school. There are countless jobs where you learn on the job or from another professional. This might look similar to an internship-or it might look more like a school. Sometimes specialized training will be provided by your workplace, and sometimes you will apply for training in order to work at a place!

Some types of this training you might see with Construction Jobs, Welding, Certification Courses, and learning from Professionals.

Other Types of School

There are many other types of further education that are not considered college. One example of this is Real Estate School. Real Estate school is usually online, and comprised of at least 3 courses. It is generally much cheaper than a single college class or semester and so can be a great option right out of High School!

Many other types of School can be completed in less time than traditional college, and almost all of them are focused on one specific subject or job you might perform. This is also sometimes referred to as Trade School.

No matter what you do after High School, we know you are going to do great! Remember to Breathe. This is your own life and timeline and you are not late or behind. You are at your own pace. Try not to compare your life to others who you envy- Notice what they are doing that you want and add those things to your own list! Keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

“Things to do after High School” Written by Kali Brooks

What do you want to do after High School? Let us know in the comments below!

Share your experiences anonymously and reply to those of your peers.

All comments are monitored and any sort of bullying or hurtful speech will not be tolerated.

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