Dear (high school) Grad

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Hello, everyone! My friends are graduating high school this week so I thought I'd make a post for them. Have a good week, guys!

Dear Grad,

Congratulations! You're DONE. No more high school! YAAAAAS.


So what now? Post-secondary? Gap year? Straight to work? Whichever you've chosen, I hope you're not too worried; you'll be fine. The world can be scary sometimes but it can also be really cool and great. Let me share the five major things that I learned a year out of high school.

Stay Humble, Hustle Hard by Jennet Liaw at

Take initiative and work hard. Whatever you choose to do now, remember that everything is up to you. If you're going into post-secondary, all the work is up to you. Your instructors will not coddle you and remind you of the homework. You have to be your own boss and get it done. If you're taking a gap year or going to work, it's still all you. Choices are yours to make, and motivation and inspiration is yours to chase after. Don't lose it.

Also, life in general is work. You probably already know this, but let me just repeat it. Life. is. work. And lots of it. That doesn't mean life sucks. It just means that... life is work. Your dreams and goals? They're LOTS of work. You're gonna have to push yourself to get there. And things will go astray and into the most twisted roads more often than not. Keep at it. Keep working hard and you'll get there.

Relationships are work. Forreal, guys. Chances are that you and your friends are going separate ways. Someone's going to uni, someone's not, someones going to this school and someone's going to another and basically, you're not going to see your whole crew everyday like you're used to.

That's okay.

Not seeing your friends every day isn't a bad thing and it doesn't mean your friendship is ruined forever. In fact, not seeing each other that often means you'll have more interesting stories to tell each other when reunited. But it does take work. The universe doesn't just put you all together for dinner again. You have to take the initiative (see point 1) to keep in touch with them and make those plans to see each other. And you're probably never going to be all free at the same time.

Sometimes friendships also just fizzle out as people grow and change. That's okay. It happens. Sometimes people just don't fit together forever. Cherish the time you had together and move on.

Learn about yourself. I cannot stress this enough. This is the time for self-growth and self-discovery! Take advantage of that! I can't speak for the people who did gap years and just went to work, but for the Fall 2015 post-secondary freshmen: you are going to learn SO MUCH over first year. A lot of it would be having to learn how to stay on top of all the homework. Make sure that you are open enough to all the learning opportunities. Take advantage of this time to mess up every now and then and learning something new.

Talk to the people in your orientation group! Talk to the people in your class! Talk to the people at work! Read books! Watch movies! Eat all the things! I dunno! Just go and do something that you'll learn from and teach you something new about yourself.

Also, accept that things won't stay the same. Most of everything is going to change. Especially yourself. Let it happen.

(And I know. I didn't exactly follow this in my first year. But I am learning how to get there.)

Trust the Process, notepad by Abbey Sy on
Trust yourself and the process. And yes! This also means not comparing yourself to others! PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. PLEASE LEARN TO SHAKE OFF THIS OBSESSIVE HABIT. It helps you in no way, and only lowers your self-esteem. Stop comparing yourself to others! Where you go from here is YOUR journey, not anyone else's. No two people are going to have the same story, so stop writing yours with someone else's pen (huehue). But really. They are them, and you are you. Listen to you.

Additionally, you are going to make mistakes! A lot, probably! That's okay! Just go with it. Trust the process, as a letterer I follow once said. This is your story. Trust that these happen to move the plot along. This also goes with self growth (see point 3).

Some things take time. Progress does not happen in a day, month, or a year. Whatever you choose to do from here might not be what you stick with until forever. Your dreams now might morph and change as they adapt to your new discoveries and to your growth. Allow it to happen. And if you're finding yourself some time after high school feeling lost and feeling like you should have stuff figured out by then, stop. Things take time. Just keep going. Things will happen all in good time.

So, dear Grad. I hope you take something away from this. Even if it's just one thing. Though I'm sure you'll forget it. That's just what happens. You're at the cusp of a new chapter in your life, and you just forget some things as you move forward. That's okay. And I know I'm no expert on this. I don't know all the secrets of post-high school life (or life in general. Come on), but these are things that I learned along the way. Our stories won't be the same, but I'm gonna guess that these four things are universal. Anyway, I am very excited for you, and proud. Very proud. And whatever direction you go from here, you will be amazing. I know it.

Much love,

P.S. - I was meaning to share this video my sister made with you all because it made me emotional (and part of it maybe bias yes ok but shh) and it's really good and relevant to this topic. May I also mention that my sister is only 14?! That editing doe. Ok bye.