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5 things to do before you graduate from high school

Graduation is a time to put the last 4 years into perspective.
Graduation is a time to put the last 4 years into perspective.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The end of senior year can be pretty hectic. Between finals and the excitement of graduating, it’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time - and the really important things that still need to be done. So, just in case you need a little reminder, here are a few things to add to your To Do List:

Take some time for yourself. It’s important to take a moment to consider that you are coming to the end of a pretty important time in your life. As you leave with that diploma in your hand, you will be saying goodbye to a lot of people and things that have become so familiar that you may have come to take them for granted. It’s likely that you will never see some of the classmates you like or teachers you care about again. It’s good to keep that in mind as you move through the last days of your high school career.

Say thank you. You can never say this enough – and there are a lot of people to thank: the teachers who went out of their way to help you in and out of class, who wrote your letters of recommendation; the counselor who answered all your questions and told the colleges how wonderful you are; all the people in your life who encouraged you when you were struggling and made you laugh when you didn’t feel like it. Now is a really good time to let them know how much you appreciate everything they have done for you.

Make amends. High school comes with its share of hurts and mistakes. Some of those things have a way of staying with us long after graduation. If there’s something you’ve done that you regret because it hurt someone, try to find the courage to tell them you’re sorry.

Stay classy. Because it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of graduation, students occasionally do things that are destructive or disrespectful that they wouldn’t normally do. So, before you get in on that prank, consider the effects – intended and unintended – that it may have on yourself and others.

Decide what’s worth keeping. You’re much wiser now than you were four years ago. You've had a lot of experiences - both good and bad. So, what will you take with you on your path beyond high school? My advice is to pack light. Take the things that will make the journey easier and leave the rest behind.

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