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Dear High School Graduates,

As you put on your caps and gowns, to walk down the isle at graduation, summer quickly approaches. And comes to an end even faster. It's time we ask ourselves the question, "What's next?" Here are some topics an tips we believe can be helpful with you and your parents to help transit to the next chapter of your life.

CAREER CHOOSING

Many teenagers have walked in college without knowing the career path they want, or without really looking into their interests, passions and abilities. In fact, when students were asked what they would want to do in the future,  with thousands of honorable professions to choose from, 78% of the students choose one of the three careers: doctor, lawyer, and engineer. 

This is happening because social norms have restrained teenagers thoughts of potential career paths. Studies have shown almost 80% of the college students changed their decisions on their studies from the prior decision as they entered college. In addition, for many students when they were asked why they receive education, often times the answers are not far from "I am suppose to" or "I want to be successful." And while success is being defined by the amount of money a job can make; doctor, lawyer, and engineer are deemed to be the few of the promising career.

So why wait to go through a year or two of college only to find out that you have chosen the wrong path? You may think 4 years of college is a long way to go, but truly I tell you, it will end before you even realize. Use your parents to challenge you or you can challenge others with questions like "15 years from now, if you can choose any career which one would you like to be in?" Here are a few more questions of career planning to ask yourself:

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What are you interested in?
  3. What type of jobs could use your strength and interests?

Lastly, get in contact with the professions of the career you find yourself interested in. Ask them what the career really is like to solidify your decision. 

ADAPT TO COLLEGE LIFESTYLE

College life is a big step toward independence. That being said, aside from studying, you will have to delegate between social life, diet, monthly bills and other financial needs. USNews gathered 10 tips that will better prepare for college:   

  1. Maintain a College Budget- We all know college tuition could lead to big spending, but students should be aware of the hidden cost including amazon shopping, or even a night out with friends.
  2. Pack smart- Reach out to your roommate(s) and compare notes on what you have and what you need
  3. Get along with roommates (open communication)- Stuck in a small room with others may cause some disagreement. Politely speak your mind to resolve problems without drama. 
  4. Be proactive about monitoring college stress- college stress will come at you one after another, even a small stressful incident could end up as a vicious cycle.
  5. Fight the freshman 15- Freshmen dorms usually do not comes with a kitchen, which means more time eating out. Be mindful of what you consume, can not only maintain your health but also your wealth.
  6. Consider joining a fraternity or sorority- Freshmen year is the best time to find your BFF, often times living the Greek life is a good way to start.
  7. Find cheap college textbooks- Unless required, avoid buying a brand new text book. There are other options acquiring textbooks with a cheaper price by buying it off a student who already took the class, buying amazon kindle, or renting.  
  8. Or even get textbooks for free- Library in college is a big upgrade compare to high school, most likely you will be able to find the book you need without spend more money. In addition, there are websites that lend or giveaway textbooks for free. 
  9. Use technology to manage college life- Managing tasks is no easy responsibility. It's so easy to overlook one and not realize before it's too late. Your phone and laptop can provide the best reminder to keep you on track with all the school work, bills and other appointments. 
  10. Dealing with a bad grade in college- One bad grade doesn't mean the end of a class. Evaluate what is causing the bad grade and tackle it from a different angle. Never shy away from asking friends, other students and the professors for help. 

Don't forget, you will find many students around you sharing the same concern for college life, or already experience some hardship. Don't be afraid to reach out and talk to others, because they just might have the answer to your problem!