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What next? How to thrive after graduating from high school

What next? How to thrive after graduating from high school

Graduation is a huge occasion. It’s what you’ve been working towards for your entire high school career. No doubt you’ve spent countless nights working late or revising. You’ve likely prioritized your IB or A-Level exams when perhaps you’d rather have gone out with friends. Perhaps graduation has been your sole focus for so long, that the future even seems a little daunting? But while your next steps may be uncertain, we’re sure that you’re prepared for whatever you might come up against. However, just in case, we’ve put together a few things to ensure your life after high school gets off to a good start!


If you’re planning to attend a university, chances are you’re already aware that you might be given a reading list for your course. Reading lists tend to cover the compulsory texts that you’ll definitely be learning about in class and the extra reading, which will support your learning. We know you’ve probably heard it before, but if you complete this reading over the summer, it really will give you a helping hand in your first year at university. If not, and you have several lectures a day for a good portion of the week, you’re going to end up needing to sprint read through a new book (or two!) each night. You’ll end up stressed, overworked and that’s not really what your first year at university should be about. Put the effort in now to make sure you get to have some fun later on.

Alumni community

First things first, we’re confident that our alumni will go on to do fantastic things and we can’t wait to hear about them. But there are also ways that staying in touch with your high school could benefit you too. An alumni community is a place to stay grounded, to remember all your hard work and the place you perhaps grew into a more adult version of yourself. It’s also a great way to benefit from the resources and connections that many schools have – For example, our alumni coordinator regularly posts job opportunities in our LinkedIn alumni community group. Finally, it’s highly likely that the people you went to school with, perhaps even some which you didn’t know very well at the time, will end up being great career connections.

Alumni should support each other, share in each other’s success and lift each other up – there’s no better place than an alumni community group for this, so get involved!


Along a similar theme to the previous point, networking, networking, networking. While this might not be a term you’ve come across much at this point, it really is the cornerstone to a successful university career and career thereafter. Everyone you meet from this point onwards, you should consider as a potential connection. Take the time to find out who they are, what they’re interested in, what drives them. If their interests align with your own, then dedicate more time to getting to know them. This approach will a.) cause you to be more open about meeting and chatting to new people and b.) potentially deliver a friend who one day could become a source of support and advice.

You don’t even need to wait for university to start doing this – if you’re intending on joining any clubs or societies, then get in touch! Join any social media pages for new students, for students on your course or for students at the university from your home country. Really get stuck in and start meeting the people who could be the making of your future.

Adjust your goals

As we mentioned before, it’s highly likely that you’ve got through high school viewing graduation as the light at the end of the tunnel. This was your goal, your endpoint when all your hard work paid off. We understand that, but it’s time to look forward again now. In order to thrive after high school, you need to adjust your goalposts. You need to give yourself new targets to strive for, to meet, and to move on from. If you’re attending university, what grade would you like to achieve at the end of your first year? Is there an industry that you’d like to try and gain an internship in for next summer? Maybe there’s a university society that one day, you’d like to help manage. Set your targets over the distance, and you’ll feel much more motivated and confident about what’s next and what you need to do.



EF Academy International Boarding Schools opens a world of opportunities for high school students by providing them with a superior education abroad, thorough preparation for university and a future that knows no borders.