We are a society that spends most, if not all its time, looking towards the future. In Kindergarten we wait all morning for recess, in Junior High we wait to be eighth graders and top of the school. In high school we spend four years waiting for the opportunity to throw our oddly shaped, square hats into the air. Then what? Our characteristics and the way we spend our time will dictate how we spend those many years after high school.

1. Create and Maintain Contacts

After graduation, it comes apparent, which of our friends will live off their parents and which will make something of themselves. If you choose to associate yourself with other determined individuals, you are heading in the right direction. Meeting people with similar ideas and mindsets and staying in contact with them can give you great opportunities. You never know who will write letters of recommendation or give your resume to the right people.

2. Be Proactive

Success in life is not going to come chasing after you, it is something you must strive for everyday. Staying on top of tedious jobs necessary to life will give you time to do things that really matter to you. It is important to have a mindset and attitude that can prevent potential problems or be able to address and eliminate them. You have to take responsibility for your actions and not blame others for mistakes. In the workforce, someone who can steer clear of petty problems and set straight their priorities, will be on the road to success.

3. Keep Healthy

By keeping physically healthy, it will be much easier to stay focused and interactive in any tasks or problems that may arise. Staying away from drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol can keep you focused and more interactive. Eating moderately healthy and exercising on a regular basis will keep your mind and body moving freely, as well as lessen the likelihood of stress.

4. Take Risks

Taking chances can completely change a person’s life, if they are responsible with them. Applying for a job that you may not be fully qualified for will never hurt. The worst that can be said is no, and then life goes on. If you are not willing to take the occasional leap of faith, then there is a good chance you will be stuck in a low paying or uninteresting job. Courage is a necessity in life and work.

5. Manage Your Time

Once you’re out of high school, it is obvious that sleeping till noon and playing video games or going on Facebook all day, are not going to get you anywhere. You must realize your priorities and spend most of your time trying to accomplish them. Spending all day on petty activities when you have an important paper due the next day is useless. Procrastination is not your friend and those who can avoid will be far more successful.

6. Stay Positive

If you are able to keep a positive mindset through the ups and downs of life then people will respect you for it. Not letting stress get to you, no matter the situation will leave you in a better place and ease the workload. By giving off negative vibes, friends and co-workers will not want to be around you and their opinions of you could change.

7. Embrace Adulthood

Putting high school in the past means putting the juvenile version of you in the past. Most graduates are or are close to turning 18, which carries a heavy meaning. Goofing around and getting in trouble is no longer an option because of the intense consequences that can be associated.  Being an adult changes the way you are perceived by others, whether it is in a positive or negative light and it is your responsibility, to make this perception a desirable one.

8. Volunteer

Giving your time and energy to a cause beyond yourself can increase your self-image and the respect others give you. It is a great way to network and employers like someone who is communally active.

9. Be Frugal

It is important right now to not spend all your money on superfluous objects. Having a steady job is a huge accomplishment, but saving up for a future house or apartment is more important than buying new clothes or a flashy watch.

10. Work and Play

One of the most important things to remember once your out of high school, is to work and play. If you spend all your time studying or working, it will eventually drag you down. Save some time every day for yourself, whether you chose to spend it with friends, family, or on your couch, it is essential for your success and happiness.