As if the teenage years aren’t stressful enough, you must consider what to do now that you have a high school diploma. You have plenty of options to choose from. Consider each and weigh in on the pros and cons. Entering the adult world is full of these kinds of choices.


You could choose to jump right in and join the ranks of the workforce. Newly graduated young adults often find it intimidating and daunting to create a resume and attend interviews, but everyone goes through this process sooner or later. Don’t expect a big paycheck right off the bat. You must climb the employment ladder like everyone else -- come to your job, work hard and show your potential. Unfortunately, many right-out-of-high-school jobs pay less than the ones you could get after attending college or technical school.

Higher Education

Even before a high school diploma is in hand, you may have decided to continue your education. Whether you decided on a degree to pursue in the ninth grade or are still unsure, college and technical schools open up possibilities. You can attend a trade or vocational school, a community college or a university. If you opt for technical school, you will train for a specific job. Community colleges offer several two-year programs leading to an associate's degree or you can transfer credits earned to a university. Universities offer bachelor's degrees in numerous fields of study as well as graduate degrees.


Head out into the world and find adventure. This can be very appealing -- and very scary. You will need financial means to be able to travel far away, as it can be expensive. If money is not limitless, look into work possibilities that might take you to other parts of the world, for example, on board a cruise ship. You will have plenty of stories to tell friends and family when you return and an appreciation for other cultures.


If you want to help others and travel a bit, become a volunteer. Americorps, Peace Corps and Student Conservation Association are options. Such organizations often offer a living expense stipend or housing in exchange for your skill and time.


You can join the military if you are at least age 17 and have a high school diploma or GED. You also must pass certain physical requirements. As a member of the military, you will have access to benefits, such as health care, vacation and college tuition reimbursement. The income is competitive, you may be able to travel and the career potential is broad.

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