The #1 Thing You Should Do The Minute You Graduate High School
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The #1 Thing You Should Do The Minute You Graduate High School

Did you do it?

The #1 Thing You Should Do The Minute You Graduate High School
ABC13 Houston

Graduating high school. For most of us, that was the biggest moment in our lives to date. Leaving high school comes with a plethora of other responsibilities, such as preparing for college, moving into said college, juggling summer jobs, and working hard to maintain contact with your friends as all of your lives branch off into dozens of different directions.

But when I graduated high school, literally minutes after my diploma was put in my hand and I tossed my cap up into the air, I did one small thing that has made my life infinitely better since that moment.

I unfollowed people.

It seems stupid and insignificant, but when you think about it, it really isn't. In our day and age, it's not uncommon to be friending/following people on all sorts of platforms solely because you go to the same school. They may be people you don't like, or aren't friendly with, or aren't nice to you. They may not even know your name. But you follow them because you figured that's just what you do -- it doesn't matter how well you know them, or if you ever spoke to them a day in your life. You walked the same hallways for four years, and therefore you must be Facebook friends.

I'm here to tell you that your logic isn't necessarily true. But I'll be the first to admit that I followed all of my classmates, like them or not, just like everyone else. People that didn't care about me even a little bit had my loyal following on their Snapchats, Instas, Twitters, and even Facebook accounts. For four years, I found myself glimpsing into the lives of people that didn't know me well at all, and I didn't care much for them either.

But the minute I graduated, I took a step for myself that seemed insignificant at the time, but it has made my life worlds better ever since. That's right -- sitting down just mere minutes after my high school graduation, I went through my phone's contacts and my followers on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I unfollowed, unfriended, and deleted any contacts of people that either didn't care much about me, weren't really my friends, were any bit mean to me throughout the past four years, or who just genuinely didn't seem like good friends. With each person that came up, I found myself asking, Is this someone I can see myself hanging out with in a few years? If they asked me to meet up and grab lunch, would I be okay with it? If the answer to either of those questions was no, they got the boot. I was sick of scrolling through my feed and seeing pictures of girls that I didn't even like at parties, or guys who never gave me the time of day flexing next to their new cars. The point of social media is to get a glimpse into of the lives of others -- but I decided that I wanted to use my social media feeds as a way to glimpse into the lives of my friends as they experienced their upcoming college years. I wasn't that interested in seeing What's-Her-Face from sophomore year science getting drunk at a frat party.

From that point forward, I found myself not nearly as bored and annoyed when scrolling through my feeds. By surrounding myself with only the people I love and care about, I can assure myself that everything I see is something I have some sort of interest in. More importantly, I'm actually invested in the lives of these people, rather than knowing nothing about them. Since the moment I cleaned out all of my feeds almost a year ago, I've noticed that I've been more outgoing, friendly, and just happier overall. I made the conscious decision to focus on myself and the people I care about, and I basically deep-cleaned my life and got rid of the people that I felt didn't care about me enough to be good friends.

So if you find yourself preparing for graduation this month, this is a piece of advice I'd definitely recommend to you. No, it's not some sort of vengeance-fueled social media purge. It's you making the adult decision to surround yourself with only the people who love and care about you. You don't owe anything to anybody -- follower counts included.

And if you've already graduated high school, don't worry -- you didn't miss out on your chance. It's never too late to give yourself a fresh start and an opportunity to do life on your own terms, without being chained to obligations that aren't even real. You're at the next step in your life, and you have every right to remove the people that don't make the cut as good friends. Surround yourself with people you actually enjoy spending time with -- on social media, and also in your everyday life. You don't have to be Facebook friends with someone just because you know them, even if you don't necessarily like them. That defeats the entire point of being "friends."

A lot of people thought I was simply being "petty" when I purged all of my social media accounts, but I see it as anything but. I chose to keep the people that were important to me -- and, in turn, people who thought I was important to them -- around, and any shaky or false friends that I felt I wouldn't click with as the years went on had to go. From that point forward, I made the decision to only surround myself with people that are good for me and love me for who I am. And that is nothing to be sorry for.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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