I graduated from Brooklyn College Academy on June 23, 2015. After four long years in high school I was relieved to finally take my first steps into the real world. At the time I definitely wasn't aware how much life really changes after high school. Anyway, here are five lessons I learned after High School:
1. You have complete control of the direction your life takes
Now, I'm not saying you had no control of your life in high school, but after it ends you now have the complete freedom to choose the content of your day. This is probably one of the best things that come with leaving high school. It's like a breath of fresh air knowing you're finally free to take creative control of your life. For me, this meant investing in myself and figuring out the things that I'm interested in.
2. Let go of those things that are stopping your growth
This was a really important lesson for me. I just recently started being aware of those things that don't impact my life in a positive way. Whether it's a person, a group of people, or a particular place don't allow yourself to stay in situations that don't make you feel good. If you already feel like a certain environment is hindering your personal growth, move on to the next chapter of your life. So far, I've already let go of a few things that no longer benefit my life, and I can already see the difference. If it's not empowering you , then you need to let go.
3. Get to know yourself
Truthfully, for a long time in high school I didn't really know who I was. It wasn't until the end of my senior year that a few things came in perspective for me. Before that, for a long time I defined myself by how others viewed me. It wasn't until i got space from high school that I started re- defining who I was. I started focusing less on what others think about me and started empowering my own self image. I learned that if you define yourself based on how others see you, you'll always be disappointed. I decided to focus on how I feel about myself.
4. Cut yourself a break
I can't stress this one enough. After leaving high school, I started getting this anxiety to accomplish all my goals as soon as possible. While there's nothing wrong with being ambitious and going after your goals, you have to know when to draw the line. Everybody needs space. Whatever your dreams may be, it's sometimes necessary to take a break from them in order to gain some clarity. I will be a Journalist and a screenwriter some day but it's perfectly fine to give myself some space from that prospect and just be Emmanuel for a while. I'm not saying forget your dreams. I'm saying you're human. Take a day off. Explore different things.
5. Empower yourself
Last but definitely not least, empower yourself. This is something that I have to remind myself constantly. For me, empowerment means respecting my life journey and understanding that life will have its obstacles. I'm realising though, that the important thing is rising above the challenges and keep moving forward. Empowerment means accepting your a flawed person and that you will make mistakes. It also means still appreciating yourself even in the rough times. Life has its highs and its lows. If you empower yourself, you can face almost anything.
Overall, leaving high school turned out to be very beneficial towards my growth. I'll keep these lessons with me for a very long time and I hope you can gain some insight from it as well.