Possibilities are endless for recent grads
June 13, 2012
Those wide-eyed, nervous, little kids who stepped into a kindergarten classroom for the first time in 1999 are now bona fide high school graduates.
That little piece of paper they hold increases their quality of life substantially.
According to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, a high school graduate will realize certain benefits, such as higher earnings, lower crime rate neighborhoods and access to better health care, than people who don’t graduate.
And while the accomplishment of earning a high school diploma is huge, our guess is that many of the 308 Mount Si grads are still wide-eyed and just a little bit nervous about their futures.
The economy isn’t helping matters. According to a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, employers added only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year. The government also said far fewer jobs were added in the previous two months than first thought — 11,000 fewer in March and 38,000 fewer in April. And the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, the first increase since last June.
For students planning to attend college, that four-year buffer from entering the job market might make the most sense. Surely things will have improved by then, right?
But if college isn’t an option, or even desired, there are a few other options.
Graduates can learn a trade through apprenticeships; seek a job with companies that offer advancement and future management training, even if it means starting in the mailroom to get a foot in the door; volunteering with AmeriCorps, which offers 17-24 year-olds the chance to make a difference through a national network of hundreds of programs; travel to a foreign country through student exchange programs, employment on cruise ships or becoming a tutor or nanny; join the military; or become a self-employed entrepreneur.
No doubt, these recent graduates are facing difficult challenges, but those challenges also present endless possibilities.