If I were to advise a recent high school graduate anything, it would be to realize that decisions that will affect the rest of his life lie in the immediate future. The time to behave as a teenager, and enjoy relative irresponsibility has basically ended. Twelve long years of “forced” education have ended, and an era of new choices has begun.
Not only do your parents have different expectations of you, so does society. The question of furthering your studies at the university level needs to be answered. For those planning to attending college, do so realizing that it won’t be easy, and it is expensive. It is an opportunity that will serve you well in your later life, but must be taken seriously.
For some, an additional 4 years of study may not be realistic for scholastic, or other reasons. Many vocational schools offer excellent programs requiring much less time to complete. You really need to follow your heart as decisions are made regarding education. It will absolutely help you all of your life, but only if you commit to complete your courses.
Should a recent graduate be undecided as to their future, taking a year in the workplace might be good advice. Some youngsters need a break from the world of academics, and benefit from a time period spent figuring out who they are. Under no circumstances should a graduate plan to just chill-out at his parents expense. There is no value to becoming a parasite to those who have gotten you to this point.
The change in status for recent graduates to that of being legally responsible for themselves should also enter into the equation. Along with adult status as a high school graduate comes legal responsibility for irresponsible behavior. The most important of all things to be considered, in my opinion, is taking the time to make sound, and rational decisions in all personal areas.
Stay single, and child free as you enjoy sowing your wild oats. The biggest decision to be made in life is that of getting married, and having children. That decision should come much later, after the immediate questions of continued study, or entry into the workplace. Enjoy the pleasures of youth while the responsibility of having a family awaits you at some time in the future. For now, go out and enjoy being young, and being at the beginning of a great adventure!