11 Things You Need to Do Before Graduation

Dec 14, 2022

In the next few months, you’ll be celebrating your high school graduation, heading off to college, or entering the workforce. It’s time to decide how you want to spend your last days as a high schooler! Take advantage of these 11 must-dos before you enter the next phase of your life. If you haven’t taken care of them yet, this list will also serve as a wake-up call that now is the time!

1) Spend Time With Family and Friends

It’s important to reflect on your experiences and the relationships you’ve built from high school, as it is a milestone moment in your life. As your senior year draws to a close, spend time with family and friends. Not only will this help you enjoy your last few months of high school, but it will also be something that you’ll cherish for years to come.

There are plenty of ways that you can spend time with your family and friends before graduation. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Have a movie night: Invite a few of your closest friends over for a movie night, complete with popcorn and other snacks.
  • Enjoy a picnic: Pack up some food, grab a blanket and head to your favorite outdoor spot for a picnic lunch.
  • Have a game night: Gather around the table for an evening of card and board games.
  • Go out to dinner: Take your friends out to dinner at a favorite local spot.
  • Host a potluck: Get together with family or friends and have everyone bring their favorite dish.

No matter how you choose to spend time with those closest to you, savor these moments before high school graduation. These memories will last you a lifetime!

2) Take a Road Trip

A road trip with your friends is a classic senior year bucket list item. Whether it’s a weekend getaway to the nearest beach, a cross-country journey, or anything in between, a road trip is a perfect way to create lasting memories before you say goodbye to high school. 

Road trips require some planning, but they are worth it. Begin by setting a budget and inviting friends. Pick a destination – sunny beaches in Florida or rolling hills in California? If you have time, plan several stops along the way. This will give you a chance to explore different places and cultures as you make your way to your destination. 

The best part of a road trip is being able to customize the experience. Choose a theme for the trip and let your imagination soar! You can also plan outdoor activities like sightseeing, camping, and hiking. Whatever you decide, make sure that everyone is on board with the plan. 

Before hitting the road, don’t forget to brush up on some essential travel tips. Have your car checked out, plan your route, pack enough snacks and drinks, and bring entertainment options like books or music. And most importantly, don’t forget to document your journey – take pictures and videos of your trip so you can look back on this adventure fondly when you graduate!

3) Get a Job

Before you graduate from high school, get a job. Working during your senior year can give you experience, communication, and teamwork skills. It can also help you save money for college or whatever comes next after graduation.

Getting a job may seem intimidating, especially if it’s your first job. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent opportunities out there. Try your hand at summer jobs at local businesses or look for internships if they’re available. Search for jobs on sites like ScholarPath, Indeed, or Glassdoor.

Whatever job you choose, make sure you enjoy it and gain valuable experience from it. Make sure the company is right for you by researching the company and reading reviews from past employees.

Getting a job during your senior year is great preparation for the future. With the right job and the right attitude, you can make the most out of your last year of high school and gain invaluable experience.

4) Save Up Some Money

It’s important to think about your financial future as you near graduation. Now is the time to save up some money so you can have a cushion when you’re off to college or starting a new job. To save money before graduation, try these tips: 

  • Get a part-time job. See #3!
  • Sell your old stuff. You can make some quick cash by cleaning out your bedroom and selling anything you don’t need anymore on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending. Spend less on movies, eating out, and shopping for unnecessary items. 
  • Open a savings account. Look for an account with no fees or minimum balance requirements. 
  • Look for scholarships and grants. There are plenty of financial aid options available for college students, so start applying for them now! Tools like ScholarPath are great when searching for scholarships and other financial assistance.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need financial assistance, talk to your guidance counselor, parents, or friends about potential solutions. 

Saving money before you graduate high school is essential for your financial future. Plan ahead and discipline yourself to ensure you have enough money to attend college or start a new job.

5) Learn How to Cook

Learn how to cook now, and you’ll be ready in the kitchen when you move out on your own. 

The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert chef to learn how to cook. Start by finding a few simple recipes that interest you. Cooking websites and blogs are all over the internet, so check them out. From there, find a family member or friend who can teach you how to make their favorite dish. You could even sign up for a cooking class at a local culinary school. 

After you have some basic recipes down, experiment with different ingredients and techniques to find your favorite flavors. Learning how to cook can be fun and rewarding, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen. 

6) Join a Club or Organization

Join a club or organization, like the Boys & Girls Club of the Tar River Region in North Carolina, to gain experience and knowledge.

Besides giving you something fun to do after school, clubs and organizations can help you develop valuable skills that will be helpful when you apply for jobs and colleges. Clubs and organizations teach leadership, communication, collaboration, and teamwork skills.

Plus, being part of an organization can open up lots of opportunities for personal growth. Meeting new people, learning something new, and accessing new resources and experiences are all possibilities.

7) Volunteer Somewhere

You can gain new skills, get involved in your community, and help those less fortunate by volunteering. Volunteering can range from a few hours a week to a few months if you choose to do an internship. Among the local volunteer opportunities are helping at homeless shelters and reading to children. No matter what kind of volunteer work you do, you’ll make a difference in someone’s life.

Find something you’re passionate about when looking for volunteer opportunities. That way, you’ll be more likely to stay committed and enjoy the experience. Identify your passions and causes. Then research organizations that are aligned with your interests and sign up for one or two volunteer roles. Also, check with local charities or nonprofits to see if they need help.

You can learn a lot about yourself while volunteering during your senior year. There are so many volunteer opportunities available that you’ll certainly find something that matches your interests!

8) Study Hard and Ace Your Classes

Senior year can be exciting and celebratory, but you should also set yourself up for success. Make sure you prioritize your studies and work hard to achieve your academic goals as graduation approaches!

9) Decorate Your Graduation Cap

Graduating from high school is a major accomplishment, so take time to celebrate! Decorating your graduation cap is one of the best ways to do this. Aside from being a fun DIY project, it also makes for great pictures at the ceremony. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Start with a theme. Love animals? Put some cute critters on there. Going to college halfway across the country? Create a map of your journey. 
  • Check out tutorials online to find your perfect design. There are great ideas out there, and many of them are free.
  • Reflect your accomplishments and goals with meaningful quotes.
  • Don’t forget to add your name and graduation year so people can easily recognize who you are in pictures!
  • Glitter is always a great way to add some sparkle and glamour to your design.
  • Make your cap even more unique by adding 3D elements such as pom-poms and buttons.
  • Use fabric glue so your decorations stay in place during the ceremony.
  • Have fun with it! Caps should reflect your personality and style, so get creative.

When you’re all done, you’ll have a beautiful one-of-a-kind graduation cap that will be the perfect finishing touch to your special day!

10) Make a Scrapbook

You can commemorate your high school years by creating a scrapbook of your memories. Scrapbooks are an easy and creative way to preserve these memories for many years to come.

Collect photos of yourself, friends, and family, as well as tickets, postcards, and mementos from events and trips you’ve been on. Next, gather stickers, ribbon, fabric swatches, paper, and markers for your scrapbook. Include captions and quotes on each page to make your scrapbook even more special.

Once you’ve finished assembling your scrapbook, take some time to reflect on the past four years. Take a moment to think about your highs and lows, your friends and teachers who have been with you, and everything you’re proud of. Be creative and have fun creating your senior year scrapbook!

11) Walk the Stage With Confidence

You will never forget graduating high school! Receiving your diploma is one of the most memorable graduation experiences. Here are a few things to do before the big day to help you look and feel your best:

  • Check with your guidance counselor to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork and requirements.
  • Visualize yourself crossing the stage with confidence and pride.
  • Start practicing and perfecting your graduation speech early if you’ve been selected to give one.
  • Find an outfit you feel great in that is classic, elegant, and comfortable.
  • Get a haircut and style for graduation photos.
  • Coordinate seating arrangements with classmates or family members attending.
  • Confirm the graduation ceremony location – don’t be late! 
  • Make sure you have an extra copy of your diploma if the original is lost or damaged.
  • The most important thing is to relax and enjoy your day. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. This will be a memory that will last a lifetime. 

Graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make the most of it. If you follow these steps, your senior year will be a memorable one and you won’t have any regrets. Good luck, seniors!