6 Things You Should Learn How to Do Before Graduating High School

Graduating high school is a major milestone, especially when it means leaving behind the type of school system you've been in for the last decade-and-a-half or so and trading it in for the freedom of the college dorm life pretty soon.

Even if you aren't headed off to college, graduating high school is still a big first step towards the rest of your life. With that said, it also means that there are a few things you should learn how to do before graduating in order to set yourself up for future success. To touch on just a few, let's start with:

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1. How to Pay a Bill/Create a Budget

Even if you're lucky enough to not need to apply for student loans for college, you'll still need to figure things like paying bills and creating a budget (and one that you'll actually be able to stick to). Your parents will probably be willing to help out at first, but it's still best to get ahead before things like rent and living costs become regular items you'll need to worry about once you're in the post-high school "real world." There are plenty of resources you can explore online, or simply asking your parents for advice is a great place to start.

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2. How to Cook a Few Decent Meals

You don't need to go from zero to Food Network-worthy chef, but knowing how to cook a few solid options that aren'just throwing a cup of ramen in the microwave is something you should really learn how to do before you step across that stage with your diploma in hand. Not only will having a few go-to's save you money over ordering takeout all the time, but it's also considerably healthier as well (depending on what you're cooking/ordering, of course). A few recipes you can learn pretty quickly are pasta with veggies, a simple stir fry (you can choose microwavable rice instead of making it from scratch) or healthy hummus sandwich with all your favorites—the options are endless!

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3. How to Do Your Own Laundry

Heading off to college means the dreaded dorm laundry rooms, and that means you'll need to know how to actually use the machines in them. Even if you aren't headed out of the house quite yet, your parents will no doubt appreciate you being able to do an extra chore for yourself that lightens their workload just a little bit. Just, you know, try not to accidentally mix reds with whites or bleach the darks load—but hey, accidents happen, right?


4. How to Follow a Decent Sleep Schedule

When you're in high school, you have to follow basically the same strict schedule Monday through Friday to ensure you get to class on time. Life after high school, on the other hand, can be a danger zone where you have more freedom than you're used to, classes that start after 8 am and possibly no parents there to make you breakfast or yell at you if you aren't out of bed by a certain time. So many of us end up falling into truly terrible sleep patterns in the first year after graduating high school, especially if you're living in a dorm setting where you're surrounded by your peers who are also pulling all-nighters and sleeping in until noon. But maintaining some form of healthy sleep schedule is so important for your overall health, so it's best to try and figure out how to keep one going before you leave the institution of high school.


5. How to Set Boundaries

This one is a bit more psychological, but it's no less important (and maybe even more so) than the rest. Setting boundaries, whether that be with friends or romantic partners, is essential to your mental and physical health. Be open about talking about what things you are and are not comfortable with, as this will matter a lot more when you're out of high school, out of the house and surrounded by possible situations that may make you feel uncomfortable. Setting boundaries, especially early on with new people you meet, is an absolute game-changer, and one that's best learned early on.


6. How to Do Dishes/Generally Clean Up

Back to the not-so-fun household stuff, here we have learning how to do your own dishes (if you don't already) and keep your living space clean. Even if you regularly do chores that involve making your bed or loading the dishwasher, it's still going to be completely different when you aren't under your parents' roof anymore. This is especially important when busy social and class schedules start taking up all your time or when you're dealing with an ultra-messy roommate.


So, yeah, it may seem like there's a lot you need to learn before you graduate high school. The truth is, though, that you can never be too prepared! You'll end up learning one way or another, but the hard way is by heading into life post-graduation and having to learn it all without prior practice.


Another important thing to learn before it's too late? Incorporating healthy habits into your life. Don't worry, we've made it easy for you—just click HERE for some easy healthy habits you can start practicing now.