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Hello Monday - An Open Letter To Recent High School Graduates.

Congratulations Class of 2020! Four years of high school have flown by -- four years of sports, four years of classes, four years of new and old friends, and four years of memories.

Your final year was cut short, but I encourage you to think about the good times. Eventually you will look back at your high school memories and the experiences that you had with fondness. I am only three years removed from high school and want to encourage you to look forward to the next steps on your journey. To help with this transition from high school to your next chapter, I’ve talked friends, family, coworkers, and even scoured the Web to come up with some helpful advice for the recent high school graduate.
 
Be present in the new moments and look forward
You have just graduated and whether you had the best high school experience or the worst you have a new opportunity to start a new chapter. If you are starting college in the fall, seeking a job, or going to the military this is your time to be the person you want to be and meet others with little or no preexisting notions about you. Take this opportunity to be unapologetically you. During this time you will make new memories, meet new people, and have fresh experiences and I encourage you to live in those moments and to look forward to the next new thing.
 
Get involved
This can piggyback off the first piece of advice when being present in new moments. In college you can make some of the best new friends. These people will be in there for all of life’s big moments. Making these new friends and experiences happen when you get involved! Go to social events, go to sporting events, go volunteer, and find an organization to be a part of. These things can and will enhance your college and post high school experience. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities that you have.
 
Save your graduation money
This one made me laugh, because I know the temptation of blowing every cent you receive as gifts for graduation is pretty great! I would encourage you to save it for school and open a bank account if you haven’t already. I was lucky to have people around me that encouraged me to save my money, and to this day I am still able to use it when needed.
 
Spend Time with Family
It’s easy to get excited after graduation and fill your social calendar with friends and other activities, but take it from me, you will never again have this kind of time with your family -- so relax and spend more time with those you love. Take time to mentally prepare yourself for the next step and enjoy that place that you are at now. Live in the present – and take time for your family.
 
I hope some of this advice is helpful to you as you contemplate your future after high school. You are going to do great! I encourage you to continue to ask those around you about their experiences and seek their advice. Know that you will experience failure at points in your life but you will learn from it. I would like to leave you with a valuable quote from an author that I really enjoy and respect. Best-selling author Bob Goff says, “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I'm more afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter.” So go out there and try the things that really matter to you, and do not be scared to fail, but be ready to succeed.
 
Riley Qualls
FBHP Marketing Intern

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