You have the Diploma…What Now?

I’m finally done! I’ve managed to acquire that little piece of paper as proof that I’m equipped to take on the world, make my own way, and pay an ungodly amount of student loans!  The question is…now what?

The summer in between senior year of high school and the first year of college is supposedly of great importance to the recent graduate.  It’s the summer before you have to enter

the “real world” and assume all the responsibilities of an adult.  Such responsibilities include figuring out how to do your own laundry without making every white article of clothing you own pink, learning how to make the essential and easiest of foods: i.e. ramen noodles and mac and cheese, and somehow obtaining an income so that you might only be in debt until you’re 35.

These are the things one expects of the transitional summer.  Well, that and hanging out/partying with all of your old high school friends before assuming all of these responsibilities.  This is not to be underestimated as maintaining the friendships that are the most valuable to you is an important endeavor this summer.

Afterall, you will all have to go your separate ways come the fall and chances are it will be significantly more difficult to maintain those relationships to the same degree as you did in high school while trying to balance classes and create new relationships in college.  So enjoy the simplicity of those relationships this summer.

Stay out all night, have fun, (all legal fun of course as you are no longer have the opportunity to be delinquents and get it expunged), and enjoy your newfound freedom while you have it.  For my friends and I, that usually means staying up until 3 watching movies and and eating an obscene amount of junk food together, (seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten brownie batter straight out of the bowl.  You will wake up disgusted with yourself, but while it lasts it is heavenly).

Another added bonus of summer is that, provided you don’t have a job that requires you to wake up at dawn, you can sleep in until noon unhindered.  After all, you’ve done your time.  Now you get to catch up on all the hours of sleep that high school stole from your. The only downside to this is that you lose your ability to keep track of time.

It’s as if all of my internal clocks and calendars were reset upon the retrieval of my high school diploma.  I have to set 10 different alarms to remind me to do things like shower or pick up my brother from practice or go to work. In fact, it has gotten to the point where I measure time based on my work schedule.

For instance if I don’t have to work the lunch shift I can sleep in until I get hungry and then force myself to get up. However, if I have to work at noon or I work a double shift I have to be up and moving by 10:30 or else I won’t be able to function.  And if I have a day off, I surrender control of my day to my television and then measure time by when my shows begin and end.

Now I realize that this all sounds a bit sad, and I’m not about to contradict that.  I’ll own up to it, because this is the last chance I get to be this sad before I have to come up with some sort of life goal or motivation to determine what exactly I want to do with the rest of my life.

I will gladly take the freedom to be a bit sad this summer, both alone and with my friends, and hopefully by the end of the summer I am well rested enough to jump into the “real world” head-first and emerge in one piece.

About Cali Ford

Cali, (official name Caroline, but 4 letters was easier for a kid to remember then 8), is currently a senior at Big Walnut High School who will attend Miami University upon graduation. She spends the majority of her free-time reading, worrying about college loans, and trying to keep up a semi-sane appearance until her graduation from high school. After graduation, however, she plans to use her insanity to help others as a writer, an attorney, or some combination of the two. “If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up”—Hunter S. Thompson.

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