So you may remember that back in April, I wrote a post aimed at my fellow bloggers who either just graduated or will soon graduate from secondary school. (For American teens, this means they just finished their senior year of high school. In other countries… well, it varies.) I was looking for people who would be interested in writing collab posts about their school/graduation experiences.
I did a little introduction for each blogger last time, so I’ll do that again. Emily is a SUPER ENTHUSIASTIC, book-blogging NERD who uses tons and tons of GIFs and always makes me laugh. Taylor, meanwhile, is a bit quieter but REALLY sweet and supportive and… I am constantly in awe of her long thinky blog posts!
Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough. Enjoy!
Location: Australia! Near Sydney.
Age: 18 only a few weeks ago, and loving it
Future plans: I want to study a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at Sydney University – no idea what I want to major in yet!
Since I still have more than four months to go until I finish all my exams and stuff, I have mixed feelings. This has probably been my favourite year of school – we’re allowed much more freedom as Year Twelves, and the teachers treat us as adults, pretty much. Going out more with my friends and just having fun has become more of a focus as exams become more stressful – we need an outlet for that!
This year my friends have pretty much been the most important people in my life. It’s been pretty difficult (especially since I go to an academic school) to keep up with the workload at times, but they’ve always got me through it – which is why I’m always harping on about needing more awesome friendships in YA books!
Hopefully – FINGERS CROSSED – I’ll be going to university in the city. I’ll still be living at home, which I think is different to what happens in America (but I could be wrong), and travelling by train.
The university I REALLY want to go to is the oldest in New South Wales (my state) and has the most clubs/societies and stuff, so I really want to get involved in those. (There’s a Chocolate Club!) And maybe a sport as well – I mean, they have Quidditch. That’s pretty cool.
Since I want to work in publishing after I graduate, studying media and communications will be helpful for that. So I’m excited to start the next step in my life, but also kind of terrified about everything changing. I’ve known all my friends for almost six years and that’s going to be difficult to leave.
Location: New England, USA
Future plans: Liberal Arts & Sciences, community college
A Homeschooled Graduate
I graduated from high school last October, and I’m pretty proud of the fact that from pre-K through twelfth grade, I never once attended a traditional school. In fact, my mom has homeschooled me and both of my younger sisters for our whole lives, and we all love it!
Homeschooling is a very individualized thing – every family does it differently – but for us, most years my mom had me and my sisters on a pretty structured school schedule. Generally, it looked something like three to four hours of schoolwork in the morning, four to five days a week, about six months out of the year – we often did school from September to March before we had our six month “summer break.”
By what was (roughly) my senior year of high school, however, we’d changed things up a bit, and we were taking some extended time off from schoolwork. So when I decided last year that I wanted to graduate, I finished up my American history and algebra books on my own, took some practice tests online, and went on to pass all four GED tests with honors in the fall of 2014. And then, just like that, I was officially a homeschool grad!
A Change of Plans
For many years now, I’ve felt pretty confident in what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a YA author, first and foremost, and I had the idea that I’d probably attend college and maybe even become a librarian too, because why not?
Then this past spring, I took two classes – Composition and Intermediate Algebra – at my
local community college, and all of my plans started to get turned on their head. For one thing, after homeschooling and having so much free time all my life, I was attending two classes twice a week, babysitting frequently, and doing homework, too. My free time dwindled, and when I did have down time I was usually tired or distracted or still in a school frame of mind, so once the semester started I got very little writing done.
I also realized that while some people can pretty much do it all – college, writing, blogging, working, you name it! – I’m kind of in awe of their stamina, because I’m not that person. I’m not much of a multitasker, and I like to have some time to unwind and take things a little bit slower. With that realization also came the knowledge that I’d probably have to choose between writing and college, because I didn’t think I could do both – not at the same time, anyway.
Not only that, but I’ve also been considering whether being an author is something I truly want to do anymore, so recently I decided to take some time off from writing to refresh and reevaluate. I’ve enrolled in two more courses for the fall semester, and I also got a job as a barista and bought a car.
My life is starting to take a slightly different direction than I originally envisioned – and I’m also feeling like my goals are less set in stone than they used to be. It’s a strange feeling, but not an altogether bad one, I don’t think. Having a job, and college to look forward to in the fall, means that I still have some direction – just less of a definite plan of what I’m heading toward.
It’s entirely possible that I just need a break, and I’ll end up going back to writing and become an author after all. Or maybe instead I’ll continue going to school, possibly until I’ve earned a masters in library sciences, and become a professional librarian. Or perhaps my life will take some unexpected turn I haven’t even thought of yet! Right now, I kind of like to think I’m keeping my options open; and with a job that I’m loving and two great classes ahead of me next semester, at the moment I’m feeling pretty content with where I am.
Has anyone here recently graduated? Or will you do so quite soon – midway through the year, perhaps, or next summer? If you’ve already graduated, what was your favorite part of finally finishing school? And is there any advice you’d like to give to Emily and Taylor Lynn?!