Yearbook Spread: Figuring Out Your Life after Graduation

Do you know what your future holds?
Photo credit: Flickr CC user Wrightbrosfan
Do you know what your future holds?
Photo credit: Flickr CC user Wrightbrosfan


“There isn’t a child who has gone out into the brave new world who eventually doesn’t return to the old homestead carrying a bundle of dirty clothes.” – Art Buchwald

The second I started high school the questions started. They didn’t stop until I got my college acceptance letter…four years later. You know what I’m talking about – those pesky “future” questions. “Where are you going to college after graduation?” What do you want to major in?” “Are you thinking of grad school?” “Would you go to community college first?” “Are you thinking of doing early acceptance?” “You know that school only accepts 50 applications and over a million students apply, right?” I could go on and on, but I think you get where I’m heading: people get confused if you don’t have the rest of your life figured out by the time your 16 years old.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to have it all figured out before you’re a legal adult. Heck, you don’t even have to have it figured out in your mid-20s. Heck, how do you even determine if you’ve figured it out or not? Just because it appears that the senior class president has their life completely on track doesn’t mean they really do. We’re all trying to figure out this puzzle called life, and we’re more than likely not going to find the answer on the SATs.

True, everyone might know if the star athlete is getting drafted to the MLB or if the valedictorian got into Harvard, but what about the rest of us who are also moving on? While some students might proudly wear the Ivy League sweatshirt of their dream school, other kids might choose a different path – whether it’s taking over a family business or traveling for a year or jumping right into work or having a family – and that’s cool too. Highlighting different people with different backgrounds and different life paths can add a lot to the school yearbook.

A cool idea for a yearbook feature would be to interview some seniors who might not always be in the limelight. Organize a committee and brainstorm five to ten students you’d like to interview for the piece. Try to think beyond the standard norms. Is the lead from the school play pursuing acting outside of high school? What about the girl who’s been a barista at the local Starbucks for the past three years? What are her plans for the future? Does your school have an FFA (Future Farmers of America)? If so, how is the club president planning to use the skills they learned while being involved once they graduate?

Once you have a list of students you want to interview, seek them out. Approach them at school or email them and ask if they would mind being interviewed for the yearbook. Once you set up an interview and photo shoot time, make sure to have some questions prepared. What are their hopes and dreams? How would they describe their high school experience? What’s next for them?

Realizing you’re not alone when it comes to figuring it all out makes the immediate future a little less overwhelming and just a little brighter.

Do you feel pressure to have everything figured out by the time you graduate? Are you heading off to college, or staying in town? I’d love to hear what you’re up to in the comment box below.