Adulting 101

April 17, 2020
Two young women working on homework

Help Your Teen Prepare for Life After High School

Nothing symbolizes the transition from childhood to adulthood quite like high school graduation. As your teen grapples with the changes ahead, help them understand the range of options available. After all, not everyone will embark on another two, four (or more) years of schooling.

Helping your teen identify opportunities for self-sufficiency, education and entrepreneurship are key building blocks to a happy, successful life. They might not follow your path, but your goal is to help them be successful and independent on a path of their own.

Discuss topics like those below to help them find their unique path.

Plan Ahead

The best time to prep for what comes after high school is before high school. Explore your school district’s options. For example, the Clark County School District’s magnet and career/technical academies offer a wide variety of learning opportunities, from cybersecurity and aviation to nursing, finance and veterinary science. View a complete listing.

Be Open to the Possibilities

Apprenticeship in the trades, joining the military, or working full time while taking one or two classes are all options. “I joined the Nevada National Guard after high school,” said one Las Vegas small business owner. “It taught me a skill, helped pay for college, and I made lifelong friends. It was an incredibly valuable experience on many levels.”

Understand Financial Commitments

If continuing education is a consideration, get an early start by attending related information sessions. College is expensive and having significant debt after graduation isn’t how anyone wants to spend a paycheck. Ask for help identifying scholarships, work-study options and financial aid. Parents should also evaluate their own needs before offering to help their child with tuition and other expenses.

Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Not every teen knows what their career path entails, but there are volunteer and internship opportunities available to high school students. Have your teen check with their guidance counselor or find internship opportunities online.

Working in High School

Babysitting, yardwork and paper routes were typical money-earning opportunities for many now-adults. These options are still available to today’s teens, along with jobs in retail and entrepreneurial opportunities, such as recycling cans or teaching others how to use social media. Working part time builds a strong work ethic and good time management skills, encourages independence, and reinforces the importance of saving for goals while having funds available for immediate needs.