Resources for the members of the United Church of God

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Graduating From High School

You are here

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Graduating From High School

Login or Create an Account

With a account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


I think it’s safe to say that we all find it difficult knowing what to do after high school. We are raised in a society revolving around a 12-year school program that unfortunately doesn’t fully prepare us for life ahead. If you are graduating from high school, you know exactly what I mean. This can be a very exciting time in your life. But along with excitement, it’s also daunting leaving old friends and stepping into the next phase of life.

I did many things right and some things not so well. But I did grow during this entire time in my life, and I did stay faithful to God, for which I am very thankful.

Here are some of the lessons I learned during this time in my life. I hope it’s of help to you.

1. Carefully choose your career path

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 22:3 Proverbs 22:3A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
American King James Version×

I started a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in college. It was somewhat of a sudden decision on my part, and I never thought deeply about what program I should go into. I took up nursing because a lot of my friends were taking it. Nurses were highly in demand, and I thought it was a perfect path for me. While I don’t fully regret my decision, I wish I had chosen a degree that really fits my personality, attitude and passion.

For those who are interested in going to college, definitely pray about the direction your career might take you. I speak from experience in saying that it’s very upsetting to later realize that you don’t actually like the path you took. Changing the course along the way is not only discouraging, but it will also waste your time and money and delay your graduation. 

Another thing to consider is to not let other people make the choice for you. Look for the career that you are passionate about. Think of that one thing that gives meaning to your life. Remember that your future job will make up a big part of your life. You will likely be spending 40 hours per week—close to 20 percent of your life—performing the work of your choice. So choose wisely. 

The most important thing you can do is get godly advice from others you trust. Rather than just following your heart, it’s best to ask God for guidance. Always pray for His will to be done and not just your own.

2. Carefully choose your friends

“Do not be led astray; bad companionships ruin good habits” (2 Corinthians 15:33 2 Corinthians 15:33
American King James Version×

Whether you go to work or enroll into a college, you will find yourself in a very different world. Remember to choose your friends wisely.

When I was a freshman in college, I was so eager to fit in. And in my desire to be accepted, I hung out with the wrong people. Eventually, I found myself spending many hours playing computer games and wasting a lot of time with my friends.

The people you spend most of your time with will eventually influence you. Friends can either make or break you. Choose friends that will make a positive impact in your life. Don’t be afraid to stand out and be different—God has called us to be different. This is the perfect opportunity for you to be a light to the world.

3. Be prepared to defend and stay true to your moral values

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×

There’s no doubt that this world’s educational system is built on the wrong foundation. If you found yourself defending your moral values in high school, your beliefs will be tested even more in college.

When I was a freshman, we were taught about the theory of evolution. Looking back, I wish I knew how to defend my faith to my professor. But I merely listened to the professor while she explained the theory as if it was fact. People often live an immoral lifestyle in college. You need to make a stand, defend your faith and flee temptation. This can be done if you draw closer to God and study His Word.

4. Learn to balance education, personal time and God

“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15 Proverbs 18:15The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
American King James Version×

My nursing program was very challenging. I was involved in all kinds of projects, memorization for tests and all kinds of various duties. I failed to realize many things I could’ve learned outside the walls of my classroom. I regret not being more active in order to help learn who I am as well as God’s purpose for me.

My advice for you is don’t limit yourself. While passing your classes is important, allow time in other areas of your life that you can improve on. Most importantly, never forget to put godly wisdom over worldly education. This means that your college course is just an “extra-curricular” activity compared to learning the Word of God. Knowing God still comes first.

5. College can be challenging but well worth it

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
American King James Version×

There are a lot of challenges you will face during your college years, but don’t worry. These challenges are a sign that you are doing something that has value. It is better to study hard during your college years rather than suffer difficulties in the future. The hard work you put into your studies is an investment to a better and brighter future. You just need to learn the “art of delayed gratification.” Be willing to sacrifice your comfort today for a bigger reward tomorrow.

When all things are said and done, and you finally walk across the stage to get your diploma or certification, you can look back at the past few years and confidently say—“It was all worth it!”


In the final analysis—college is challenging and, at the same time, exciting. Just take it one step at a time. Undeniably, my four years in college were among the most exciting and life-changing chapters in my life. So live and enjoy it while you can. But don’t forget to always put God first in your life. You won’t regret that!

As of now, I am an online writer who specializes in marketing. This is far from the course I completed, but I am sure that it was God who led me to the job that I really love. Sometimes change can be good, but always remember, there will be no butterflies without change.