Lessons in Life - A Beginning
Where to begin...
I suppose the best place to start a topic like this is to start when, as I see it, choices really begin making an impact. High school. In high school, we begin to face a lot of bigger decisions. From my past I can tell you that I had to: start thinking about what I wanted to do in a real way, facing the realism of chances with college, I had to get a job to start working on my financial future (this is a big one to come!), and really start figuring out me as a person, not as a part of a school.
Just from this list, lets look a bit deeper: Starting to think about what you want to do - This is huge! I wish that I had been more dedicated to this growing up. Yes, a lot of us have ideas at least of what we want to do when we grow up, but we don't always have a concrete plan. Well, my advice at this stage would be: look at what you think you want to do. Or a few options if you have them. See if a group of those options maybe line up, maybe they all start in the same general field in college/university. Maybe they all share a skill set. Dissect these options and really start to feel it out. Over the course of time, it will help where your next footfall should be.
Facing the realism of college - College was something that I was told over and over again that I had to do. But, I come from a large family, that doesn't have a lot of money. College was something that had to come out of our own pockets and/or financial aid, since scholarships are not a guaranteed to be granted to you. I started working as soon as I could (Sophomore year I believe), but I didn't have a plan for college at the time. I told myself that I could really just go whenever, and didn't need to save up for it. Then come to find out, my financial aid wouldn't work out as I would have to claim as a dependent, even with a job and living on my own, due to my age in Washington state at the time. So, because I didn't do my research well enough to start, I had to wait to start college until I was 25, when I could be an 'independent' on my FAFSA. Please do the leg work of research you may need to when it comes to college. There are many forms, many fees, and many options. Don't let that turn you away from it though, it is well worth it. Without the schooling I have now, I wouldn't be in my current job. (More on that later).
Getting a job while in High school - This was a big step for me. I wanted to be able to do things on my own, and to afford life outside of school. Not coming from money, I wanted to be sure I knew what it was like to work hard for what you wanted. I started working at one of our local City Libraries and worked as much as I could, as hard as I could, while still attending school; if you have the option to do a Work credit class, I highly suggest it. It was only a part-time job, but it kept me busy, and I got my first few paychecks and was loving it. Yes, you have a little less time outside of school for school work and your social life, but getting a job, even part time, early on helps to prepare you for life ahead on your own. And the jobs that you can get while in high school help to show you what a workforce in the entry level area is like. It may even help you decide what you want to do after high school! If you are currently attending, I highly suggest looking in your local paper (or its website) for job openings as well as any college/campus job fairs.
More to Come
Due to the abundance of information from the apartment portion, I have decided to make that its own article and will be adding more here to supplement the lost information. Thank you, and if you would like to read the apartment hunting after high school (or in general) information, please look for it at this hub! - Lessons in Life: How to find that Right for you Pad. You can find it at this URL, http://hubpages.com/living/Lessons-in-Life-How-to-Find-that-Right-for-You-Pad