Alternative (and Productive) Post High School Plans

Not everyone is cut out to go straight to college after graduating high school, and that’s totally okay. There are so many life-altering, educational, self-evolving adventures a person can go on in their late teens and early twenties. Here are a few ideas for alternative plans to make after high school.

Travel the World

Photo by amritamanasphotography

A lot of students are opting for traveling over college right out of high school. Traveling offers so many opportunities to live amongst new people, explore different cultures and see places you’ve only ever seen in photos. There is a lot of self-exploration that happens when traveling—you’ll test your limits and challenge yourself. It’s not all sightseeing and beaches; you’ll encounter plenty of difficulties, too. But how you face those problems will build character and helps you grow.

Explore Your Creative Side

Photo by j0sh (

If your interests lie in creative or performance art, taking some time off from school can help you develop your style. Find a space where you can be free to create your art, whether that’s painting, sculpture, dance or music. Put on shows and share your talents with your community—you never know what doors may open.

Start A Business

Photo by North Charleston

Do you have an amazing idea for a new business? There’s no law that says you need a college degree to start it. It doesn’t have to be anything big to start—maybe you have your first stand at a farmers’ market, or do some freelance writing or design. If you have an idea that people are interested in, you can make it happen.


Photo by Dave Bezaire

Instead of going to college and taking classes to figure out your interests, you can volunteer in your community or abroad. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, get engaged with people from all walks of life and learn about subjects you didn’t even know existed. Whether you’re traveling to a distant country to help people in need or focusing on initiatives closer to home, sometimes the greatest teachers are the ones outside the classroom.

The fact that you’re finishing high school this year doesn’t mean you have to go to college right away. You may feel pressure from parents or teachers to enroll in a program, but remember that you are the one who has the final say.

If you feel you need a mental break from education, your plans for the future don’t require a degree, or you’re not sure what interests you yet, consider making some alternative plans after high school. You’ll still be learning lots—and there’s nothing to stop you from applying to colleges in a year or two when you feel ready.

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