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Do you feel like you're on a conveyor belt where the only possible destination for you after you graduate high school is to go directly to college or university?

For some people that’s the perfect direction, but that isn’t the only one. Here are seven other things you could do after you graduate!

1. Start Working

If you’re certain more school isn’t the right path for you, or if you’re not sure what you want study, heading off into the working world for a period of time might be the right plan for you.

Benefits: If you’re still living at home while doing it, you could stockpile cash for when you decide what your next step is. You’ll also get work experience and a better sense of what kind of work environment you want.

Downsides: With just a high school diploma, your options may be limited. You might become bored slinging cappuccinos or hawking cell phone contracts and start gazing longingly at your friends’ pictures of campus life on Instagram.

2. Start a Business

Who says you have to go to school to build an empire? There are a lot of business owners who learned their trade in the school of experience. Maybe you have a brilliant idea for a new product, or side hustled through high school with your own lawn care business. You can follow your entrepreneurial drive full time after graduation.

Benefits: You’ll get a chance to see if you can make your dreams come true and figure out what you really want to do. You may just love it.

Downsides: Being an entrepreneur can be harder than a first-year Biology prof. and starting a business could be expensive. Seek advice from experts to help set your business off on the right foot.

Testing the waters by doing an internship might be a great way to get experience and find out if the profession you think you would enjoy is right for you.

3. Do an Internship

Testing the waters by doing an internship might be a great way to get experience and find out if the profession you think you would enjoy is right for you.

Benefits: You get to try a career before you buy it – i.e. spend money on a post-secondary degree. It also gives you experience you can add to your resume.

Downsides: It might be harder to find an internship without a degree, so you might not be paid well or at all in the position.

4. Volunteer

Can’t find an internship where you’ll be able to get some high qualify experience? No problem! You can volunteer your time and still test out a career and rack up hours in an office or other kind of workplace. The best part? You can also help an organization doing good in the world that needs extra hands because they don’t have the budget to hire more staff. You might choose to volunteer for a charity around the corner or across the globe depending on your interest.

Benefits: Make a difference in your community while also testing out a field that interests you and getting work experience.

Downsides: You won’t get paid. If you plan on volunteering abroad, you could have some hefty travel expenses.

5. Take Time to Find Yourself

Who says you have to do anything other than take time to figure out who you are? Your parents might say that, actually. But if you can convince them that you don’t want to waste money getting a degree that you can’t use, you might be able to get them to let you test out a bunch of different things or maybe spend a few months reading and conducting informational interviews to find out what really interests you.

Benefits: Sometimes you just need some time to think things through and figure out what is best for you. Taking time to find yourself could change your life.

Downsides: All that unstructured time can lead you astray. You might find that you’re not using your time productively. Or your parents might get upset when they find you playing video games at 2:00 in the afternoon.

6. Improve Your Grades

Maybe you know what you want to do and maybe you don’t. But what you do know is that your grades could be better. Sure, you graduated from high school, but you could opt to go back and upgrade your grades. This can give you more options or can even help you get into the college or university of your dreams.

Benefits: You’re likely to improve your grades the second time around and that will give you more opportunities.

Downsides: You could feel like you’re not getting anywhere since you’re doing the same thing you were last year. If you don’t work hard, your grades might also not improve as much as you would like them to.

There is more than one route to becoming successful in life and just because you take a detour doesn't mean that you won't end up in post-secondary someday.

7. Work Abroad

When you’re considering what to do after high school, you probably think you have two options: travel or work. But you can also travel and work at the same time. There are a number of work abroad programs designed to help young people get experience and see the world.

Benefits: Working while you are travelling is much more affordable and easier on your budget. Plus, you are also able to meet local people and integrate into the community, while you get work experience.

Downsides: If you’re spending all day working, you won’t be able to enjoy your travel as much or spend as much time figuring out your future – unless you realize you want to do exactly what you’re doing!

Excited about all the things you could do after high school? You should be! There is more than one route to becoming successful in life and just because you take a detour doesn’t mean that you won’t end up in post-secondary someday.