So you've graduated high-school - now what?
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For high school graduates in Indonesia, June to August are basically a free period for us. There are many options when you graduate from high school. Some of us luckily make it to university by SNMPTN (Seleksi Nasional Masuk Perguruan Tinggi Negeri) or the invitational way. Some who didn't make it through SNMPTN just did SBMPTN (Seleksi Bersama Masuk Perguruan Tinggi) or with test. Those who did that test will get their results in June. Going to private university or university overseas are also choices.
Most of these processes will end in June. So you'll have almost 2 months of free time. What will you do with that time? Stepping in to university life is a lot different than going to school. You have to step up the level. You need preparations.
Many of my exchange friends will use this free time to revisit their exchange country. My other friends will use this time to travel a lot. Sounds lovely right?
Who doesn't love to visit new places and gain new experiences? But what if we are on tight budget? We understand that it cost a lot of money to enter university and on top of that, the cost number of books and other needs will be increasing.
This might the longest break we will earn with no stress. So how should we maximize our time and still have fun?
The Best Answers are:
1. Do what you love to do, dig into your passion, and try to give back to your community
Do you remember those intense moments before the national exam and other tests? It felt like you wanted to do your hobby but you had to put that aside because you had priorities that needed to be done.
Well, the priorities shift. You've done that test. You deserve a treat. If you love drawing but you haven't gotten the time, then it's time for you to get back to those tools. If you're a dancer, dance more! If you haven't gotten the time to finish your book, finish that!
It's also really exciting to help others grow and to empower people. Help them by doing what excites you. Be a volunteer, even just for the simplest cause. Join a community service. Go to various discussions or seminars. Instead of being bored at home why don’t you visit a local art show? You will find pleasure and you’ll show the artists that their work are appreciated.
2. Get into what you are taking in university
You and your parents invested a lot in your education. It's not only money, but also the time. Four years is a long period and it's time to get serious here. Unlike in school, where we have to take all the course that are available, in university we are given independence to choose what we’ll learn.
Don't be afraid to go to the library to do more reading about the subjects that you're going to study. Besides that, try to read from other genres that will elevate your skill and knowledge. Don't give yourself too much pressure that you have to understand all the materials. That's the purpose of going to university, it's a platform to help you answer the questions.
3. Clean and Tidy Up Your Place
We can’t deny that sometimes we get messy when we study. Papers scattered everywhere, stacks of books all over the places. Let’s get our places more tidy. Perhaps, during that time you will find some hidden treasures.
Give space to your upcoming notes and books. Don’t just trash the papers and books. Donate those books to people who need them. Give it to your juniors or someone who needs it. They will appreciate your legacy.
4. Try to explore local offerings
“Sometimes if we seek outside too much, we forget how rich we are at home.”
Perhaps, you have lived in this place for all of your life. Perhaps it feels like you’ve know everything. But beyond that, try to explore what’s available around you. Join some tourism initiatives and you will learn some interesting facts that might shock you.
Don’t close yourself to new opportunities because you will learn something new.
Try to learn new languages! You can go to a language course or download a free app. Both have their own convenience. Nowadays, it’s very important to understand more than one language so we can communicate better. Surabaya’s government see this as challenge: in order to help their citizens develop, the Surabaya government has provided Rumah Bahasa, a place where you can learn languages for free. What are you waiting for? Let’s use all available facilities.
5. Get ready to inspire and be inspired by your friends
Enjoying life doesn't always mean you have to spend a lot of money. Try to rekindle connections with your friends. Many exchange students say they “lost” a year in their life. The results of this experience is that many of our friends are one level higher than us. Listen their stories. You can learn from their stories on how to handle university life, how to balance academic life, organization, and me time.
For Moslems, we have Ramadan month from May to June. It’s a great moment to keep in touch with friends and family. Invite them to breaking the fast together. It’s fun to have the hashtag #tbt or throw back time for a while. They can remind you of the old times and how much you have grown.
After all, going from high school to university shouldn’t be a stressful thing. We shall enjoy this moment and give ourselves a chance to grow. Don’t let laziness control you.