Thursday, December 15, 2011

Candid Advice for Life After High School from Jerry Newport

An exerpt from the book, "Your Life is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome for Parents, Professionals and You!" by Jerry Newport and published by Future Horizons.

You won’t be in grade school forever. You will graduate or they will kick you out because you are too old to go anymore. I think most of you will graduate, and that is a great thing to celebrate.

But that also means that somebody isn’t automatically scheduling your life for you!!

You will either go to college or to a junior college or look for a job. I hope you will do one or both of these things, because if you plan to just sit at home and be a couch potato, you may as well stop reading because I am obviously wasting your time. If you take the book back to the store, maybe they will refund your money and somebody else can read this book. That way, we won’t waste part of another tree to make another book.

Either way you look at it, life will be different after high school.

If you don’t go to college and get a job instead, then you will have to decide what to do when you aren’t at work. This will revolve around the alternatives that I already listed. If you are working, you will eventually find out that you aren’t making enough money to have everything you want since jobs that pay well often require more than a high school education.

So, if you are working, why not find some free time to go to school part-time? That will take care of some of that free time. It will also give you a chance to learn something to become a more valuable employee and more you closer to a job that you want but aren’t yet trained enough to do.

Another nice thing about school, beyond high school, is that the student’s usually aren’t as snotty. They don’t waste as much time picking on each other and teasing. There will always be some idiots no matter where you go to school, but after middle school, there are fewer and fewer idiots left, each year. For one thing, in college, students pay to go, or their parents are paying. There is something about not getting something for free (like high school) and having to pay for it, that makes people take it more seriously and spend less time being idiots.

You may wind up in college full time with no job. In that case, there is a big difference between college and high school. In college, you spend less time in classrooms. But, you have more homework, and obviously, more free time to do it. You have to decide when, where and what to study.

I used to study at the campus library because it was quiet. If you need to look up something for an assignment, you’re already at the library. If you do that, be sure to leave when it is still safe to walk to your car or the bus and make sure the bus is still running. If you are female, it is wise to walk with someone you know. Most colleges have escort service at night. These are people who you can trust, who will walk with you to your car or a safe placed to get a bus or wait for someone to pick you up.

The other thing I can share about studying is that you will probably have one subject that requires lots of time, one that requires little effort, and the rest will be in-between. The best rule for study is to spend time on the hardest subject first. Get that out of the way and then it is downhill. However, if you are having a bad day, then start with an easier, enjoyable subject to get going.

Remember at college your education is much more independent. It is up to you entirely.

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