It has been said by a wise man that “Life is in phases”. One of the major challenges that face teenagers and youths in this part of the world is what to do next with their lives after their secondary school education. Though the next general thing on their minds is to further their education by seeking for admission into the tertiary institutions the truth is life happens to everyone. That lofty dream may not become a reality on time, depending on circumstances that confront them. I have spoken with many students who are either clueless or totally confused about what to do with their precious time immediately after secondary school… many have thereby wasted several months and years drifting without any focus while some eventually ended up becoming useless to themselves and family, or a threat to the society at large.

The purpose of this article is to guide you as a teenager to make the right choice by making your life count with tangible goals and achievements while waiting for your WASSCE result or admission to the higher institution. Below are a few things you can or should consider doing with your precious time immediately after your secondary school education. Sitting down at home doing nothing productive or watching cable channels would not bring out the best in you… ARISE and DO something PRODUCTIVE with your LIFE!

1. GO FOR SKILLS ACQUISITION. It is not enough to graduate from secondary school, you need to acquire skills, especially vocational skills. There are several benefits attached to having vocational skills in this our time. You would do yourself a lot of good if you use this precious time available to you to acquire one or more vocational skills that align with your natural talents or personality. You can learn a new language (foreign or local), a musical instrument, computer or phone repairs, coding, baking, blogging, digital marketing, interior decoration, shoe and bag making, etc. The list is almost endless. Find the one that interests you and start from there.

2. DEVELOP YOUR TALENT/GIFTS. Every man or woman is gifted by God with one talent or the other. While some are multi-talented, others are mono- talented but there is no one on earth without a talent. The only problem is many fail to discover and develop their gifts either due to ignorance, laziness or nonchalant attitude. The world is full of stars and megastars making money and serving humanity with their talents. People like Christiano Ronaldo, Kanu Nwankwo, Olu Jacobs, Teju Baby-face, TY-Bello, Basket Mouth, Zuriel Oduwole, Myles Munroe, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and Prof. Chinua Achebe, Emmanuella and Mark Angel are few examples of men and women who decided to develop and deploy their talents and some of them started as teenagers too. So if you want to be known for great exploits in your generation, talent development is one sure way of achieving that. Find your talent and start developing it NOW!

3. VOLUNTEER FOR ORGANIZATIONS. There are many teenagers in our country today who are lagging behind in certain basic expectations of life. Their counterparts in developed countries like the United States of America, Japan, Great Britain, China, Russia, Germany, etc. have gone far ahead in the use of certain technologies while some are even inventing apps and other technologies for businesses in such climes. Volunteering for organizations is one of the things you can engage in as teenagers in order to be ahead of your peers. Look for organizations such as NGOs, Public Libraries, Small business ventures, Schools, or even Churches where you can volunteer for one activity or the other. The beauty of this is that you get to learn certain lessons and skills such as humility, diligence, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills to mention a few. Some may even pay you a token for the service rendered though that shouldn’t be your focus but the knowledge you tend to acquire. The benefits inherent in volunteering go a long way in affecting your future career, admission into a tertiary institution, self-esteem and leadership qualities.

4. ADD VALUE TO YOUR COMMUNITY. Related to the point above is adding value to your community. You should strive to be a positive change agent within your community by initiating or supporting good projects. You can use your time to join and become a member of teenagers or youths clubs. It could be a football academy or any sports club, a Library, a choir or drama group. Malala Yousafza, a teenager in Pakistan started by campaigning for girl child education in her country. Today, she is known all over the world for her works and even awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 (The youngest ever). So, don’t just be passive in your community. Go all out and make a positive difference!

5. CONTINUE TO UPDATE YOURSELF. One major mistake teenagers make after Secondary school education is to stop improving themselves. Some think the new freedom or temporary time they have before gaining admission is to be used for ‘enjoyment’ or to relax from studying. That is a grave mistake! The journey is just beginning! Life is a phase and every phase needs adequate preparation. To think you need a break for reading or improving oneself is to deceive yourself. A lot of information is flying all around you every second and this contemporary world is constantly changing. If you don’t update yourself, you would be left behind and become outdated. So find ways to constantly improve your mind by reading edifying books on leadership, purpose, money, relationship, etc. attend seminars, Go see educational or inspirational movies and so on. Do you know there are lots of videos and free tutorials on almost any field or aspect of life on the internet? Use your time to acquire information because if you are not informed, you will be deformed!

In conclusion, I have highlighted a few things you can do with your precious time and life now that you are through with secondary school education. This is not the time to get yourself distracted by social media platforms and wasteful time before the television or even associating with friends that are not adding any positive value to your life. There are many adults today who wished they had access to information like this so don’t ignore this advice. Arise, take initiative and start something useful.

Have you bought my bestselling book on career development for yet? Click here to get a copy for your academics’ success and future career development.

If you have any question, feel free to ask in the comment box below or WhatsApp me on 08032759183 and please don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends on social media platforms. Just click on the social media icons. Thank you.

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About the author

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Olusegun Akinade

Olusegun Akinade is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, career coach, HSE advocate, public speaker and youth coach per excellence. His first book; "Me and My Future Career" is a bestseller amongst Pre-University students and in secondary schools at large.

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