Just Graduated From High School…Now What?


Community QA

Add New Question Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit



Messages for Those Who Graduated With Honors

The high school that your graduate is graduating from may or may not have an honors system. If they do have one, and depending on which system they use, you can always replaces phrases such as "the top of your class" with phrases like "valedictorian." That way your card matches the most appropriate accolade that the graduate received.

  • Graduating is a huge milestone in and of itself. However, you went above and beyond this; you're the valedictorian! I couldn't be more proud of you.
  • It's no small feat to graduate with honors. You've undoubtedly set yourself up for success in college. Congratulations.
  • What does it feel like to graduate at the top of your class? I bet it feels great.
  • I'm so proud of you. You graduated with honors! Keep up the wonderful hard work in college.
  • Freedom at last. And it comes with some extra glory: graduating with honors. We're all so proud of you.
  • By graduating with honors, you've build a solid foundation for your upcoming collegiate career. I wish you success in the next leg of your journey!
  • You've hit the books, logged the hours, and committed yourself to academic pursuits. It's truly wonderful to see you graduate as the valedictorian.
  • You've really proven yourself to be a stellar academic by graduating at the top of your class.
  • Congratulations on graduating at the top of your class. Make sure that you enjoy your summer off! You want to be revived and ready to go when college comes knocking.
  • You're an incredibly driven individual. I can't wait to see what kind of honors are bestowed upon you when you graduate college. High school honors were only the beginning!

Let your grad know how proud you are of them.

Jon Rawlinson

High School Graduation Wishes for Friend

All of your hard work finally paid you, and I’m extremely proud of the fact. Congrats dear friend!

Finally, you have reached your goal. Congratulations! Your hard work is the main reason for this big achievement. We are proud of your brilliant success. Best of luck for your future friend.

Congratulations on your high school graduation. This is not the end. There is a long way to go, and I am sure you will succeed in every phase of your life. Best wishes to you.

Nothing in life can take away the lessons you have learned while walking along the road to success. Congratulations on graduating dear best friend.

You always inspired me to study hard, friend. It’s so good to see you graduate. Congratulations.

Congratulations on your graduation. We always knew you were the ace of our class.

My warm and thoughtful words cannot compare to the hardship you have overcome over the years of being a high school student. Congratulations and Happy Graduation!

Congratulations, my friend. We made it. After all these years of studying, finally, we are graduating today.

High School Graduation Congratulations Message

Congratulations, you made it. You have worked hard and studied well. Now enjoy your success!

Congratulations on your success which was bound to come. Best wishes for the future.

Graduation is a big achievement. Congratulations to you, and remember that you still have a long way to go.

It’s your day of glory. Congratulations on your graduation.

It is because of your hard work and patience that you can achieve this big success. Congratulations!

Your hard work is being paid off today. Congratulations on your high school graduation.

I have seen you working hard for this degree and a

I have seen you working hard for this degree and am really proud of you! Congrats on graduating.

You have made it to graduation. It’s all because of your hard work and dedication. Congratulations.

Passing high school is a big deal, and I am damn proud of you. Congratulations!

I hope it was all worth it, best wishes for your future. Congrats once again on graduating high school.

What’s Next?

Thinking about summer school as a way to complete some of your graduation requirements? Check out our complete guide to summer school to learn whether it’s a good option for you.

Do you think you go to a bad high school? Learn what your options are if you aren’t happy with your current school.

Taking an independent study can be a great way to fulfill some of your graduation requirements. Learn how to take an independent study class with our expert guide.

What’s the benefit to graduating high school early vs dropping out? Find out with our article on whether or not you need a high school diploma.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We’ve written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

3 Potential Drawbacks to Graduating High School Early

You now know how to graduate high school early, but just because you can doesn’t automatically mean that you should. Read on to learn the three potential drawbacks you might face should you choose to graduate early.

#1: It Can Be Stressful

As you saw above, graduating high school early takes a lot of planning and might mean you have to take extra classes during the school year and summer. Balancing this heavier course load can be stressful and tiring, and that’s something you should consider before you commit to graduating early.

#2: You Might Miss Out on Important Events

Another potential drawback to graduating high school early is that you might miss out on special high school events.

For many high school students, senior year is their favorite year because of popular activities like homecoming and prom. If you graduate early, you might not be able to participate in these events. Additionally, you might not attend a graduation ceremony, which is an important experience for many students.

Before you decide to graduate early, think about how you’ll feel if you see all your friends participating in events such as sports games, school dances, and senior days while you don’t. For some people, this isn’t important at all—but for others, they’d regret missing out on these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

#3: It Won’t Necessarily Impress Colleges

Lastly, don’t try to graduate high school early to impress colleges. Just by itself, finishing high school in a shorter amount of time won’t give your college applications a boost. In fact, if graduating high school early means you have fewer classes in core subjects, it could even hurt your chances of admission!

Unless you have plans to spend your time at a great internship or another exciting opportunity that will really show colleges who you are and what your skills are, colleges won’t see graduating high school early as a sign of increased intelligence or motivation.

Don't expect colleges to be automatically impresse

Don’t expect colleges to be automatically impressed that you graduated early.

The Differences Between a High School Diploma and a High School Certificate

You might have noticed that there are two types of ‘degrees’ you can get when you finish high school: a high school diploma and a high school certificate. But what’s the difference?

In short, a high school diploma is the degree you get when you complete all the education requirements of your school, district, city, and state. Meanwhile, a high school certificate means that you’ve completed high school, but did not meet all the requirements for you to graduate.

A high school diploma and a high school certificate differ in many ways: first, a diploma is only granted if the student fulfills all of the requirements set for them. A certificate can be granted on more flexible terms (but usually dependent on a student’s individual educational program).

Photo from Pexels
Photo from Pexels

Earning a high school diploma makes you eligible to join the military and/or apply for a federal student aid program. Unfortunately, a high school certificate is not accepted by either of those institutions. A high school diploma is often the standard requirement for most colleges, although some colleges might consider prospective students with a high school certificate on a case-to-case basis. Most employers will also look more favorably on applicants with a high school diploma, while applicants with a high school certificate might have a more difficult time.

In place of a high school diploma, a student can also try to attain a GED, or General Equivalency Diploma. While not the same as a high school diploma, a GED is accepted by the military and is an acceptable qualification for most colleges and employers. Normally, GED’s are granted to people who stopped high school and are pursuing it again after a number of years, or immigrants whose home country’s educational system might differ from the U.S.

Meanwhile, a vocational diploma is a more acceptable qualification for people going into highly technical fields after high school. A vocational diploma is granted to students who finish a vocational educational system and have proven themselves competent in a particular technical field. These technical fields are often manual labor-related, and a vocational diploma will make the student more agreeable to employers, as they have proven skills necessary for their employment.

On the other hand, if you get really good grades in high school, you might be granted an Honors Diploma. An honors diploma is in addition to a High School Diploma, and is often granted to students who either complete an Honors program or have consistently achieved honors grades in high school. Holding an Honors diploma is your best bet into getting into Ivy League schools, as those types of educational institutions only accept the best of the best into their schools.

But don’t worry, there are various ways that you can enter a college of your choice even if you don’t have a high school diploma. The best way is to enroll into a community college and finish a 2-year Associate’s Degree. These degrees often cover many of the core subjects in other universities, and is often an acceptable qualification for most employers. It can also be used to spring-board into a more ‘prestigious’ university to finish a full Bachelor’s Degree.

At the end of the day, regardless of what you get when you finish high school, know that your educational journey hasn’t ended just yet; rather, it’s only just begun.