With the summer holidays and finals season right around the corner, one other important part of the year is also here, graduation season. With the end of high school comes, there is a lot of pressure on students to figure out where they’re going next and who they’re going to be without high school taking up the majority of their daily lives. You’ll probably feel like you need to give your students advice. They might even ask you for advice. The important thing is to make sure to say something that will drive them forward.

Enjoy Your Summer

They might not realize it, but for a lot of seniors, the summer after they graduate high school is their last true summer vacation. Encourage your students to enjoy it. Many high school graduates will see summer as a stressful period of limbo. Where are they going? Should they have everything figured out? You might find that your students think they need to be constantly on the move, looking for the opportunities that will rocket them into adulthood.

And they should be looking for opportunities, but remind them to have fun before the real work starts, whether they’re out looking for jobs or prepping for college at the same time or not.

Take Your Time

At 18, you’re an adult, but that doesn’t mean you have it all together, and many of your students probably feel like they don’t know exactly who and where they want to be in the future. There are so many options!

Encourage your students to explore. They have time to figure out what they want to do a little at a time. It’s ok if they don’t have a five-year plan ready to start as soon as their graduation caps hit the air.

Believe in Yourself

We all say this to each other when there’s a change or a hard choice ahead of us. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good advice for your students. You just have to deliver it the right way. Don’t say “believe in yourself” as an off-handed piece of advice. Remind them of the confidence and strength they have built through dance. Remind them of everything they have overcome from high leaps to quick choreography.

Changing life stages is like breaking in a new pair of pointe shoes. It might be a little rough at first, but once you’ve found your comfort zone, nothing will be able to stop you.