The Readiness Checklist

for Life After High School

 Click here to download the PDF

Click here to download the Spanish Translation

Before you graduate from high school you should know how to:  

Set Long-Term Goals

  • Consider career possibilities
  • Take appropriate courses in high school and strive for academic achievement 
  • Attend college and career fairs
  • Participate in an internship, apprenticeship, job shadow, or other career exploration opportunities
  • Develop life goals and map out  a plan with a knowledgeable adult


Manage Your Money

  • Create and live within a budget
  • Open and manage a checking account
  • Establish a savings plan
  • Practice good spending habits
  • Understand how to build good credit and avoid bad credit
  • Obtain a summer/part time job
  • File taxes as required
  • Protect personal information


Manage Your Living Space

  • Prepare healthy balanced meals
  • Perform basic cleaning tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, mopping
  • Know how to do laundry and dishes
  • Understand contracts and leases before you sign
  • Learn basic vehicle maintenance
  • Learn basic first aid and CPR
  • Organize and maintain important personal documents (health and immunization records, birth certificate, realigious records, social security card, etc.)


 Manage Your Time

  • Develop a system to plan and keep a schedule (calendar, app, etc.)
  • Be on time
  • Prioritize and follow through with commitments 


Think Critically 

  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Use logical reasoning
  • Apply knowledge learned in classroom
  • Research and make informed decisions


Present Yourself Properly

  • Strengthen professional written and verbal communication skills
  • Develop appropriate relationships and respect boundaries
  • Be aware of and respect dress codes
  • Practice interview techniques
  • Use proper etiquette (eye contact, handshake, manners, body language)
  • Build a resume
  • Maintain a respectable image on social media sites
  • Acquire conflict resolution and negotiation skills

Balance Your Life

  • Participate in extra-curricular, cultural, and community service activities
  • Be responsible and accountable for your behavior
  • Pursue hobbies and interests
  • Be responsible and accountable for your behavior
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Develop self-confidence 


Know Your Options

Continuing Your


Joining the


 Joining the




  • Explore various branches
  • Speak to a recruiter
  • Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Get military physical
  • Meet with Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)






Resources to Help Prepare for the Future

Cafe College: High School Checklist

College Board: Big Future

College Savings & 529 Plans

Student Aid: College Preparation Checklist

Pennsylvania CareerLink

Career Street: Career Exploration 

Effective Study Habits

How To Study: Study Skills

My Future: Enlisting

Positive Youth Development

Preparing Learning Disabled Students for College

Everyday Life: Ten Things High School Graduates Need

Transition Year: Roadmap
































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