This is a time when graduation is on the top of mind of everyone in the country. With Covid-19 dictating what graduation will look like this year, graduating seniors have to make sure that they are putting stock into the meaning behind graduation more than the ceremony that creates it. Parents and families understand the disappointment that is faced this year as the ceremony has changed dramatically under the orders of "Safer at Home", but this is a time to encourage graduates to make the most of a really unusual situation. In fact, this is the most unusual situation to hit graduation in recent history.
It is so important for students to look ahead to their own graduation to make sure that the work behind the ceremony and the diploma have the quality needed for a successful life after high school, whether or not a global pandemic is going to shut down the world and your traditional ceremony.
Graduation is about being prepared for the next step. It is about acquiring skills that help build a competitive warrior that is going to step into the college world and the career job market ready for the challenges. In high school, you are creating your character of how you will deal with situations that come up in the "real world."
HOW TO GAIN THAT COMPETITIVE EDGE BY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION:
1. A-G qualified. Even if you don't plan on going to a four year university, being A-G qualified proves that you have a well rounded education, plus it means that you are ready for a four year university in the event that you change your mind. (You are allowed to change your mind in life, at any age.) A-G is a US standard requirement for most Universities admissions minimums. It measures the education that you received in high school as comprehensive, well rounded, and academic. In order to be A-G qualified, you need to have the letter grade of a "C" or better in a variety of courses.
- (A) SOCIAL SCIENCE - 2 years of social science is required (US History, World History, Government, Economics as examples)
- (B) ENGLISH - 4 years of English is required
- (C) MATHEMATICS - 3 years of college preparatory math is required including algebra, advanced algebra, 2D and 3D geometry concepts
- (D) SCIENCE - 2 years of college preparatory science is required that crosses disciplines including two of the following: biology, chemistry, physics, interdisciplinary, earth, space sciences
- (E) FOREIGN LANGUAGE - 2 years required
- (F) VISUAL / PERFORMING ARTS - 1 year required
- (G) ELECTIVE - 1 year of college preperatory coursework
2. Arts High School. If you are driven by Expressive and Performing arts, attending an Arts High School can help you gain the competitive edge.
- QUIRKY IS THE NORM - If you are an artist, you are likely to feel more comfortable at an arts school because "those are your people." The student body is a little quirky and out of the box (and sometimes crazy). Artists are the most likely to display social acceptance because they are exposed to and consume things that are more abstract. They thrive on it.
- WORK ETHIC IS PROJECT DRIVEN - Whether you are an expressive artist or a performing artist, there are projects with hard deadlines that happen throughout the school career at an Arts School. You learn how to be deadline driven (an essential trait for careers and college) because there is an audience that is coming to see your work. This creates a hard deadline that you may otherwise ignore if "fans" weren't waiting to see the work.
- CREATIVITY IS CELEBRATED - Creativity is easier to show off in a group of people that aren't being stifled by the social norms of a traditional high school. No matter what profession you are planning to enter, creativity is key to being able to climb to the top of an industry. Learning how to use your creativity and translate it to where the world will appreciate it is a key element of an arts high school.
- CONFIDENCE - Artists are polarized on the spectrum of confidence. In general, a performing artist tends to have more confidence (even if they are "faking it 'til they make it") than an expressive artist. When you attend an arts high school as an artist, you get to focus on who you are as a person because you are surrounded by people that are more likely to display social acceptance. This allows your confidence to build up and shine through.
3. Ability. As your work is shared with the world, you get to receive positive feedback that helps you gain confidence. This confidence when combined with rigorous training builds ability. It doesn't matter if this training is academic or arts, the output will always be an increased ability to complete and create work. Ability to complete work turns into confidence. This confidence is paramount to success after high school. It doesn't come overnight, but it comes in a universe where you learn how to celebrate yourself and learn how to let the trolls roll off your back. Confidence and ability go hand in hand.
Whether you are graduating in 2020 or planning for future years of graduation. Take stock of your AAA rating for after high school as an artist. Make whatever is possible by looking at the AAA for expressive and performing artists. Congratulations to the class of 2020!
Petey the Pirate is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's High School program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredtied. Copyright 2020.