What should I do with my life? Where am I going? What career should I pursue? What about college? Will I be successful? Likely these and similar questions go through your mind when you think of life after high school. Here is some advice to help you plan your life’s direction.
First, become knowledgeable about what is available to you in terms of further schooling. It is pretty much standard knowledge that most careers require higher than high school education. If you have some idea of what you want to do, research the field and find out exactly the educational needs. And different college and universities excel at providing specific education. If you have no idea what you want to do, research all the options: look at technical school, universities, two-year colleges, and even some of the non-traditional types of education. Finding your right fit may just be a matter of visiting with your high school guidance counselor and visiting the schools.
Second, make a list of some of the things you want to accomplish in the next few years. For example you could
- Study in Europe.
- Volunteer in an underprivileged country.
- Learn a new language.
- Have your degree.
- Start your own company.
Once you have spelled out your specific goals, jump on the internet to find out reasonable ways to accomplish them. You can look up the different study abroad programs, volunteer opportunities, language programs, and degree requirements to most schools now online. If you need further information, contact the school directly. Make sure you are realistic with goals. If school does not come as easily to you, maybe it is not realistic to set a specific time to be done. If there are huge financial roadblocks in your life, planning to take an extended study abroad trip may just not be feasible.
Another fun exercise is visiting careers you are interested in. Contact different corporations to find out more information. Most companies should be willing and able to answer questions and some even offer tours. An important point to realize is that your parents are most likely excited for you and will help you plan your career. Sit down and tell them your career dreams. They can help you see the realities as well as help you produce a reasonable way to get onto your career path.
A final bit of advice is to accept change! Most people change careers throughout their life, and some even go back to school to try something new or get more education. Likely your interests will change and when you look back in five years, prepare to be surprised. Yet, you can help determine your future path by planning, setting goals, and working hard to achieve your dreams.
Life Directions Sources:
- Great Oaks Institute of technology and Career Development Career Planning, “What’s the Next Step: Preparing for Life After High School,” [online].
- Transitions Moving Forward with Your Teenager, “Planning for the Future: Leaving School,” [online].