What To Do After High School
Dear Selfless Esteem,
I will be graduating from high school this year. My parents expect me to start college right away, but I am having doubts about that. I want to take some extra time to figure out what I want to do first so that when I go, I will have more direction. Everyone is telling me to just go and figure out my major later. Am I wrong to think that is a bad idea?
Dazed and Confused
Dear Dazed and Confused,
First of all, congratulations on your graduation! Secondly, I understand your hesitation. If you don’t have a clear academic goal, you could end up changing your major and spending time and tuition on additional classes. Read on for some suggestions for a bright future. 😎
Spend time with God in prayer and embrace His love as your Heavenly Father (1 John 3:1). (See the posts, “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self Esteem,” “The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps” for details on how to focus on God.) His love for you and plan for your life started before you were even born (Jeremiah 31:3; Jeremiah 29:11; Jeremiah 1:5). He created you for a special purpose (Ephesians 2:10). Ask Him to show you what that is. He is trustworthy to answer that prayer because He promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).
Explore Your Personality
Considering your personality can help you decide which career would be the best fit for you. Think about the following questions:
- What are your strengths and abilities?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- Which videos, shows, and books interest you? Why?
- What could you talk about forever?
Although everyone is unique, people can somewhat identify with certain categories of personalities. Some categories have been organized into theories, which can increase your understanding of your strengths and areas of interest. For example, Oscar Ichazo put together a valuable system called The Enneagram of Personality Types, using ancient personality typology. Another good example is Carl G. Jung’s personality theory. You could even try taking a personality test, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® , which is a popular instrument based on Jung’s theory and developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs.
Consider a Compromise
You might be leaning toward continuing school because you want to honor your parents’ wishes (Exodus 20:12). A compromise with them might be attending community college or taking general requirements at a university so that you can accrue some credits. If you decide to go to a community college, then keep in close communication with your academic advisor and ensure that your credits would be accepted at a particular university.
An advantage of attending a university or community college is having access to the career center, where you can find information about the job market and employment industries. Furthermore, you could talk to career counselors and professors in your field of interest.
Set a Specific Goal
Peruse job sites, such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor, for ideas of jobs in your areas of interest, and gather the information posted about the salary, qualifications, and responsibilities. Talk to friends and family about their career paths, and look for videos of people describing their professions. As a result, you will know what kind of experience and education you will need to achieve a specific career goal.
Test the Waters
Whether you decide to go to college right away or not, you can work for a temp agency or volunteer somewhere to get a sense of what it’s like to work in a particular industry. The more you learn, the better you will be able to make an informed decision.
And Above All…
As you figure out how you would like to make a living, remember to also store up “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). Prepare yourself for the fateful day when the Lord Jesus returns. (See Matthew 25:1-13.) In other words, the best decision you can make and the best path you can take is following God.✞
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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