Preparing for College and Career

As a high school student, there are a lot of things that are on your mind, especially as the school year is just getting underway: new classes, new teachers, new schedules, new students, and most importantly, new challenges.  High school is the time where you discover so much about yourself and begin to learn where you may want to take the next steps after you finish high school.  That in and of it itself, can be a source of uncertainty, but it doesn’t have to be.  There are so many resources available to you and now is the time to begin to take advantage of them.

So what types of things should you as a high school student be thinking about regarding your future?  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin to think about beginning the journey of your educational future.

1.    The type of college you want to attend. The type of college you choose can determine what you are exposed to and the opportunities you are afforded during your college career.  It also may help guide you towards the career you may choose after graduation and the experiences you will encounter.  You have options of two year institutions and four year institutions, both of which are great choices.  To get started, take a look at the location of the schools, the majors they offer, the entrance requirements (SAT/ACT scores, essays, letters of recommendations and deadlines), and the tuition costs.

2.    The type of volunteer/internship experience you currently have or need.  When trying to determine the next steps of your educational career, volunteering or working in paid or unpaid internships can provide you with both great experience for your resume and an excellent chance to see what you like and don’t like.  Your guidance counselor can help you with determining where some of these volunteer/internship opportunities may exist.

3.    The type of career you may be interested in.  As young children, many of us said we wanted to be doctors, lawyers, fire fighters, police, or professional athletes.  But as we got older, we may have lost sight of those dreams for any number of reasons.  No matter what your career thoughts may be, determining what may be the best fit for you is just a “click” away.  The internet is full of websites that can provide information regarding education requirements, schools that offer degree programs for that career and what those degree programs are, and potential salaries for those career choices. 

Albeit a lot to consider, these few things can help point you in the right direction regarding what you may want to do after you graduate from high school from a college-bound perspective.  As a high school student, you have a wealth of resources available to you to help point you in the right direction.  Guidance counselors, peers, and mentors are just a few.  Talk with friends and family about their career choices and what was required for them to be successful.  Do some internet research on things you enjoy and what you are good at doing and see if there are careers tied to those skills and interest.  The bottom line – it’s never too early to start planning your post high school future.  In fact, the earlier you get started, the more opportunities you’ll have to explore and find out exactly what you may want to dedicate more of your time to.  All in all, an early start is a good start.  The early bird gets the worm!

Stefanie B. Lomax, PHR
Director of Human Resources
Rolyn Companies, Inc.

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