In less than a week, a new school year begins for my kids.
This is going to be a tough year for me, I already know it. My oldest son is a senior and will graduate in June of 2012. It is absolutely shocking to me how quickly these years have passed.
Right now, my son’s calendar is all filled up with soccer, meetings with the college counselor, attending seminars on writing college essays, and seeing friends of his that will be leaving for college over the next few days. Watching all the excitement of this phase of his life is a wonderful thing. I look at him and I see nothing but opportunity. He has the chance to go to a great college somewhere in a year and study any subject he wants to. His future is entirely up to him at this point, and if he seizes the opportunities presented to him, he can attain just about anything.
Think About What You Want To Do When You Get Up In The Morning
So, the message in this post is for my son, and anyone else that wants to listen: Take this time in your life to really sit and think about what you enjoy in your life. While there isn’t a major out there for eating at Buffalo Wild Wings that I know of, there are most likely degrees available that tie to other things you enjoy. Look at what you are naturally talented at and what you find interesting, and maybe even fun. Make a list of those things, and then think of what degree programs might tie to those interests and what colleges have a good reputation for that degree. Don’t just say ‘well, I am good at math at school, so I will become an Engineer’. If you truly love doing math and actually understand what an Engineer does, then that is one thing. It is another thing to base such an important decision just on what subject you get the best grades in without fully understanding what the major/career entails.
Remember, Money Isn’t Everything…
In addition, don’t base all your decisions on what income can be generated by obtaining a certain degree. If you end up hating what you do, no amount of money is going to make you love your career or make you a happy person. There are very few times in life where you truly start with a clean slate and have the opportunity to do anything you want to do. Do not limit yourself by stereotypes of ‘well I can’t make much money with this type of degree’. Or ‘I will never be able to find a job if I major in this…’. If you have passion and talent, you can do anything you want to do. I really think if you are driven to do a certain job and are enthusiastic and dedicated, the money will come. Of course, if you plan on obtaining an obscure degree that does not have a lot of practical application, it might not hurt to double major or get a minor in something else you find interesting so you have a backup plan. Whereas money isn’t the ONLY thing in the world, it is still an important part of life, and you do need to be able to generate an income.
Take Advantage Of Your Ability To Become Whatever You Want To Be
Overall, my general point is, really think about what you like to do each day already, and think about what topics in school capture your interest. Your future is up to you, and there is no better time to plan it than when you are young and have no limitations. This is your life, and only you know what makes you happy. Of course, what you find enthralling today may not be what you enjoy tomorrow. So, keep an open mind, be receptive to change, be willing to seek the advice of others if you need it, and enjoy the journey!
In the coming weeks, I will be having my son write guest posts that will cover advice for high school students, and he will also write about the college application process. To all you readers out there, what would you like to hear about from the perspective of a 17 year old? It doesn’t just have to be about school, if you want to hear about teen age drivers or whatever, leave a comment and we will try and get it covered.