It’s Hard Enough to Decide Between Regular, Hot, and Hot Limón Cheetos!
How many 17 and 18 year olds feel confident saying they are SURE of what they want to do “for the rest of their lives?” Scary words to some, motivation to others. Realistically, the amount of pressure that is behind those words is not easy for a teenager, who is still developing and growing, to process and FULLY understand. Especially when the possibilities after high school are endless. For example, you can choose to go into the workforce right away, go to a community college, attend a university, or attend a program that will get you on the fast track to a career. Some jobs, such as department stores, restaurants, the military, etc. only require a high school degree. But is that it? Is that all that you should do because it pays the bills or pays enough for you to go hang out with friends? Is it what you should do according to the adults in your life? At 18, most of us are still learning about life and ourselves. Sure, we know our favorite foods, colors, friends, but have we had enough experience to know what we “want to do for the rest of our lives?” For example, let’s say we decide to attend the University of Arizona, there are at least 35 undergraduate degrees to choose from! It’s hard enough to decide between regular, hot, and hot limón Cheetos!
Am I suggesting that instead of continuing your education after high school you should start working? No, not necessarily. What I am getting at is this- imagine a high school program that gives you the opportunity to learn about necessary life skills, while receiving college credit, and having opportunities to be in the field you are considering.
WOW, if I had that option at 18 my life would be so different.
At 18, as a Mexican-American daughter, there is so much pressure on me constantly from different aspects of my life- parents, siblings, school, society, and friends. I hear- I need to make money, find a job, start working, or I need to go to school so I can get a job that is going to make me rich so I can take care of my family.
Wait, let’s all take a moment here…
Am I ready to do that?
It is so important to learn what happens after high school. It is so important to understand what my options are, to learn about the military, and to know what job requirements are and how to fill out tax forms. To read about the differences between a community college and a university. To understand what an undergraduate program is and what kind of jobs each major can help you achieve. In the end, the most important tool in life is LEARNING. Learn as much as you can about yourself. What is your "why?" What drives you to do your best? How are you at your best? What kind of learner are you? What do you feel passionate about? What do you enjoy doing?
When you are in high school, the conversation about your future begins with “what do you want to do?” “What schools are you applying to?” And in some cases, your parents have sort of hinted at what is expected of you once you get older. Right? Imagine how awesome it would be if you could be prepared to answer these questions for yourself. How cool would it be to understand what a bank has to offer? If at 18 you know how a checking account, savings account, and credit works. Imagine understanding the difference between a community college, a career institute, and a university and what each one can offer you, the application process, and how to pay for it. Paying for education after high school is another story in itself! How stressful does that sound? How will I be able to afford college, a career institute, or a university when I don’t have a job? What if my parents can’t afford to help me pay? I would love to know what student loans are and what they mean and what financial aid is and does. I would love any help on how to apply for scholarships and how to fill out the applications. How can I know if that major or career is really for me? For example, I think I want to be a nurse because they work 3 days a week and make BANK. But, I faint at the sight of blood and I cannot handle someone dying in my care. All I know right now is that I love my family, I don’t have a lot of money for school, and I want to have a secure job to pay my bills and be happy when I am older.