If your great-aunt asks you One. More. Time. You might scream.
“What are you going to do after graduation?” It’s all she wants to know. It’s all anybody wants to know — including you.
You don’t have a lot of high school left. You’ve got some decisions to make, but you feel stuck. So read “Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning after High School” by Genevieve Morgan, and see if it doesn’t help.
Your best friend is heading for college.
So, in fact, are two-thirds of your classmates, but maybe not you. You know what’s expected, but you don’t know if that’s what you want, so it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions — now, “not in 20 years.”
The first step is to learn more about what “makes you tick.” What’s your temperament, motivation, personality? Are you extroverted or introverted? What do you love to do, and, in a perfect world with no impediments, would you do it for a living? How much money will you need and how can you finance it? Will your parents support your plan or would you have to find a way to do it yourself?
Then, decide what you’d want out of a college education.
You already know the arguments against it — even former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett questioned the need for college for all — but remember that education is “still the most important investment you can make in yourself.” What’s best for you, when is it right, and what will work for your personality: two- or four-year college, Ivy League or state school, tech school or online university?
And if you get grief for that last one, remember that “it only matters what you know how to do, not where you learned it.”
Then again, what if the idea of more school makes you a little queasy? Morgan says to look into volunteering or military service if that’s how you feel. Check out the Peace Corps, civil servant jobs, an internship or apprenticeship. Travel, if you can. Or, if you’ve got the funding, try your hand at entrepreneurship.
Just know that, as long as what you do is not “stupid or criminal,” this uncertainty is normal. Everything will work out, “just not right now.”
Your parents obviously want you to go to college. You’ve been thinking about it, though, and you’re having second thoughts. “Undecided” can help you understand your options — but if you’re looking for permission to goof off, look elsewhere.
It’s true that chill-time isn’t a bad thing, and author Genevieve Morgan admits that — but she wants her readers to further their education. Step by step and through worksheets, she lays out the pros and cons of professors and classes, but she’s also thought of other post-high school ideas that many people ignore.
That includes some things your parents might not like …
You’ll learn to deal with that here, as well as other hurdles you might encounter, and I liked that comprehensiveness. For any student who knows (and needs) direction like that, finding “Undecided” is an easy choice.