On the right path, and in the right place
By Jenna Hubaishy
Lesson Plan Guide
On May 1, 2013, I made the single most difficult academic decision possible as a teenager. This decision would not only be a daily part of my life for the next four years, it would impact my entire future career. I had to decide which university to enroll in. After months of late nights, panic attacks, challenging college essays, and endless streams of applications, I had been accepted to a few of my top university choices.
The decision was difficult because all of the schools I had been accepted to were great schools that I could see myself being happy at. Eventually I realized that only one school met all the criteria of what I wanted my college career to look like and that led to the ultimate decision that I finalized on that infamous college decision day.
College question was “which,” not “if”
I couldn’t be happier. Going to college is a life-changing experience that everyone should have the opportunity to be a part of. So far, I am confident that I am in the right place and chose the best post-secondary path for my future. As of right now I don’t believe I would change anything about any of the choices I have made so far.
However, looking back on the process of selecting a post-secondary path, I do think I could have made it a lot easier for myself and avoided a lot of stress that I endured.
Before beginning my post-secondary career, the big decision for me was not “if” I should go to college but “which” college I would attend. However, this is not always the case. A lot of high school students struggle with deciding what to do with their life after high school.
There are many other options besides college in terms of post-secondary paths, and sometimes it’s not easy to choose; however it is not impossible. At this point it is tempting to offer up a cliché piece of advice and say “follow your heart” or “you’ll feel it when you’ve made the right decision” but I am not going to do that because honestly, as much as we would all love it if making decisions worked that way, sometimes it just doesn’t.
The first time I took a tour of a university during my junior year I was so overwhelmed that I started hating the idea of spending the next four years in a college setting. However, now that everything is said and done, it’s difficult to find something I don’t like about being in college. It takes time to settle into a decision and feel comfortable with it.
Research, plan, and ask questions
So the one thing I would suggest about how to figure out your best post-secondary fit is to do lots of research and plan out your options. This is a good way to be organized as well as help you visualize your future. This is also when you have to start asking some pretty important questions.
Do you want to go to a college, university or technical school? Which schools can you afford? Which schools offer the best programs that accommodate your interests? Would you like to go straight into the work force? Maybe you want to go into the military right out of high school. As long as you pick something to do that will help better your future, then you are on the right track, because doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Also, remember not to stress yourself out to the point of draining yourself mentally. Just remember that you are young and that although it is not easy, you will be able to change your mind if you discover you want to go down a different path. It’s your life, and you were meant to enjoy it.