Finding Your Way

High school is crazy and post high school is even crazier. How’s how to navigate it:


Drawing of a woman walking along a water path (Beauty and Fashion) ambition,people,life,trail,family,path

I’m a junior this year which means I’ll be graduating next year and guess what that means: COLLEGE WOOOOO YAYYY!!  

I’m actually dreading graduation. I have no desire at all to go to school after this. I actually don’t want to work at all and become a hermit for the rest of my life, but unfortunately we need money to live. Capitalism is the bane of my existence. I should’ve been a dog or something.

But anyways, class registrations are happening right now, which opens all kinds of new opportunities and classes to explore. There’s teaching academy, Tri-Tech, Running Start and many other programs that offer college level education while in high school. It can be hard to make a choice, especially when you have to start taking your career path into consideration. 

In all honestly, I think being forced to figure out your whole life in high school is whack. Putting that big of a decision in the hands of a 16-year-old is crazy. Now I’m not saying schools should choose for us, but I do think they should give us more time to decide. Taking a gap year is a great thing to consider but keep in mind that some scholarships (like the College Bound one) might not be usable if you take too much time off (like 2 years or so) which is kind of dumb. I feel like it would take me more than a year to figure my stuff out!! As a junior, all of these thoughts have been going through my head the whole year, especially because I’m graduating next year. With this in mind, I wanted to give a little advice to my peers on how to figure it all out. 

1.) Don’t pick a career because your parents told you to. 

I stress this one sooooo much ESPECIALLY if you are a POC (person of color) with immigrant parents. My parents are refugees from Africa, so I know exactly how they can be. I know they only want what’s best for me and they don’t want me to live the same life as they did, but becoming a doctor or lawyer is definitely not something I want to do. Now of course, it’s all up to and if you’re okay with your parents’ suggestions and want to take that career path, then that’s all you. But just remember that it’s a decision you need to make by yourself.  

2.) Take the time to explore your options. 

Even if you have a set career path you want to go after, it’s always nice to see what other opportunities you have. Tri-Tech is a great way to do this. There are so many interesting programs to choose from and it’s all free! So if things don’t work out with the program like maybe you’re just not as interested in it like you thought, you don’t have to pay for anything and can just move on. You might find yourself being interested in things you would never think of! 

3.) Take time to explore YOU. 

At the end of the day, all that matters is picking a job you love. Don’t do it for the money or your parents, do it for YOU. It’s 2023, anything can be a job if you’re passionate about it. Find out what makes you happy and let it be something you’d be willing to spend most of your life doing. What’s the point of a high paying job if you wake up every day and you’re miserable? Or if you barely have time for friends, family, fun or yourself? If it’s just work work work work work all the time, you can easily burn yourself out and really fast too. You should always work to live, not live to work. Spend some time by yourself and see what subjects or topics really draw you in the most. Career quizzes are also a really fun way to figure out what suits your personality and skills the best. Even if you don’t have the skills required for the job you’re interested in, you can always practice and learn by yourself. You’d be surprised at the types of tutorials you can find online. 

4.) Advocate for yourself! 

This is pretty self-explanatory, but just because you have a college degree, it won’t mean you’ll be guaranteed a job right out of college. You need to start opening doors for yourself! It is very important to network, no matter what type of job you have. Networking is reaching out to people in your area of interest that might have connections to things and people in the industry. Networking brings all types of opportunities that you otherwise would’ve never discovered if you never spoke to anyone. You can do it locally or internationally. Social media is a great tool to use when it comes to this. You can reach anyone you want super easily and fast as well! For example, if you wanted to become an author, you would reach out to a publisher or author through mail, email or social media and ask what type of opportunities they have for you to learn the skills of the trade and become an author yourself. Most people will be very nice and eager to help, but if not, just move on and find someone else. There will always be tons of people you can talk to. When one door slams in your face, you can always kick another one wide open. 

And with that, I hope these tips helped anyone struggling with their career path like I am. These are all things I’ve gathered from the very wise people in my life like family, friends, teachers and counselors. Remember not to stress it too much, and to take your time with things. It’s never too late to get started on something, especially your career path. It’s okay to not have things figured out all the time, just know your time will come soon.