Confused about my future

What to do when you haven’t a clue? 

Our elder recommends community college for this high school senior. You may discover an opportunity you never knew you had.

Dear EWC:

I have been struggling lately, or you could say the last four years of high school. I am a senior, only a month left to apply to college. I have no clue if I should go or not, I don’t have a clue of what major if I decide to go.

All I really want to do is travel but I don’t even know if I could do that. I have no clue who I am or what I want to do with my life. I have been isolated from the world, by choice, because I am scared to try anything new. People say go to college and you will decide then, but why waste a couple hundred thousand dollars before I even know what to do.

Ketchman replies:

The feeling of not knowing who you are, or where you’re going, or what path to follow into the future is one that is shared by many thousands of people who are about to complete high school and looking into, what appears to be, the abyss of adulthood. It’s not surprising. You shouldn’t be expected to know what paths to follow if you don’t know what paths are available. It would be like being in a restaurant and being asked to pick a dinner without having the menu to choose from.

If you have no idea of what direction to go, what I suggest is to have a conversation with the career guidance people at your nearest public community college. They’ll give you some counseling and testing and come up with a few alternatives that might interest you. The advantage of the public community college is that it, typically, costs much less that a four-year institution and many of your course credits will be transferable to a bachelor’s degree program if you decide, at any point, that’s what you want to do. 

I followed the path I’m suggesting for you. The principal advantage of the career counseling and testing for me was that the results included a listing of various careers and skills I had never heard of or thought about. That was pretty eye opening in that it started me on a career that I had never considered. There are other options as well for new high school grads who need time and world experience to help them decide on what to do. Joining the military is one option—or actually one of five, since each service has its own culture, opportunities, and downsides.

Change is never easy but it is the way of the world and along with the fear can be a sense of excitement and satisfaction to discover that you can become an independent soul, fully capable of supporting yourself and with the ability to choose your direction from the literally thousands of paths that are out there.

It’s a very large menu and many of the choices are absolutely delightful. It’s also important to remember that anything you choose now or in the near future doesn’t have to be permanent. You can change, so please, don’t be afraid that any choice you make now will “doom” you for a lifetime.

I hope I’ve provided you a useful perspective. Thank you for giving me a chance to help.



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