So many choices: I’m scared!

How can I be sure to make the right decision about college? 

From career tests to pros-and-cons lists, our elder has some suggestions.


Dear EWC

I’m a junior in high school. Before I know it I will be faced with many choices. I’m scared, to say the least. I think I know what I want to do, but how do I know if it’s the right decision? And how should I go about it? I’ve been in love with art for as long as I can remember. I want to go to school for graphic design and advertising. I think I could do well in that field. I’m also interested in so many other things, so how can I be sure of what to do? I love makeup, cooking/baking, traditional art, teaching, fashion, and so many other things. How can I be sure I’m making the right decision about my future? Thanks!


Lawry replies

I would be happy to answer your letter. I know the feeling as I didn’t know what career I should go into, so I would like to share with you some ideas that I found very helpful.

An old book that I found very helpful and recently has been updated yearly is “What Color is Your Parachute” by Richard Nelson Bolles. You might find it at your local library. It is a wonderful tool when looking for a career.

One thing I did to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life from a career standpoint was to take a career aptitude test and I found that to be a very helpful tool. Now, so much of that information is online and it could be very helpful to you. You can look up “career aptitude test,” “career test,” “career assessment,” for a few examples and you’ll find many tests/assessments that you can take for free online. This can help you to find the skills you have and to find something you would enjoy. I really think that doing this will allow you to clearly see a path to follow.

I also talked to friends and family, but you have already done that. Others that might be helpful are someone from the religious organization to which you may belong and a teacher/counselor at your former school. There’s a wealth of resources out there that we often forget about. Most people are happy to try and help.

One thing you can do if more than one thing appeals to you is make a list of pros and cons and see if that helps to sort things out for you. I have used that tool many times and it has always been very helpful. It’s important to be honest with yourself when you do this. If the results are too close, you can add a numerical value to each of your answers and that should help.

I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I wish you a great deal of luck as you move forward with your life. Think positive. I am great believer in that. 

Article #: 474062

Category: Career

One Comment

  1. Wow, you already know many of your passions and you plan to go to college! You are making wonderful, passionate choices already.

    The first year of college will offer many core classes, which will serve you in any career. One of my favorite was a career assessment class, which offered tools and advice to reflect on strengths and preferences, areas I hadn’t even had on my radar. So relax, knowing your path can be flexible for now.

    Your future will unfold in a positive way as you continue to take steps forward. A giant leap into your future is not necessary or even attainable. I found that meeting with a college counselor at my local community college was extremely helpful in navigating course selections and realizing options.

    You have already taken positive steps. Decisions you have already made by expressing your love of art, writing for advise, and realizing future potentials is commendable!

    I admire you for having passion for your future at such a young age. You inspired me to write this note. You are already creating your creative life. Embrace and enjoy the journey.

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