Ready to step through the door…

But which one? This letter writer is struggling to decide what to study at college. 

Our elder has some tips for figuring out what’s next.


Dear EWC

Hi! I’m a high school junior right now and my parents have started stressing to me about college. I’m a good student, no issue with academics really, and am pretty well rounded extra-curricular wise. My issue is with trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life. It’s really stressing me out because I want to do something that I enjoy but also that will leave me with enough to be comfortable in life. I’ve spent hours doing college searches and job searches but everything that comes up is not what I want, if that makes sense. I’ve already technically been accepted to a college, but that’s not where I want to go and I’m just there to dual-enroll. Everyone that I’ve talked to tries to help but it’s always what they think would be best for me and not what I think but I don’t know what I think.

 My issue is mainly that there are so many doors open to me that I don’t know which ones to go through that will get me where I want to be in life: Free, happy, and content. Should be simple, right? I guess I just need an opinion from someone who doesn’t really know me and advice. It’s also the fact that I feel like I should talk to a counselor of some sort but I have heard bad things about both college counselors and my high school counselors advice-wise, which really doesn’t help me. What should I do? If this is not something that you can help with could I hear your story? that in and of itself might help.


Lawry replies

I would be happy to answer your letter. 

First, I want to say that it sounds like you have a lot going for you. You have a good head on your shoulders. You expressed yourself very well. I can understand the frustration you are dealing with right now. It’s not an easy decision to make when it comes to choosing a career. I can also tell you that it is not uncommon for people to end up making changes as they move along in life. I would like to share with you some ideas that were very helpful to me in deciding on a career.

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. Others that might be helpful are someone from the religious organization to which you may belong and/or a teacher at your school since you haven’t heard good things about high school or college counselors. 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 a great believer in that. 

Article #: 491809
Category: School

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