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Chieftain Press

What is your Career Path?

Alice Torres, Contributor

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Parents, teachers, relatives, and friends have all been asking the same question to today’s current high school juniors: “What career do you want to pursue once you graduate high school?”

During a survey, almost half of students said they wanted to go into the medical field as either a doctor, nurse, pediatrician, etc.

Some were undecided and said that they hope college will lead them to what they want to do. Others mentioned going into psychology, space aeronautics/technology, agriculture, and criminal justice. 

Katie Glauner, a student at Nashoba Regional High School, said, “I’d like to go into the Criminal Justice Field and work in the K-9 unit. I’d also like to do a little work in the military.” 

Katherine Hamilton, another student at Nashoba stated, “I’m not really sure what I want to do, but I really like writing and traveling so I might go into journalism.”

Although many of these students have a good idea of where they are going, one thing to take into consideration is that this student body is only 16 to 17 years old. How, at this age, are students supposed to know exactly what they want to do and know for sure they will be happy with it in 40 years? I have seen first hand those who regret what they studied or realized they wanted to pursue something else. My sister who just graduated UMass Amherst University with a psychology major, now wants to go back to school to become a nutritionist; this time though she feels very confident. 

 I feel as though juniors and seniors are rushed into the decision. They aren’t given the time and experience to figure out what career path is actually a good fit for them. Many juniors are also stressed out of their mind dealing with the overwhelming homework load and other responsibilities like getting a job, learning how to drive, and preparing for the SATs. The pressure many students receive is not only overwhelming but also unhealthy. Many lose sleep due to the large amounts of homework and are spared little time to spend with family and friends which will be even more limited once they go to college. I feel as though we are pressured to focus on way too many things at once and this is what causes many to rush into their decisions of a career. We are not provided the time we need to really consider our options and opportunities. 

The Huffington Post states, “Young students shouldn’t be rushed into making a decision about their education without really knowing what that decision means…Research shows that many college graduates have regrets about their top mic of study.” An earlier 2012 study at Rutgers University reported that 37 percent of a group of recent college graduates say that they wish they had “been more careful about selecting my major or chosen a different major”. 

They go on to say, “The study also showed that 14 percent wish they had gone to a different college. Overall, two-thirds of the graduates surveyed said that they would “do something different if they had it to do over” in terms of making decisions about their college education.” It seems clear that many regret the decisions they make for their education but they’re not easy decisions. They’re extremely difficult as they will be our careers, our jobs, and our futures.
I believe there should be a simpler way for students to deal with this large transition in life. Students should be given more time to consider and experience their options to see if that is really what they want to do. I don’t think students should be stressed to know everything by the age of 18. It’s far too young for anyone to really know exactly what they want for their future. It’s a huge responsibility to make the right choices and it won’t all come naturally. Maybe if students had less school responsibilities like homework and other standards, they would have more time to research colleges and figure out what they want to do. I also believe we need more experience. We won’t actually know what we want to do until we are actually doing it. There needs to be more opportunities for students to test out different fields to get a real feel of the occupation. The juniors have a tough year to complete along with senior year where everything is officially decided; hopefully future generations will not have to endure the stress many deal with today.
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