The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Big dreams, big decisions, big nerves

Caroline Harper

The average american will spend 45 years working. Thats 45 years spent climbing a career ladder, fighting to advance and do something you love. Basically, your whole adult life is defined by a job picked when you are 16 years old.

Being a teenager is typically seen as a fun, carefree time, but in reality it is a time for major, life altering decisions.

By the time you get into college it seems as if you are already expected to have it all planned out, ready to pick a major and start on your career path.

However before you even go to college, you have to weigh your choices in high school and decide what path you want your life to take.

This formulates a pressure that builds up from the first time you hear someone mutter the words, “What college are you thinking about?” What seems like a simple question, maybe just a form of small talk, actually opens up a world of both endless possibility, and endless indecision. In the eye of the beholder a career path can either be a means of escape, or a tortuous subject.

For those who didn’t just wake up one random day and have a passion ground into their brain, the topic of a college major is on the more torturous side.

There are so many amazing careers, but how is a 16 year old expected to have the ability to explore all of them to see which ones fit best. Most high schoolers still feel like a kid, only a few years away from the days on a playground, but suddenly it becomes time to make one of the biggest decisions of your adult life.

While you can pick your major in college, not all schools have a means for each and every career which is just another pressure added to students.

So to best prepare it requires the general knowledge of what you want before you even start applying to college in the first place.

Not only is college a vessel for knowledge, it’s a means of socialization. After years of hearing your parents say college was the “best years of their life,” students now feel an additional pressure to choose a college that also accommodates their social needs.

In addition to the social aspect, students must also consider the financial side of college as well.

Out-of-state tuition is extremely daunting, but in-state tuition is no joke either, which just adds another stressor to young kids who just want what’s best for their future.

One must ask themselves if the debt is actually worth their dream school. Sacrifice after sacrifice, the decision becomes exhausting.

The sum of the financial, social, and career features builds up to a precepus, with students blindly taking a step forward, hoping not to fall to their demise.

However their are some resources for young students hoping to avoid the succumb of an unfulfilling career. Luckily for GRC students there are various pathways that can be used to test out certain careers, such as the medical or agricultural field.

Having both content that relates to specific fields, and teachers who have real-life experience in certain jobs can be an amazing resource to narrow down the abundance of choices.

Unfortunately this is a double-edged sword to people who never picked a pathway; now in addition to not having a major picked out, they are also behind those who started in career specific classes their freshman year.

This four-year difference in knowledge can become enough to discourage people completely from certain jobs after seeing the comparison in skill.

There are almost 3,000 four-year colleges in the United states, and roughly 2,000 majors within those.

There are endless opportunities but everyone must pick one. The pressure to pick a major before you even pick a college is too much to put on someone who can’t even drive without their mom in the car.

From a student’s perspective it may seem daunting, or almost wrong to go into college undecided on a major; however, it is important to remember that it is acceptable.

Almost 20 to 50% of students actually go into college with an undeclared major.

A number of students also end up changing their major throughout college. One must look past the ideals of a perfect college student, and see that it is okay to start your journey of a career in a different manner than others, as indecision brings an open-mindedness that can lead to new, amazing opportunities that would otherwise be left unexplored.

To all those undecided, overstressed, and overthinking, college and future as a whole is scary; there is no other way to put it.

That’s why it is of vital importance that sources for research and advice from school counselors are available to all, so that no student’s future is left undecided.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Harper
Caroline Harper, Multimedia Staff
Hi, my name is Caroline Harper and I am a part of the Smoke Signals multimedia staff at GRC! I am the number one fan of school food and you will find me in line for school lunch every day. I love to sleep, and my favorite game to play is to wake up as late as possible and see if I can still make it to school on time; somehow I still don’t have a tardy. Some things I hate are math, any room over the temperature of 67 degrees, and slow walkers (I will run you over). On that note some things I love are reading, my friends, and writing, which I can’t wait to show through Smoke Signals!

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