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Whats the biggest struggle after graduation?

I am 17 years old and I am a senior in high school and graduating in the spring. I have talked about college options and discussed them briefly with my parents. I just would like to know whats the big step I can take before I graduate. I want to go to college to become a therapist or help special needs kids. #high-school #college #graduation


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Kat’s Answer

There are two pieces of advice I would give anyone entering college: know what you want career wise post college (which you have already) and take a fun/physical class each semester. The reason for this second one is you will have a lot of things you HAVE to do during college but don’t forget to do the things you WANT to do as well. It will help keep you grounded and give you an outlet when you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

As for career goals, definitely try to get an internship the summer before your junior or senior year and look for clubs that align with your passions. These will look really good on your resume. Also utilize your career center at school. They may seem silly and dorky but they will help you hack the job market SO much and there is a lot to hack when searching for a job.

Finally, if you can swing it, study abroad a will open your eyes to so much and I would highly encourage it. Sometimes they seem unaffordable but there are loads of scholarships you can apply for that can make it reasonable and the opportunity with be so invaluable for you that it’s worth the cost. College is all about opening your mind and heart to a world outside of the bubble you grew up in and you should seize every opportunity that comes your way.

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Vito’s Answer

Hi Hailey,

There are a few things that, looking back, I wish I focused on more in college. I thought that might be a good place to start:

- Utilize your friends, classes, services offered, or simply your free time to invest in skills that will be valuable both in college and later. This could be something as simple as learning how to cook, or spending time getting familiar with personal financial literacy.
- If you aren't working at the same time as you are a full time student, make sure you spend some of your free time in ways that are valuable and meaningful to you.
- While your major, internships, and extracurricular activities are all of the utmost importance for your eventual career, make sure you spend some time learning about things that interest you. One of my biggest regrets is not taking more classes that I found enjoyable or piqued my interest, as this is the time to enjoy learning!
- If financially viable, try and find a way to make a semester abroad trip possible. So much of college is about putting yourself in situations to experience brand new things, and this is one of the best ways to do it.

Best of luck to you!

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Sara’s Answer

College is a big step for everyone and there are lots of ways to go about it. Taking a few classes at a community college is a great way to see how you feel about it before you commit to a bigger college. My husband was able to take almost all of his undergraduate classes at the community college before transferring to a 4 year college and paid a lot less. He had wonderful teachers and smaller classrooms.

There are a lot of careers that can lead to working with special needs kids. A college degree will allow you to work at some of the more specialized ones and ones that are higher paying.

Regardless if you go to college or not, you can work in this field. Schools are always looking for para professionals to help students in the classroom.

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Patrick’s Answer

Post-graduation life is a high-wire balancing act so be prepared. Think about not only what kind of profession you want to have (and it sounds like you have), but also think about the type of people you want to be around in your career, think about your finances, and think about WHERE you want to live. I have found that where you live is incredibly important. Many people like their jobs but don't necessarily enjoy their personal lives outside of work, which is very important for balance. At the same time, also be sure to thoroughly research your desired place to launch your career to ensure you work with great people. Being on a great team is at least as important as having a great job. Lastly, be sure you start saving for retirement early. You are young and are in the best possible position to take advantage of compound interest. You may be 17 but 40, 50, and 60 will be here before you know it so save and invest as much as possible as early as possible. It could take years to align all of these different aspects perfectly but given that you are asking these types of questions at 17 means that you are off to a great start. Best wishes!

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Patrick’s Answer

Post-graduation life is a high-wire balancing act so be prepared. Think about not only what kind of profession you want to have (and it sounds like you have), but also think about the type of people you want to be around in your career, think about your finances, and think about WHERE you want to live. I have found that where you live is incredibly important. Many people like their jobs but don't necessarily enjoy their personal lives outside of work, which is very important for balance. At the same time, also be sure to thoroughly research your desired place to launch your career to ensure you work with great people. Being on a great team is at least as important as having a great job. Lastly, be sure you start saving for retirement early. You are young and are in the best possible position to take advantage of compound interest. You may be 17 but 40, 50, and 60 will be here before you know it so save and invest as much as possible as early as possible. It could take years to align all of these different aspects perfectly but given that you are asking these types of questions at 17 means that you are off to a great start. Best wishes!

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