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I'm in the 11th grade and I have many dreams and careers I want too pursue, what are some helpful next steps I should consider based on my interests and desires?

I am in the 11th grade and I participate in athletics all year around. I play soccer, basketball, and I run track. I do want too pursue a career in athletics in any of the sports I play , or hopes of getting a scholarship in any soccer, basketball, or track, or go too college and become a licensed physical therapist for the sports I play now. I also like too draw/paint its one thing I grew up doing, its something I enjoy doing and it would be a accomplishment if I could go too a Art School. I do have a dream of going into the Service, well preferably the USMC or maybe even the Army. I've gone through a troubled childhood and I've always had a desire of helping other kids that have been through the same things I saw. Really I want too also be a psychologist or a therapist. What are some next steps I can do too work towards these goals and possible careers ?
#militaryservice #psychology #sports #medical #athletics #art #soccer #college #career

Based on your interests I would say maybe going into the field of sports medicine would be something you might enjoy. Also, it seemed you really like to be around kids so maybe being a school counselor or school therapist might be something you might want to look into. You can always fulfill that dream of helping other children by volunteering in your community or donating to multiple organizations as well. I would separate hobbies and things you know you would want to do in the future as a career. Also, try and find similarities within fields and fields that may allow you to have a smooth transition between specialties. I also highly recommend narrowing down your interests so you can find a major you would love to take in college (if you plan to go that route). Anjali S.

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Adrianna’s Answer

Something that I didn't learn until I was well into my college years was the importance of doing internships. Internships are like long term volunteer opportunities. If you get lucky some organizations will pay you, or at the very least provide meals. These are great ways to gain experience in realms that you are interested in, or help you figure out what you are interested in. I am not sure if they are avalible to you at a this young of an age, but you might do a little digging and see if you can find something you're interested in, or start volunteering with your parents permission.

One thing I did when I was doing when I was your age was I had a job (which if you're under the age of 18 you have to get a work permit signed off by your school, at least thats what it is in California), and was apart of a club that is recognized Nation wide. I was also apart of honors and AP classes, though I don't think those are as beneficial as schools make them out to be.These few things look good on a college applications and feature job applications as they show the ability to manage multiple things at one time, as well as showing that you are a hard worker.

It is a scary and overwhelming time you are about to enter into, especially in todays day and age, but you are making an amazing step by reaching out and asking for help. I would also like to recommend reaching out to professionals in fields you are interested in. It is terrifying to reach out and send an email or give a phone call to a professional (I'm 24 and it still makes me sweat), but it will help you and allow you to form a connection with someone who has also been in your shoes once. Usually people will not answer right away and you will have to pester them to get back to you. This isn't due to them not wanting to help, but more of they are busy with their lives and waiting to see if you have the initiative to really reach out.

Best of luck!

Adrianna recommends the following next steps:

look into internships, or volunteering
Start bulking up your resume with clubs and jobs
reach out to a professional

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Carolyn’s Answer

Hi Araeliah!

I echo Edgar and Adrianna's sentiment around looking for internship opportunities to get a feel for the type of job you're interested in. I also agree that looking at clubs or groups within your school so that you have a chance to connect with other students that have similar interests that you can also talk to is a great way to go about this. I found that when I was in college that these groups also tended to offer networking opportunities, or have more readily accessible connections that were easier to approach.

Informational interviews might also be a good technique for you to approach some professionals with that may be a little easier to make happen than a formal internship. I'd come prepared with a lot of questions to get a good sense of what their day to day is like, what kinds of challenges do they face, and what aspects of the job are most rewarding . From there, you may find that, that may help you narrow down which direction you'd like to learn a bit more about. I hope that helps!

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Edgar’s Answer

I agree with the idea of looking into internships to explore your interests in an impactful way. Whether you're doing unpaid or paid internships, the experience you get from working in different fields and the knowledge you get from knowing whether this is something that interests you is valuable. I think it is best to keep your options open and be open to exploring many different disciplines and careers.

If you decide to go to college, your introductory courses or the classes you are required to take will definitely steer you towards your interests. Also, be open to joining clubs and other groups! Clubs and volunteer opportunities are usually low-commitment and low-pressure, so you will get the chance to experiment and talk to others and discuss your interests. You might find some people who share similar interests or others who inspire you to explore other interests. Be sure to ask your peers, alumni, or professors on what they think is a good career to explore and ask them for advice on where to go. From experience, asking others for advice and help gave me clarity in my thoughts and provided a more rational second opinion on how to approach things or what to study. I would definitely reach out to your peers and see what they think as well!

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Josh’s Answer

Great question, Araeliah!

I think it is great that you are involved in different sports and seem to have a lot of interests. Some of the best advice I received when I was younger was to be involved in as many activities as possible. I ultimately found a passion for sports, which gave me the opportunity to continue in college and set me up for a successful career. The other benefit of being involved in multiple activities is that it gives you the chance to discover what you are really passionate about.

I would also echo that internships are a great learning opportunity for the job world. This gives you the opportunity to gain experience, learn from others and prepare yourself for a career.

Best of luck!