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How do I get a better idea of what I want to study in college/ what I want to do for a career?

Im a junior in high school, getting ready to look for different colleges/my major, but I am not sure about what I want to study yet or what I really want to do. career-paths majors career-choice

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Shenel’s Answer

Hi Juliana,

I can only imagine the load you are carrying right now as a junior trying to figure out your future before application deadlines begin to roll around. I do agree with the advice given by both Amy and Rachel. Just to give another option/alternative that is not widely mentioned is to seek out counsel/research from a local community college campus as well and discover ALL career options. Think about taking a college-level course at the community college. Talk with professors to prepare you for the university campus life and class experience while you are figuring everything out. Those credits may be transferrable later on and you have a chance to learn about a new topic or course of interest along the way.

Additionally, do not forget about the people that live with you or the people who are friends of your family. Not only should you ask them what they enjoy about their career, but also ask people Why they chose their career in the first place and what their career journey also looked like. Everyone's career journey looks different, but be open to the possibilities that your career will take you. As previously stated, always always follow your heart, do what works best for you, and always make sure that you have your "It factor" that will help motivate you to do what you love every day.
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Ayesha’s Answer

Hi Juliana,

Adding to all these great suggestions here, I would recommend spending some time on online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning and EdX to explore the basics of some professions/skills to get an understanding of your strengths and areas of interest. These platforms will give you a taste of what particular jobs/careers entail in practical life. We often choose our undergrad major based on the type of job we want or the courses being offered, and I believe these choices can be supplemented with an insight into the day-to-day tasks of each role.

I will also recommend you to continue reaching out to your community and peers online for suggestions with directed questions. Please remember that every person you talk to will be speaking from their experience, which may or may not be completely relevant to you, so be cognizant of the advice you decide to follow.
Good luck!
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Amy’s Answer

Juliana,

This is one of the hardest decisions to make. My suggestion is to start with what you are good at and what you enjoy. Then look at what careers might fit with these things. Another option is to see if your high school has a career exploration program that you could join. These programs can help you explore different careers and may offer the opportunity to talk with people in those careers. Talk with your guidance counselor about other options in your area that can help connect you with people in a variety of industries.
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Rachel’s Answer

In addition to Amy's great suggestions, I would also add to think about any places you may volunteer or enjoy volunteering. If you don't volunteer, this is a great way to see give back to your community and get a glimpse of the inner operations of an organization and network. Are there any interns available over summer or during school year to consider as well. When thinking about what you enjoy, try to pinpoint what is is that you enjoy doing specifically and then research what careers use those same skill sets. You may be surprised where transferrable skills can land you. Many employers have job fairs (in-person or virtual) that are great opportunities to hear more about careers to see what peaks your interest. Keep in mind it's ok to change your mind. Many successful people will tell you that they ended up down career paths that they didn't originally plan on but the key was to find your passion about something you enjoy.
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