I encourage you to do further education and college and post grad - you are not alone, most high schoolers really do not know what they want to do - and how they pivot from basic studies (math, science, biology etc ) to skills and careers.
College gives you more options to help you hit your goals.
My advise is get the best high school grades you can, get to the best and most affordable college you can and then while their the path forward will be clearer.
I asked myself the same question growing up. Here is what I came up with...
College isn't a predictor of success or happiness. However, college is great for exploration. College exposes you to new information, new experiences and new relationships and connections which may ultimately change the course of your life. If you have the ability to enroll in classes (college, trade school, certification programs), it will undoubtedly unlock future potential.
No need to go to overwhelm yourself with college debt. Take small steps forward. One class and then the next, until you see the value in what you are doing.
Anna Lyn’s Answer
Finding a path to a career you’ll both enjoy and have a passion for is sometimes overwhelming. I agree with the suggestions above. Give yourself time to think. Change your strategy. Start volunteering in your community, go to your local library and ask help from the librarian about upcoming events in your community especially for job fairs, community college fair, and other activities and events you’ll be able to attend and talk to people. Even if you’d think you’re not interested in something sometimes learning about that something will broaden your perspective on things and you’ll probably surprise yourself that you’ll be interested in learning more about it.
If you’re in school seek help from your counselor. If not in college and out of high school for awhile, you can still set up an appointment to talk to college career office. They’re a great resource.
Unfortunately, to survive in this world, money is a must. When it comes to money and financial stability, it depends on how you spend your money. Whether you’re a degree holder or not and no matter how much money you make if you don’t know how to handle your money, you’re going to struggle in life. Just thought to include this here because it’s part of life and money is one of the reasons why some people think there’s no way out.
Nate recommends the following next steps:
College is a great experience although at times it may feel stressed due to the workload, and pacing of certain courses. In my personal experience, I moved away into a different town and was on my own for the first time. The new environment was great and I loved exploring the new town I was in. I met many new people, moved in with roommates, and made some friends whom I still keep in touch with. In my opinion, I feel like college is a great way to find out who you are and find out what you connect to! Whether it's your interests, hobbies, or the people you connect with. There is a lot of self-discovery and growth as you are navigating the world as an independent adult. Depending on your major, you can be overwhelmed with coursework but I think if you can master time management then you can pull through! Prioritize your studies but make sure to have fun and socialize with others. You can meet a lot of amazing people.
It's hard to figure out what you want to be right out of high school. What you really want to ask yourself is, "What interests me?" "What can I see myself doing?" "What do I want to learn more about?" You may have to go down several different paths to figure that out and that's okay. The important thing is that you will be learning along the way.
You've got this!
No, going to college is not the only way to be successful in life. While college can provide valuable education and training, there are many paths to success, and higher education is not the only one, and is not for everyone.
For example, some people may choose to pursue vocational or technical training, which can lead to careers in fields such as healthcare, skilled trades, or technology. Others may start their own businesses, become entrepreneurs, or work their way up in a company through hard work and dedication.
That being said, going to college can open up a lot of opportunities and provide valuable skills and knowledge that can help you in your career. College can also help you build a professional network and connect with mentors and peers who can provide support and guidance throughout your career.
Ultimately, the path to success will depend on your individual goals and circumstances. It's important to explore your options and make informed decisions about your education and career path.
I did not go to college, and I have been able to find a way to be fairly successful financially, and I am definitely content. I am 55 years old, and sometime still question what I want to be when I grow up!!
I heard once that you should not always follow your passion, but make sure you bring your passion with you, and you can be successful and happy no matter what you do as a vocation!!
A good question to ask yourself - How do YOU define "be something"?
A college degree can help to open up a broader set of opportunities for you, but it's not a magic recipe to be happy.
Before you try to decide on college or a trade, here is something to consider: What you study now, and what you're doing 20 years from now might be very different.
When I was in high school, I didn't think I would ever have a reason to use trigonometry, much less calculus. And what was I ever going to do with advanced chemistry? I loved learning foreign languages, art, music and theater, cooking - they were fun and so creative. I wanted to go to college and find a career that would let me explore the world - I thought perhaps working in Foreign relations, or business, or even the United Nations. My father thought any kind of liberal arts degree was a waste of money, and that I was not worth educating, even though I made straight A's - even in the maths and sciences. I studied very hard to make good grades. Without his help and information needed to obtain financial aid, I could not pay for college - even with a partial scholarship. And so, with no hope of attending college, I took a student loan and attended a career school for the travel industry. I then started work at minimum wage for some time, all day as a travel agent, and evenings and weekends in a fast food restaurant. I learned all about the world, and vacation and business travel. And I got the chance to travel to other places - adventures! I became a respected agent, and built a clientele. Even so, the time came when I was ready for a change.
I applied for a technical role in "the telephone company". I had no idea what that would mean, but I had been advised that it would offer a interesting (and better paying) job opportunities. I passed the tests, and found myself training to be a Service Technician - that's someone who installs or repairs services to homes and businesses. Totally different! No more office clothes and airplanes - Time for Work boots, hard hat and gloves! I learned about electricity, how signals travel, and how to work outside on poles, or in crawl spaces under homes, and equipment rooms & wire chases in buildings.
I changed jobs a few more times after that - learning all about how the network functioned to ensure that people can use their phones and send data signals such as when you want to use an ATM, or your credit card at a store. I learned computers and how to analyze problems with voice and data networks. I learned to collaborate with technical and sales engineers. By taking classes at night school, over 10 years, I became an engineer. (Office clothes are back!) All that trig, calculus and chemistry were incredibly valuable. And now, they were actually interesting! I discovered that mathematical tools are just more wonderful languages! So many different ways to describe things, and tell the story of how something (almost anything) works. It was just amazing. I got to meet and work with communications and data teams from many of our nations largest companies, and visit their sites. I would never have imagined that!
My work with large enterprises, innovative customer services, and ventures into business intelligence, analytics, and the web opened up opportunities in Technology, Software engineering and testing. It was fascinating to work with business leaders and customers, integrating what customers experience on the web (or an app) to a myriad of systems that perform all the processes that make business work. I built and led a global team, traveled to other countries, worked extremely hard, and had loads of fun learning about other cultures and places. And my journey has continued.
Your journey will be FULL of the adventures YOU choose. The jobs you hold are stepping stones on your personal journey. You ARE something now, and by challenging yourself to BE a great human being who makes the world a better, kinder place, you'll become something even more.
Carol recommends the following next steps:
Dr. Deborah’s Answer
also keep in mind some careers such as doctors , engineers requires certifications and school.
some companies may even includes in their development for employee a tuition assistance programs you may use to get to pay for your education while you are working.
Doesn't really mean anything to many fields. However in Some fields it's the only way to go. Medicine for an example-I'm married to a Chiropractor.
She better have the proper college training & degree.
In the Military (17+ years of Service) some of the most stupid, ignorant people I've ever encountered had college degree's.
Common Military slang term for them is 90 day wonders.
Meaning, even with all those degree's, it's wonder they didn't get someone killed/badly injured.
Real world, hands on training is the best there is.