Career paths subject to change

As much as I'd like to think that my future will go according to plan, I'm not going to kid myself. What I envision for myself in five years might not be close to what will actually happen.

Unpredictability is a fact of life, and no amount of planning will change that. Why, then, do we pretend that it isn't?

In the midst of my junior year of high school, graduation isn't always at the forefront of my concern. Let's face it: It's hard to get excited about something that's more than a year and a lifetime of homework away.

Despite this, I constantly find myself preoccupied with my academic life after high school. Will I get into my dream college? Should I study abroad? Will I enjoy my career?

It seems that these types of questions are getting asked earlier and earlier in the course of our academic careers. At times, the sake of planning seems to overshadow the opportunity of finding out for ourselves what we really want to spend the rest of our lives doing.


Of course, extensive planning in high school doesn't mean that the next 40 years are set in stone. There's always room to completely change your focus if need be. But is it really worth it when we may lose the advantages gained by years of preparation?

Many high schools are now working to get students a head start on their careers by offering more specialized courses in their curriculum. Not only does it better prepare them for college-level classes, but it also allows them to strengthen the subject areas that they will need and use the most.

Sticking to a specific pathway will undoubtedly give you an advantage over those who do not.

While there certainly isn't a disadvantage to customizing your education, it may prove to be inconvenient when careful planning gives way to new career goals.

After becoming well-seasoned in one area of study, students might find it more difficult to switch than if they had stuck to a more basic template. I would certainly be hesitant to throw hours of work away for nothing other than the experience.

I know I may sound like a broken record, but my advice is this: Planning isn't everything. Make sure to thoroughly explore all of your career options before committing your time to one at such an early stage.

Even if you seem certain that becoming a pilot is your life's destiny, there is always a chance that you will find yourself infatuated with science, or maybe even accounting. After all, making plans will only prove useful when you prepare for them to change.

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