by Brenda March- March Forward Consulting
In a recent survey of local high school when asked:
What is the most difficult part of choosing a college for you?
1. No clear career path yet
2. Financial concerns
3. Worried about choosing the right major
These are big decisions and real concerns. Committing to a plan for college or technical school or a GAP year plan is also committing to a significant investment of both time and money. Many students wonder why invest the time and money without a clear path to follow?
There are many ways to help your students alleviate these concerns. And summer break is a perfect time for them to explore and gain experience. I do believe that having time for the 3 B’s – beaches, bikinis, and barbeques – is important but there is time for both. Encourage your students to be open to all possibilities for summer research and exploration such as internships, job shadowing, or group workshops in career exploration, public speaking, time management or other success skills. Look for workshops online or in your area.
If your student needs or wants more personalized assistance and accountability, hire a personal coach or educational consultant to assist. If cost is an issue, many coaches offer group sessions that are more cost effective. In many cases, learning through your interactions with others sparks collaboration and new ideas.
There are many options to take a step in the right direction to help your students plan their future. I encourage students to budget exploration time, increase self -awareness, improve communication skills, and begin developing ideas around the direction you want to head as an adult. Putting the time in now will be worth its weight in gold to your students. Getting an undergraduate degree in a field they are excited about and potentially starting a career in the direction they want or being prepared for graduate school if that is their choice is priceless. If their research tells them to wait or choose an alternative to college, it saved lots of time and money. Many students dropout and struggle to payback their debt, “some college” is not a good outcome. So developing a beyond high school plan is very important. I tell students, please don’t take this lightly even though you aren’t being graded on it!
And I ask them: What is the most important project you will ever work on?
The Project of You.
You owe it to yourself to know yourself!
You have to know what you want before you can ask for it or go find it or create it.
Brenda March is a coach, consultant, mentor and author and the founder of March Forward Consulting. She is the creator of the Young Empowered Speakers Program and soon to be released book, The Project of You: Beyond High School.