Meet Driss, my proverbial computer simulation who is assisting me today. His job entails mapping out possible scenarios in an age-old question: what am I to do with my life? Now, we are only discussing potential career and major outcomes. I continue to observe upperclassmen high schoolers, undergraduate students, and even adults well beyond twenty-one ruminate over their professional lives. Today, we hope to alleviate some anxiety by explaining your options—whether you’re certain of a career or otherwise—so you can make well-informed decisions toward an optimal future.

Driss would like to remind everyone that he is only a simulation; it is impossible to determine the outcome of a specific choice with one-hundred percent accuracy. He understands how everyone’s path will result differently due to various unknown environmental factors, plus people’s indirect impact on each other. Rest assured, he is still programmed to provide the most accurate information for the most probable, individual outcome based on his current knowledge. Thank you.

I Want it That Way

So your heart is set on that special career, huh? Congratulations! You may now pass Go and collect two-hundred dollars...if you want to own a monopoly. Otherwise, stay awhile; we have tons of fun in store. You too, aspiring monopoly owners. Unfortunately, Driss informs me that you have plenty more to do for your goals. Career determination is a self-paced process, with the freedom to join anytime during any step, in case you are further along the way. We begin in high school, where GPA becomes more than just a number, standardized testing is the hot topic, and AP’s and IB’s rule as queen bees (unfortunately).

Wielding Your Weapons...Er, Classes

Cons, Pros, and Everything in Between Calculating; please check back momentarily as your results load.

  1. Electives and classes.
  2. Limited interaction amongst peers.
  3. Academic performance in graduation requirements.

Thanks, Driss! Let’s begin with number one. It seems odd to think any drawbacks exist. Subject mastery is preferable if you know what you want. Everyone discourages multitasking (even to those two percent who can effectively do so). Heck, the planets in our solar system revolve around a singular star! That said, most post-secondary institutions require general education courses. You may save money and/or time for career-specific opportunities if your classes vary now (especially if they’re AP, IB, or dual enrollment/credit). As always, check with your college or university. Additionally, extracurriculars can bolster subject mastery to compensate for any lost schedule space. Remember to strike a balance because mental health (plus GPA) can suffer too! Only take classes you feel confident enough to do well. Severe disinterest proves lethal to a work ethic, while chipping away at the psyche. This brings us to number three (ah, don’t you love nonlinearity?). Bear in mind that high schools possess their own general education requirements, which may:

  1. Cause limited class variation from the previous point.
  2. Demand extra time and attention, especially if you’re only comfortable with one subject.

Most electives and classes should still be based on your field of interest. Specific courses will vary from school to school, though most will offer concentrated ones on the five main subjects, i.e. finance or English literature. Overall, everyone is different, which is cool, so ensure you’re doing right by you. Doing that also includes the people you’re surrounded by. Networking performs wonders on your professional life, particularly as you advance. Niche classes remain sound opportunities for this, however are a double-edged sword. You engage alongside the same set of peers for some time which creates both a bubble and a risk for yourself. Point number two is potentially potent if you’re searching to start anew (of course, this is largely dependent on your peers and may be more or less applicable). However, you are likely to re-run into many people, both in school and beyond (especially if you remain within the same geographic region), which is something to consider. Either way, we encourage you to proceed with conviction, giving your all to whatever you pursue. That’s the best anyone can do.

To University and Beyond!

Cons, Pros, and Everything in Between Calculating; please check back momentarily as your results load.

  1. Post-secondary education plans.
  2. Preparing and getting ahead in your career.

“Driss, can you remind me why the first point is so general?”