Many high school seniors have got college on their minds. They can’t wait to step forward to meet new people, transition from total dependence to semi-independence, and have some great new experiences. One challenge many new students face is that they think they want to study a particular field with the goal of perhaps getting a JD in Law or a bachelors in medical sonography, but after being introduced to the program they become unsure. This article will address this very real concern. By the end of it we will have covered what to do before and during the course of one’s studies to solve it.
Before Stepping Foot on Campus
Even if a student only has a couple months before starting classes, and even if class schedules are made, it is not too late to change their minds. Students who want to be in a particular field need to search for an opportunity to do some work in it. This could be a paid job or volunteering. For example, students who want to go in to geriatrics should go to a nursing home, or the geriatric ward at a hospital. Even if it is calling bingo numbers and having lunch with the residents there is something significant to learn in the process. This is so important because what if the person finds out they hate the job, but that that could only be learned in a live setting?
While in School
Universities do a fantastic job of connecting alumni with students. When there are former students in the field one is studying in, he or she would be a fool not to make some time to see them. These graduates can bring real answers to questions like is it really that hard to get a job in this field locally? or do you know anyone who does this particular aspect of the job? These opportunities can lead to others, such as internships, which will lead to significant increases in GPA because of the influence they will have on one’s studies.
Students should not be encouraged to simply step into a degree program without exploring the actual job involved. Many high school and college students study nutrition while only working in retail, and some wait tables for six years while studying finance. The result is that when they apply for positions they don’t have relevant experience, so they may not get hired. If they do, they’ll be behind their peers.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Find Kara on Facebook.