“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” — Dr. Seuss
Graduating high school has been a dream of many students from the start of their education. Ever since the high school senior has existed, they have been asking themselves, “Now what?”
Some high school seniors answered this question when they were preteens. They knew exactly what they wanted to do with themselves after graduation, and one might say these seniors were kind of wired to know.
But not everyone has been this lucky or strategic.
For those of us who don’t exactly know what we want to be after graduation, let’s step back and contemplate possible scenarios.
How about joining the United States armed forces? This is a very noble and selfless decision, to enlist to protect our nation.
For those who want to go to college, what type of college would be the right kind to get into? There are junior colleges, private schools, Perry Technical Institute, universities and other institutions of learning.
Students who don’t think they are ready for college just yet will go to work. Some will continue working wherever they are employed right now, only they will see it differently once high school is over. This job may become their full-time job. Some students might work with their parents at their business. And some will actually find a job that will allow them to work their way up the promotional ladder.
Sometimes it is OK for seniors to not know what they want to do after graduation and just think, “I’ll join the armed forces.” Joining the armed forces can help prospective students earn money for college, serve their country and travel the world.
However, it is important for one to “seek counsel,” as the Bible says. In other words, look for an adult to help them decide how they should start off their career. For example, if someone wants to become a police officer when they graduate, why not seek counsel with an actual police officer?
One can find out what the job is like this way and decide if that is what they would like to do after graduation. Whatever one wants to be, one should seek counsel with someone who is already doing that job.
The U.S. Department of Labor has a website that discusses jobs whose numbers have increased or decreased, where current and future demand may be, and statistics of jobs.
The site even shows all the possible jobs out there along with how much one can expect to be paid. The website is www.bls.gov/home.htm.
Another tool that could help answer the “now what?” question would be taking an aptitude test, which shows the person taking the test his or her abilities and what sort of job is most suitable.
One can also look up the type of jobs they are interested in online.
Ultimately, the main question one should ask when looking into jobs is, “Will I be happy doing this for the rest of my life?” If people enjoy their jobs, they will never work a day in their life.
• Audrey Navarro is a senior at Toppenish High School and a member of Yakima Herald-Republic’s Unleashed journalism program for high school students.