Since my career change from public accounting to high school teacher in 1997, I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of secondary students in their quest for career guidance and college preparation. I see firsthand the pressures that today's teenagers are under—to be popular, to get enough sleep, to work part-time, to get good grades, to be an excellent athlete, to fit in, to perform community service, and finally to get into a good college.
The college selection, application, and admissions process can be overwhelming, causing unnecessary pressure on you and your family. Take a minute and breathe. Step by step, I'll explain the process and requirements to both you (the student) and your parents. Your parents must understand what you need to do so they can support your efforts while not adding any additional stress to your experience. You need to understand the process because it is your destiny in the making.
This is a thought-provoking process. You really need to look deep to determine what matters most to you. What are your interests, abilities, expectations, and goals? I have found that most students care only about the "money factor" when choosing career paths, but through careful consideration and mindful exercises, students and parents can be enlightened to the many pathways to success that abound in this new age of economy. As a certified public accountant who invested $80,000 in a bachelor's degree, only to become disheartened and disillusioned with the day-to-day experience, I now live and honor an integrated, holistic strategy to career and life planning.
Each fall, I am personally inspired by my students' journeys through career planning and college selection. I eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring, when they seek me out to share the news of their final plans and thank me for the inspiration, exercises, and daily prompts that guided them.