For the majority of this generation’s young lives, they are expected to spend a lot of time preparing for their futures away from their parents, whether it is just having a simple dream, taking advanced classes, getting work experience throughout high school, or applying to colleges.
Everyone’s path is so different, and a lot of people are hesitant to be out on their own, but that’s something we all have to face at some point. “Helping students prepare for their future is a process, a continuum, whether it is having discussions, sometimes it’s as simple as asking, What are you going to do with your life? You certainly do not have to have the answer right then and there but you do have to be thinking about it,” said David Dobler, a teacher at West High School.
Lots of students have an adult in their lives that steer them towards a brighter future and help them achieve that with a well thought-out plan, and some do not. Those individuals depend more on themselves to get where they need to be, it all just depends on the person and what road they decide to take.
David Dobler, who has two children attending West, has many expectations for his students, “I have a certain expectation that all of my students attend some sort of post-high school schooling, not necessarily college proper, but it’s very clear that just a high school diploma is not enough to be successful in the real world.”
It is not always easy to reach your career path, and sometimes it takes years of schooling, but he did whatever it took to achieve his goal, “I attended three different universities: Northern Arizona University, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Sheldon Jackson College, and I would not change the path I took, but I would not wish this path on anyone else because it was not straight forward or easy.”
Everyone has a different perspective on how their futures look for themselves, and Mekayla Winchester, a student in the IB program, talked about her future plans. “I plan to go to college and major in athletic training.” Not only does this goal take work to attain, but years of preparation for college itself was crucial for her. “I’ve been taking lots of AP classes, and trying to keep my grades up,” she said. These will lead her into her path to success.
Another student named Katalina Kioa however, has a different idea for her future. “Generally, I’d like to go on a church mission by saving money, where I will hopefully go by the time I’m 19, but until then I will be focused on school and work.” It isn’t easy to decide on a life plan so early in life because our minds are constantly changing, but Katalina wants to do what she can to also help others attend post-high school schooling, “I am in a club called Hearts of Oceanana, and it helps other Polynesian kids go off to school, and apply for grants and scholarships to get them to go to college.” This way she is helping other students find their own paths as well with a little push and motivation.
Leaving the nest and stepping out of your comfort zone is a big part of life, and it is really hard for some students to understand. Preparing for their future throughout their lives will only make it easier to know what to expect a little bit more. The wonderful thing is that there are a plethora of opportunities out there for everyone and anyone, to suit all different kinds of people’s interests and skills. A good way to determine what your specific interests are is to start looking now, talking to an adult who can help you get on the right path, and doing research to find what’s right for you education wise.