|Posted on April 10, 2016 at 12:35 AM|
Know yourself? Who can really know themselves? Well, you can but it takes some work. If you are willing to commit the time early in your college search years, you will make a better decision when it's time to apply to college. If you are in seventh or eighth grade, this is the ideal time to begin to question yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, preferences of all sorts. If you're in high school, that's fine too, but you will have a bit less time to explore your strengths and interests before the college application process starts. Using a notebook can be helpful in recording information about yourself.
Let's say you are interested in science and have always been curious about medicine. Unfortunately in life, sometimes things happen in our lives that are life-changing, like a relative developing cancer and ultimately dying from it or some other disease. For some, that's all the motivation they need to pursue a medical career. You talk with your family doctor about what it took to become a doctor. As you get older, you have the opportunity to "shadow" your doctor for a day, to see what being a doctor is really like. You begin to look at the types of courses students take to prepare for their college major and what sorts of majors most doctors pursued in college. You talk with your school guidance counselor to see if he/she can direct you to any materials to help you learn more about becoming a doctor.
Or let's say you have always been a person who can "draw anything." You also like to paint. So you create work that you frame and hang in your room or other parts of your family's home. An art contest is advertised in a local newspaper and your parents encourage you to enter. After the judging, you've won in your category! With this affirmation, you begin to think of yourself as an artist, not just someone who likes to draw. This causes you to begin to look at art classes you can take in school, think about taking private lessons, entering other contests, and beginning to learn how to create a portfolio of your work. You look at the world differently. Now the whole world is your canvas, and before you didn't notice all the things you are beginning to notice as possible subjects for your next art piece.
When experiences like these happen in your life, you can take advantage of them more readily if you have assessed yourself over time and are "open" to these new experiences. Connecting with others who share your passions is another way to develop yourself, learning from them and they from you. So, is it worth the effort to get to know yourself? ABSOLUTELY! Get going, your life will be what you make it. No time to start like the present. Have fun with this process. You have a few years to discover yourself, change your mind and discover new things about yourself. When you do apply to college or any other form of education beyond high school, you will be more likely to know what you want, to have done a good amount of exploring to find an educational situation that will fit your needs, and will have given yourself enough time to enjoy the process.
Until next time...
P.S. I'm always interested in your comments, so let me know what you think. If you have questions, that's even better! Ask away. I'm here for you.
Categories: Early Start College Planning