"So, what are you doing after graduation?" Many juniors and seniors get bored answering that question over and over. Most students, however, choose to go to college for further study. Here are some practical tips to prepare yourself for the journey.
*Talking to Your Parents
What if your post-graduation plans differ from what your parents have in mind? Talk openly with your parents about your plans — both for the short term (like what you want to do next year) and the long term (what you think you'd like to do in life). If your parents want you to go to a college but you don't feel that college is right for you, explain why.
* Getting Advice
Your parents probably don't know everything. For school and career guidance, visit your school counselor1 and talk with adult friends. Make an effort to talk to people in the fields that interest you. Ask friends and older siblings1) who are in college about their schools and about other schools they're familiar with.
Whatever you choose to do now does not have to be what you do forever. You can always go back to school or change a career path — lots of people do.
* Making a Decision
Some people know from an early age exactly what they want to be and how they plan to get there. Rachel's dad is a doctor and his love for his chosen career inspired her to follow in his footsteps. Rachel, who is about to start medical school, said she chose her undergraduate program with the idea of medical school in mind.
Not all of us are so sure of our plans, though, and that's OK too. School is also not just about careers and getting a high-paying job after graduation — it's a place for learning about yourself and the world.
* Selecting a School
If college is in your future, you need to plan. Which schools appeal to you? How do you decide on a school when there are thousands to pick from? Start by asking yourself questions about your preferences2):
* What are my strengths?
* Am I interested in liberal arts or science or business?
* What kind of learning environment is best for me?
* Would I be more comfortable in a small school or would I feel confined?
* Do I want to stay close to home or live far away?
* Would I prefer to be in a city environment or a small college town?
* Do I like being with people who are mostly like me or do I want to meet a diverse group?
Once you've narrowed down your choices, you can visit their websites. When you've whittled2 your list down3) to a manageable number, make arrangements to visit. Try to do this when school is in session so you can get a good idea of what life is really like on campus.