What most schools don't teach.
Learn about a new "superpower" that isn't being taught in in 90% of US schools.
Starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh, Drew Houston, Gabe Newell, Ruchi Sanghvi, Elena Silenok, Vanessa Hurst, and Hadi Partovi. Directed by Lesley Chilcott.
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"So, what are you doing after graduation?" Many juniors and seniors get
bored answering that question over and over. Whether your plans include
college, heading straight for the workforce, or taking a year off, here
are some practical tips to prepare yourself for the journey.
Going to College
Some people know from an early age exactly what they want to be and how they plan to get there.
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. Many people start off in a liberal arts
program in college and then decide on a major after a year or two.
(School counselors say that 75% of students change their majors after
they enter college.) 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
Selecting a School
If college is in your future, you need to plan. Which schools appeal to
you? How are you going to pay for your education? How do you decide on
a school when there are thousands to pick from? Start by asking
yourself questions about your preferences:
Ask friends and older siblings who are in college about their schools
and about other schools they're familiar with. Talk to your school
counselor or one of your teachers and go to college fairs when they
visit your town.
Once you've narrowed down your
choices, ask the schools to send you literature. Visit their websites.
When you've whittled your list down 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.
remember: You're not the only one making a decision. Schools are
picking from a large pool of applicants. They want to know how
well-rounded you are and what makes you stand out from everyone else.
They will look at your grade point average, standardized test scores,
class rank, personal essay, and your extracurricular activities — so
it's important to dedicate time and effort to all these things.
Most schools offer a range of admissions options. Investigate which of these your favorite schools offer:
Regular admissions means that schools mail their decisions in April.
means that a school processes applications as they come in; you can
apply at any time, but it's best to be early because spots fill up.
option is for students who are really sure about the school they want
to attend, and who want to know earlier than April if they have been
admitted. There's a drawback to applying under an early-decision
option, though: You are promising that school that you'll attend if
Some schools offer an early-action option, which means that students can be admitted early but don't have to attend.
Money, Money, Money
Don't cross a school off your list just because the tuition is steep.
Ask your school counselor about possible community scholarships. Ask
the school's financial-aid office about scholarships, grants,
work-study programs, and loans. See if your parents' employers offer
scholarships. And check out organizations within your community. An
amazing number of college funding sources are out there
for students with specific career goals in mind. Your high school
guidance counselor should be a good resource for finding these.
apply for federal aid in the United States, you have to fill out the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, although some
schools use their own forms. Check with your school counselor to be
sure you've covered all the bases when it comes to financial aid.
Getting a Job
Maybe you've decided that college isn't for you — right now, anyway. If
you want to join the workforce, opportunities are out there for people
who don't have degrees. One path that some grads take is joining the
military or a service corps. Some retail or hospitality industry
organizations offer training programs to high school grads. Check out
the possibilities in computing, bookkeeping and payroll, or sales.
to your school counselor or a favorite teacher about the job market in
your area. Make sure your parents' friends know you're looking. Scour
the classified ads in the newspaper and do some Internet research. Most
large companies list their job openings on their websites.
overlook trade opportunities. Matt studied industrial engineering in
college. Halfway through the first year, he decided school just wasn't
working out, although he stayed for the full year. So he transferred
into an apprenticeship program to become an electrician. "Sometimes you
feel that society says you have to go to college, especially if you're
a good student, and I went through that
battle in my head," says
Matt. "But I knew I had to figure out what was right for me. And now
that I have, I don't regret my choice at all."
Taking Time Off
For some people, the prospect of starting college, especially going
away to school, is scary. It's probably the first time that you'll be
totally responsible for your own schedule. What if you intend to go to
college but just don't feel ready to start yet — for whatever reason —
and you don't want to take on a full-time job after graduation? You
might want to take a year off to pause and regroup.
practice is common in some countries, like the United Kingdom, where
it's called a "gap year." Taking time off doesn't mean you should
ignore the idea of applying to college. In fact, you may want to
consider making your college plans before you become involved in other
things, especially if you'll be traveling. Apply to schools and make
your choice, then ask for a deferred admission.
took a year off and worked in New York City between college and medical
school. She says that she had to be extremely well organized about
planning for med school so she didn't miss any of her deadlines. "Not
only did I have to apply to schools and make plans to take my MCAT
exams, I also had to make all my living arrangements and other plans
for my year off!"
Even if you decide not to apply to
college, it can be a great idea to take a year to do something you may
not have an opportunity to do again. Lots of volunteer organizations
would welcome your time and energy and would provide you with a
wonderful learning experience.
If you take a year off
you'll learn some great life skills — like living on a tight budget!
Plan how you'll pay your way while you're traveling or doing volunteer
work. Can you live at home or with friends? Get a part-time job?
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
college but you don't feel you're ready or that college is right for
you, explain why.
parents were a little concerned that I wouldn't follow through on my
plans for medical school if I took a year off," says Rachel. "But I
explained how I was worried I'd burn out if I spent all that time in
school — I just felt I needed a break to do something different. I
think that when they saw all the planning I put into my medical school
applications, they were reassured!"
Even if your parents are cool, they probably don't know everything. For
school and career guidance, visit your school counselor and talk with
adult friends (for example, godparents or friends of the family). Make
an effort to talk to people in the fields that interest you. If you
think you want to be an accountant, call some accountants and ask them
about their work. Most people are flattered to get calls like this, and
they'll usually take the time to talk to a student.
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.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: March 2009
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I was underage. It’s easy to drink when your friends drink. Needless to
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“Up until this year I was picked on a lot and it really brings down
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Hey, I’m Chelsi.
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Each morning I see in my mind what I’m working hard to obtain. I
know I can achieve anything I set my mind on by putting in the time
& effort needed. I believe one can learn from every experience. I
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a rule I don’t like talking about myself. However, I want you to know
a little about me, the “teen” likely not much different than you and
thinking a lot of the same things and having similar questions etc.
I try to treat everyone with respect and kindness, just as I would
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or concerns you don’t want to discuss with an adult… you know
Here’s a bit of what I like to do…. I love
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Although I’m only 13 on paper, I’m
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hope after hearing this little bit “about me” you want to ask me your
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“And it's now, now or never when we're chasing our dreams.” -Mercy Mercedes
“I'd like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly.” -Owl City
“Do you know what's worth fighting for? When it's not worth dying for?” –Green Day
What my friends have to say About me - Chelsi♥ ……
like talking to you because you can always make me feel good about
myself and make me happy no matter what. I like you as a person because
you really are a great friend and I thank you for being there for me,
and you’re just fun to be with.” -Jessie
hard.. To put into words.. The uncanny ability you have to put a smile
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“When people go to parties just to hang out, other people come and
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Hey, I’m Trent
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Hi, I’m Connor Cottle. I’m 17 and a junior at Fernandina Beach
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I spend my free time on the tennis court, the golf course, and at the beach. I volunteer
frequently around my community and enjoy every minute of it.
am also the Lead Youth Advisor of the In Search of Me Café program and
I’m involved because I like how connecting teens all over the world can
help them help themselves.
I’m always around if you need any advice or if you just want to hang out.
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