Commencement is fast approaching, Class of 2016. This is cause for celebration, for sure. But this ceremony really signifies the beginning — the beginning of your grown-up life. That is why it is called a commencement ceremony, not a termination ceremony. Soon, many of your conversations will involve someone asking you what you’re going to do after graduation. What are you going to tell them?
Here are three great answers…
1. I’m going to college.
This answer will likely elicit another question…. what will you be studying. If you’re like me, I had no idea what my calling was. I didn’t even start teaching until I was 30! If you are going to college, remember it’s okay to be undecided. And if you’ve selected a course of study, you’re allowed to change your mind. People change their minds all the time when new information comes to light.
If you are pressed to choose a career, you’re always safe choosing education, medicine, or energy sector jobs. As all three are federally regulated, they will not soon go by the way side. People need to learn, people will always get sick, and people must consume energy.
2. I’m entering the workforce.
Most graduating seniors will be entering the workforce. This is also a big a decision, because it means you are now an instant grown-up who will self-subsisting. Entering the workforce usually generates a lot of advice from people you know on everything from who’s hiring to where not to work. Listen to those whose opinion you trust. This includes other employed individuals, jobs centers, and employment recruiters. Do not take advice from the broke unemployed fat guy living in a van down by the river.
3. I’m enlisting in the armed forces.
Serving your country, even during times of peace, is not without it’s risks. As a result, this is perhaps one of the most weighed choice for a high school senior. The natural question will be whether you’ve Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. This may be influenced by your ASVAB results.
Also, enlisting is a terrific way to get financial help with college. Ask your recruiter!
Whatever you choose, Class of 2016, you’ve got some serious reflection to do as you examine these exciting alternatives. Talk to your parents and other experts, like your teachers and guidance counselor. They are in the business of helping you analyze the choices and flex your decision making muscles. Talk to people who have done or are doing what you’re considering. From my experience, the process is often a process of elimination.
Best wishes! What are you thinking of being when you grow up?