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Home Blog Posts Three Things You Can Do to Prepare for Life After High School–Starting in your Sophomore Year

Three Things You Can Do to Prepare for Life After High School–Starting in your Sophomore Year

Published on November 28, 2012 by in Blog Posts
Katie and Jake

Katie and her little brother, Jake

A guest post by my daughter, Katie Wingler

What do you want to do when you grow up?

So all my life people have been questioning me about my future. Ever since I was about four years old, I’ve gotten the age-old question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, my answer has changed many times throughout the years. When I was much younger, my answer was something along the lines of: “I want to be a doctor-mommy-artist-ballerina-singer-actress-McDonald’s-lawyer-astronaut-vet”  If you were wondering, yes I really did say all of that, usually all in one breath. I was invincible. I could do, or be anything. I even had a plan on how I wanted to accomplish all of those jobs in my day. I had it all planned out. I was set! But of course, there came the time I finally came to my senses and realized that wasn’t exactly going to work out. So I started exploring other options. my most recents being things like a therapist, a high school counselor, and things like that. I’m a sophomore in high school. Fifteen years old. And still to this day, I’m hounded by my elders about what I’m going to make of my life. My dad has really been on me lately about things like organizational skills and grades and my future. This time around, though; it’s not so much the question of, “Katie, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Now it’s more of, “What are you doing right now to make sure your future is going to hold good things for you?” and “What choices are you making  day-by-day to ensure your life will turn out at least close to how you want it?” and believe it or not, dad, I’m really working on these things.

Number 1: “Priorities”

I’ve been hearing  that word a lot lately. “You need to get your priorities straight” or “Is that really your top priority right now?”  I should probably go ahead and inform you that I’m quite the social butterfly. Always talking to friends, often trying to resolve their issues and petty little dramas. Always texting and Facebooking. I must admit, that often got in the way/interfered with my homework schedule. I often found myself being grounded from social media because I was putting it ahead of my homework or even sleep. Another priority I was putting social media in front of, was my family aspect. I was cooped up in my room on Facebook and texting my best friends about things that probably could have waited until the next day, when my family was right downstairs. I was giving up real person interactions with the people who loved me most, for a keyboard and interaction with people I may not even talk to after high school! So one way to prepare for my adult life while still in high school, would be working on getting my priorities straightened out. Putting down the electronics so I could get my homework done and get good grades. Putting the electronics down so I could spend some good quality time with my parents and family.

Number  two: “People Skills”

Now this one is an easy one for me. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a social butterfly. A “people-person” if you will. Making friends has always come easy to me. Being a child growing up in musical theatre (I did my first musical when I was 2 and a half years old) I have always known that connections are important. In the world of  theatre, the more connections you had, the better parts you were likely to get. I’ve found that to be also true in the real world. If you’ve got connections, then that could get you places. If not, go out and make some! Even for a shy person, it isn’t that hard to say ” Hey, my name is so-and-so , here’s my name and number, I’m looking  for x-and-y kind of job; if you have any openings or know anyone hiring in that area, please give me a call! Social media is our generation! Make the best out of it! Even if you’re painfully shy, and talking to that person is supposedly the end of the world for you, think of it in the sense of: “well if I do this, it can’t hurt me.” Keep your future in mind. Eye on the prize!

Number three: “Experience”

Last, but not least, we have experience. Start early. Get in the game ahead of everyone else. To get a career, you’re going to have to have experience! I’m still in high school. I’ve got a 15 month old brother, and a nearly 3 week old baby sister to babysit, and grades to get up, and show choir  practices to make. I don’t have time to balance everything plus a job right now. So if you’re like me and don’t have time during the year, get a job over the summer! You’re going to need job experience now for your resume later. Get a job in college. Work at a Starbucks or your campus bookstore. You’re going to need the money anyway.

In writing this blog, I think I’ve taught myself some things. Now let’s go out and tackle the world!

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One Response

  1. I’m proud of you, Katie! I can’t say that at 15 I was as put together as you are right now. I like your dad’s approach about how you can prepare for your future, not just pick a career path. In my case, your dad opened up a new career world to me that, at 15 or even 21, I did not anticipate, and I couldn’t be happier! Have fun this year, and keep up the great work!

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