“Which path would you choose?”
The definition of a path is a track for the sole purpose of treading in a continuous movement. A path can be made for many uses. The most common uses for paths are used for the movement of vehicles, walking, and/or biking. But this post is not for describing the use of paths in the above context. I will be discussing the various paths one takes in life toward their journey to success. My many paths in life have taken me from athletics to business to writing. I wanted to be an athlete in middle through high school, a business executive in undergraduate school, but ended up wanting a career in filmmaking after college. You may ask, what made me want to become a filmmaker? Let’s just say people you meet in life along the prepare introduce you to a lot. Some of you might want to know more about me, but this post is more about the paths anyone might take as oppose to centralizing the topic on myself.
First and foremost, most people start to think about their projected path in life when they are in high school. This is the time period when you begin looking for the schools you would like to enroll in for college. Going to a good school can set you up for success in life or failure; or at least that’s what people want you to believe. So naturally, what do most high school students do; constantly stress about their grades. This is an aspect of getting into college, which is having a good GPA (grade point average). But having a good GPA is only a small portion of what it takes to get into college. There’s test scores, volunteer work, work experience, school clubs, and extra curricular activities like sports. Once you have checked all of the previous items off your list, you start to researching a variety of schools. Scouting schools can come in the form of having the school send brochures, visiting the campuses, and/or both. Once senior has arrived, you should already have in mind where you will be going or at least narrowed the down the choices.
Getting into the school is still only the beginning of the process of choosing a path in life. Once your high school graduation comes around, everyone will be talking about where they will be headed off to next semester. Some people will stay close to home, some may go out of state, others might take time off to save money, and you’ll always have the group that won’t attend college. Stepping on campus for the first time is a daunting situation. Just as you were in high school everything around you will appear big at first. You’ll find yourself asking random people how to get around. Some may assist you, knowing they understand the freshman experience, others may see you as more of a nuisance. All this work to get here and your path may still be the same coming from high school.
Once you settle on campus, not unpacking, I mean having spent time at the school; you start to get some understanding of what you want to do with the rest of your life. Traditionally, schools make you wait at least until your Sophomore year to declare a major. Now here is where your path could change once again from high school in college. At this point you are choosing a field of interest for once you graduate college. Declaring a major means that is the career you’re pursuing, or choosing a broad and ambiguous journey. So majoring in biology is not the same as majoring in communication. So, after this you choose that major, in your pursuit toward graduation.
Once you’ve reached graduation the next step is thinking to yourself should I go to graduate school school or go into the job market. If you choose work, you have only a limited time to find a job before the government starts hounding you about school debt. But if you think about choosing graduate school, it should be decision you decide in your junior to senior year. This process is like choosing a university to attend all over again. You get resume, letter of recommendations, grades/GPA, and standardized testing; plus any volunteer opportunities from school. And then if you are accepted, you have the daunting task of narrowing down the schools and maybe even cities to live in for grad school. In my case, I went straight to grad school after undergraduate school. My advice to any of you reading this, plan, plan, plan ahead. School will be over before you know it, life will be staring you in the face. You don’t want to be stuck without any options, but let it be known, whatever path you take be comfortable with your decision. The only regret will be if you live to the end of your life and are not satisfied with the decisions you made.