High school has become a place for academics, extracurricular activities, expectations, and stress. With college applications, PowerSchool, supplementary essays, volunteer work, all of the aforementioned stressors can cause anxiety in the minds of underdeveloped teenage brains. There is an intense pressure on students to get good grades and work hard enough to get in to the college of their dreams. But the question is: Are you pursuing your passions in high school or do you expect your dreams to be waiting for you when you arrive in college?
Personally, I know many students who have not, or even more appropriately for alumni, were not, able to find their passion while in high school, or still don’t know what they want to do as a career. But, many of those people are the ones who don’t necessarily strive to find their dream job, but rather apply themselves in a survey-style spread of academia while in high school. They might be too busy working on their school work or, like many other teenagers on the opposite side of the spectrum, watching too TV in their free time to think about their possible passions.
In a survey given out to the entire school , 89% of students said that they are involved in 1-4 extracurricular activities. In another question, students were asked if they knew what they wanted to be when they are older. 69% said they only “sort of knew,” while 17% mentioned that they had “no clue.” In fact, only 17% said they “knew exactly what they wanted to be.” Out of the people who said they knew what they wanted to be, 40% still said they were not involved in any extracurriculars that had to do with their potential future careers.
In my opinion, having an idea of what you want to do later in life is very beneficial and can help you be content within your future career field. This way, you can try some things that you are interested in and if you realize it’s not for you; then, of course, you can aptly move on and find something new to be interested in. The benefit of this is that you aren’t wasting your time in college switching from major to major and spending time being conflicted on your true passion. That, again in my own humble opinion, is what high school should be designed toward.
So my question is this: Are you doing what you are passionate about, or just what would impress possible colleges? It is easy to get caught up in all of your school work and getting “good grades,” but this, again, is four years of your life you can never get back.
For example, Student Council is a particularly likable club by colleges because they want to see that you have leadership. As a result, many people join Student Council–and their burgeoning numbers would prove that–just to look good for colleges when in reality, maybe you would have been better off spending your time in a different, more suitable club for you, like Model UN or FBLA. Is it your intent to look backat all the fun activities you did and participated in that you enjoyed? Or, will your high school career be boiled down in to a suitable resume in the future when you reminisce on your high school days?
If nothing else, this article could help you figure out what your passions are and become the impetus for involving yourself in a club or extracurricular that you know will inspire you. High school is the time to find yourself–and it’s free–while college is designed for specialized study–and is extraordinarily expensive.
High school is for trying new things: new classes, new teachers, new disciplines, etc. It’s not just getting the requirements you need and then filling extra slots with study halls where you end up watching Netflix half of the time anyways. If there are electives that interest you, you should take them. If there is a developing club without leadership, become a leader. Yes, you might be loaded with homework and want as many study halls as possible, but speaking from experience, it is nice to have a class that you are passionate about; it can still be used as a break in the day. Or, if you don’t have space for an elective, join a club. Art club, Reading Club, Math Team and even yoyo club and are options for you to explore.
High school is the time to find your self and discover what you love to do. Once you find your passion, you are unstoppable. It can’t hurt to start young.