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Im only in tenth grade, should I already have a definite plan?

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My parents tell me that kids my age already know what they want to do and how they are going to get there (my mom has her doctorate and my dad is an engineer) They just cant accept that Im still on the fence about what I want to devote myself to, they even make snide comments such as "mate technical school is the right option" or "doesn't matter you will get pregnant and on drugs anyway based on your grades" I just wanted to ask an expert on how do I go about trying not to per see fail at life?

plan
2022
requirements
Its alright to not know what you want to do. Although, now is definitely the time to start brainstorming. Maybe take a career pathway quiz on your trusted school's website (mine is Naviance) or read a few job descriptions when you have the time. You don't need an answer this year, just need a few ideas in mind.

4 answers

answered on
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This makes me a bit mad, to be honest. Some adults just can't see beyond their own experiences when it comes to telling younger people—whether it's their own kids or otherwise—how or what they should be doing at various points in their lives.

Needless to say, your parents are about as wrong about this as anyone can possibly be (and it sounds like they're belittling you in what's a frankly pretty disgusting way as part of the package). The vast majority of students in tenth grade have absolutely no idea what they're going to do in the future. And I can say this without a shadow of a doubt because the majority of *college* students either enter undeclared or change their major over the course of their college career. The numbers vary from year to year, but from different data points you can see anywhere from 60-80% of students either enter as undeclared or change their major. Furthermore, expecting someone to know what they want to do when they're 15 or 16 years old is just ridiculous—because the vast majority of subjects and career paths aren't even available for you to explore until you're in college. Once more, there are actually links between waiting or changing majors and graduating in a timelier manner: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/08/24/study-finds-students-benefit-waiting-declare-major.

Anyway, you're absolutely not "failing at life" if you don't know what you want to do with your future by the time you're 16. A couple of lucky people might be in that camp, but the vast majority won't—and it's healthier that way, to be honest. Contrary to how it might seem, not every "successful" person even started the thing they were doing when they were young, or even studied that thing in college. So you're in good company.

answered on
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Oh god no. all of the colleges I've looked at have an exploratory course/undeclared. and you should be able to graduate in 4 years though I recommend a general idea like engineering or business though thats not needed at all

answered on[edited]
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It's totally okay to not know what you want! You are not alone and many adults still don't know what they want. A large percentage of undergraduate students end up with a degree different than the one they originally applied for. My suggestion to you is to try to do the best you can in your classes and on the SAT so you can get into a good college no matter what you decide. You should also try out a few different clubs/electives at your school to see if anything fits. Joining some clubs will also boost your resume for college so even if you still can't decide, you still benefit from joining those clubs. Maybe just try to figure out a general area that you want to go into (STEM, History, English, etc) and research various careers in that area. Remember many colleges allow you to apply undecided and some don't let anyone declare a major until after freshman year. Keep in mind, however, some colleges do require you to apply to a general school. For example if you want to go into engineering, some colleges require you to apply to the school of engineering but they don't make you declare a major in a specific type yet. That's why it is helpful to pick a general area but you have until senior year to decide. You should make a list of schools you're interested in and include ones that are good for different majors as well so you have options when it is time to decide. For each college make a note about what their requirements are and whether or not they require you to declare a major or apply to a specific school. Also see what each school's policy is on switching majors to make sure you can switch if you change your mind. Your list should include some safeties, targets, and reaches based on your GPA and SAT. It can also be helpful to take a career aptitude test to see options that fit your personality although they are not always accurate. I would love to help you so if you have any questions lmk.

answered on
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That's false. I'm also a sophomore and I still don't know what I'm going to do but I'm thinking about it! Don't put too much pressure on yourself and good luck!!

Its alright to not know what you want to do. Although, now is definitely the time to start brainstorming. Maybe take a career pathway quiz on your trusted school's website (mine is Naviance) or read a few job descriptions when you have the time. You don't need an answer this year, just need a few ideas in mind.