3 Ways to Get Ready for College, Career and Life This Spring

What do you want to be when you grow up? That can be a tough question to answer when you’re not sure. The good news is that there are things you can do this spring to help you have a better idea and plan for your next step, whether you’re in 6th grade, 12th grade, or somewhere in between. No matter what your goals, take these steps to begin to build the foundation for your future success.

Middle School

  • Identify your support network. Take a look around you. Who are the people encouraging you to achieve your goals, and who are the ones who push you to succeed? Write down the names of your support network. These could be teachers, school staff, family or friends. Talk to your support network about your goals and plans for the future.
  • Reflect on how you learn best. Do you get more done when you find a quiet spot or when you’re in the middle of a busy place? Do you ask questions of your teacher or read to find out more about a subject you are struggling with? By identifying your learning habits, you can get your homework done more effectively and perform better on tests.
  • Explore careers and clusters. Even though you won’t be graduating high school for awhile, it’s good to begin to understand your career interests. Explore career profiles and ask questions of the adults in your support network. How did they get started in their job? What interests align with their careers? Take the Cluster Finder in Naviance Student and save the careers you are most interested in.

Early High School

  • Review your four-year plan. The courses you take throughout high school should be aligned to your interests. Check out your high school course plan to ensure it meets your expectations (and your school’s graduation requirements!).
  • Identify your interests. After almost a year of coursework, spring is a great time to take the Career Interest Profiler in Naviance Student and explore how your interests align to career possibilities. Dig deeper to find out more about what various careers have to offer.
  • Set post-high school goals. It’s never too early to think about your future. Spend time thinking about what you want to do after high school. Does your career interest require specific training? Do you want to enter the military? Set some long-term SMART goals in Naviance Student that you can revisit throughout high school.

Late High School

  • Reflect on stress management. Take some time to reflect on what makes you happy. When things get stressful, how do you cope? How can you cope better? By identifying the stressors in your life and making a plan to alleviate them, you can develop the skills to help you now and throughout your life.
  • Get hands-on job experience. After you’ve identified your careers of interest, get out in the field! Search for internship or job shadow opportunities or interview someone you know in a job that sounds interesting to you. Learn more about the pathways that interest you.
  • Search for scholarships. Do a local and national scholarship search. Find opportunities in Naviance and in your community that can help you with your college funding. Don’t be afraid to ask your place of worship, the workplace of your parents or guardians, or local workforce leaders if they have opportunities available. Some scholarships might require an essay or a letter of recommendation, so plan ahead.

By focusing on your interests, exploring careers, and setting goals, you can begin to build a foundation that allows you to be ready for your next step. Here’s to setting goals and crushing them!

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