High school is finally the time when students gain some control over their class choices and can follow their interests. This is a great time to take control and discover what truly interests you. Of course, you can adopt the attitude that it is something you are being forced to complete. Or you can use this experience to your advantage and help to unlock the keys to your future.
You are in control in high school. From picking your classes to determining how hard you work and what your final marks will reveal. It is often noted that when you are doing what you enjoy, it does not feel like work. Now is a great time to discover your passions. After all, they may just point you in the direction of your career! The following ideas can help you brainstorm:
Take Notes & Write Down Your Thoughts
Getting a pen and paper and jotting down ideas is a great place to start. Write down the things that bring you joy. What do you love to do? How do you enjoy spending your time? Take your personality into consideration and ask yourself things such as:
- Am I introverted or extroverted?
- Would I prefer to be a speechwriter or the person delivering the speech?
- Do I tend to dive right into projects or plan every last detail before starting?
- Would I enjoy being the director, an actor, the sound technician, or the set designer?
- Do I like leading the team or prefer to be a team member?
- Would I prefer to listen to music or play music?
- Am I an early bird or a night owl?
- Am I a creature of habit or do I constantly change things up?
- Do I like working with my hands and getting dirty on the job or does that drive me nuts?
Getting specific thoughts down about what interests you and your unique personality is vital. Next, list your recent and current classes. Are there correlations between your classes and the notes you have taken? Do some subjects stand out that teach skills or cover subjects that you love? Have any of your courses shown you an aptitude or interest for something you didn’t previously know about yourself?
There are plenty of ways to make your high school classes count toward your future. Look into many options to discover which ones seem to be a natural fit for your personality, your interests and your skills. Don’t expect to have all the necessary skills now as there will be many options for you to build on your skills and learn new ones during school.
Look into the future and think about what you see. Ask yourself what you see yourself doing or the career you see yourself in after college. Once you have an end goal in mind, it is easier to figure out the steps to take to get there.
For example, if you want to go into accounting or nursing, what classes will be required in college? Are any of your current courses helping you improve or build skills that you will require? You can always speak with your school counselor to streamline your courses if you feel like you need some help narrowing down your selection.
List Your Talents
What areas are you confident in? Make a list of all the areas you are talented in. This can be a great way to decipher some of your natural gifts. Ask yourself the following questions to help you discover potential careers:
- Am I good at public speaking or does it terrify me?
- Do I enjoy Math, Science or English?
- Do I like to read?
- Is it easy for me to pick up computer languages?
- Can I act or sing or dance?
- Do I play any instruments?
- Do I enjoy learning or speaking foreign languages?
- Am I a “people-person?” or am I more introverted?
Making these personalized lists can help you pinpoint certain high school courses that would be interesting and beneficial. Studying yourself can also improve your ability to study!
Once you have more insight into what your future holds, it is a great time to keep the momentum rolling and take these additional steps:
Discover New Opportunities
Trying new things is a great way to explore beyond your comfort zone. There will be many chances to meet new people and find out about talents and skills that you didn’t know you possessed. It delivers chances to meet new individuals and learn about exciting topics you haven’t previously considered. Here are some great options to consider:
- Join an organization or a club.
- Try out for a sports team or explore martial arts.
- Take a challenging class.
- Make new friends that can enhance your perspective.
- Say yes if an employer, teacher, or mentor asks you to participate in a project.
It can be easy to immediately reply with a “no thank you,” when someone approaches you with an opportunity. It can even become habit-forming to decline right away. Give yourself time to consider the proposal, even if it initially sounds difficult or boring. Ask yourself these different questions to discover more before you decide:
- Am I afraid of trying this opportunity? If yes, why?
- Who will I meet at this event?
- What skills can I learn or share from this experience?
- Where can saying “yes!” take me?
Change Up Your Approach with A Positive Attitude
If homework is getting you down, consider looking at it in a way that enables you to explore your interests. For example, if you thrive with artistic talents, perhaps you can incorporate art into a history paper that looks at connections between a certain time and the political events and art movements that it inspired. Maybe you love writing poetry and can discuss some of your favorite authors or poetic formats in your next English essay.
By expanding your perspective to focus on the things that you are naturally interested in and drawn to, you can transform boring or traditional assignments into something you will be more passionate about working on.
Seek Help to Maximize Your Class Experience
If you need some help figuring out how to make your high school years the most successful, speak with your teachers, your school counselor and your principal. Ask the following questions to find out more information:
- Are there any school clubs that revolve around my interests? Can I start one up if there aren’t any?
- Which elective courses does our school offer?
- Are there any community volunteer or internship lists published at our school?
Spend Your High School Years Wisely
Time flies by in high school and it can be easy to blur from one semester to the next. If you can maximize your interests and find out which options will help you excel early on, you will be better suited to focus in college. Many kids do years of exploratory courses in their first few years of college. While no education is a waste, this can be an expensive and time-consuming route to take. If you can narrow down your interest focus during high school, you will be well ahead of the game by the time you begin your college courses.
Free Online Courses
If you have missed enrollment or have already committed to your schedule but wish to expand your knowledge further, investigate free upgrading classes. Speak with your school counselor to discover additional ways you can continue online learning. There may be free district upgrading options in your area or local college classes that you can start now. Don’t try to cram every minute of your day into study time. Set realistic goals. Research how many hours and assignments your online course requires beforehand to ensure you can effectively balance all of your interests.