Ninth grade too early for life decisions

It’s the second semester of the school year, and it’s that time again for students to start planning their short-term and long-term futures. Based on my own experience, many students start to feel stress and anxiety around this time.

Planning and scheduling the right classes can be stressful for many reasons. Teachers will say, “If you want to go into the science field, make sure you take this class, this class and this class,” though, how are students at the junior high level supposed to know what they actually want to be when they are older?

One reason scheduling can be stressful is because student don’t know what they want. We start asking children what they want to be when they are older at about the age of three or four. Sure, some people just use that as a conversation piece, but still. How are small children expected to know what they want to be? Children haven’t even experienced things yet.

Most average people don’t find their calling until they’re in their 30s or 40s. Also, most people change career paths a few times before finding the right fit, so why should teenagers know what they want to do if an adult doesn’t?

Students might also feel pressured about their futures because of other people. Families might expect their kids to go to a very prestigious college and get a high paying job or follow in their family members’ footsteps or even go into their families’ businesses. This is a reason that people decide to change careers later in life.

Some students might feel discouraged because their favorite things are music and art, but they hear things like, “There is no money in that” or “You’re wasting your time.” This could cause students to go into something that they aren’t interested in and they don’t enjoy.

Another reason students might feel stressed is because they feel like have to choose a career based on their favorite or best courses. Going into a job just because you’re good at it doesn’t mean you will like it forever.

Natalie Huffman, a freshmen at Peet Junior High, said, “I feel like it really really kind of goes to people’s heads that they have to know what they want to do right away and they don’t look at as one big picture. Your school days are important, but school is such a small part of life, and there’s so much more of your life to be thinking about.”

She puts it perfectly. You don’t need to worry about right now. You are still young and learning new things, so don’t feel pressure to know exactly what you want to do at such an early age.

Huffman added, “You don’t need to know what college you’re going to or what you plan on doing because I definitely don’t. It’s good to have a few ideas in mind, but don’t stress it.”

And if you’re really unsure about things, you can always talk to teachers or counselors about it, and they can help.

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