Careers, jobs, occupations, whatever you want to call them– they all seem like a faraway dot on a map for us in high school, seemingly miles, maybe even light years, away. Maybe you have a high school job; perhaps you’re a lifeguard, a waitress, maybe even a tutor, but nothing compared to what we label as a career.
We all know that there are countless paths to a career, but the right decision is crucial. It essentially starts in high school, when we decide if we want to further our education at a liberal arts school or a career specified college. To set something straight, a liberal art college revolves around the emphasis of having broad general knowledge and studying areas such as history, literature, philosophy, and languages. This is in contrast to a career specific education that instead focuses on a more professional curriculum. Different choices, different opinions, and obviously different outcomes.
The ultimate goal clearly leads to a long and successful career for most people. As for choosing between the liberal arts option and going on the route to a career oriented college experience, each has a wide range of jobs to continue on to. Let’s set an example: you have always wanted to be a social worker, which entails a broad range of issues. So, in this case, liberal arts is the best option for you. You’ll have more freedom to study of variety of topics around that one subject. But what if you want to be a nurse? Going to a career specified college can narrow down your education to the necessities in order to follow through with this career.
Personally, it seems more plausible to follow the path with a liberal arts education. Many students at RHS think they have their future planned out, but from personal experiences I have seen so many people struggle to figure out where their passion leads them until their later years in college. I truly believe there is no reason to know exactly what the future holds for you and a liberal arts college gives you more freedom to do so. Learning styles and skills vary from person to person, and so does the type of education that works best. It is important to keep in mind what you might find yourself studying or what you want to focus on. If English seems to be a general area of interest for someone, they can easily make the decision for a liberal arts college. For an undecided student, the decision can become extremely difficult and cause a boat load of stress during the college application process.
Sometimes it may be easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the mindset that in order to be successful, you must attend a prestigious “name brand” school. But in all honesty, it is where your opinion and background lead you and what works best for you. You shouldn’t let other opinions stop you from finding a college that encourages you to have the best experience possible. Professors at any college devote themselves to teaching to the best of their abilities and making a difference in the students’ lives. Wherever you may end up, whether at a liberal arts or a career specified college, remember to learn some new lessons along the way.
Careers are what our parents really want for us in the end, no matter where we end up. Our student lives seem like an endless roller coaster to this job, this unknown and mysterious career. There is no exact telling of how we get there, just the fact that we do get there eventually. Is that really the end goal? Obviously we need money to have successful life, which means we need a relatively stable career– but does it truly make a difference how we get to that point? I guess that’s up to you to decide.
Graphics: Jessica Chang