Choosing a career is one of the most important life decisions someone can make; it’s up there with choosing a partner and starting a family. This important decision is forced on our children at a young teen age. There is hardly a teen that knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives to support themselves when they graduate high school. It finally clicks in their senior year. They grasp at anything they are remotely interested in and end up changing their minds half way through their college years. When you’re a teenager, you don’t realize what an impact education and training in a career will make on the rest of your life It’s too hard to see into the future when you’re at a young age. After several years of putting an education on hold, regret starts to set in. This exact thing happened to me as a teen. I was anxious to marry and settled for a quasi career in the health professions. In high school I was interested in some aspect of medicine and ended up going for an associate’s degree in Medical assisting.
I specialized in Ophthalmology and had a wonderful mentor for many years who taught me the basis for what I know today. It was only after several years of working in the field that I had the confidence and desire to expand my knowledge and return to college for that B.A. degree that I never got early on. In my late 30’s I decided to return to school, using all my credits that I had earned 20 years prior and started picking away at a Gerontology degree at night, one course at a time. It took me about 6 years to finish, maintaining a family and working full time. I was determined and ready to learn again. Going to school as an adult was a wonderful experience; instead of bonding with the students, the teachers were closer to my age. The teachers spoke to me as if I were their friend; I treated them with respect but spoke to them as though they were my equal. In high school, students usually fear their teachers and speak up only if absolutely necessary. Many students wanted to befriend me because they knew I would never miss a class and always knew what the topic for the class was. Teachers admired me for tackling school at a “mature” age and wanted to help me all they could. You get good grades because mom and dad aren’t footing the bill this time.
When you stop to think about it, we spend most of our lives performing our jobs. It’s so important to choose the right career to become a more fulfilled person. Your entire life has the potential to fall into place if you are happy at your career on a daily basis. Your whole being becomes healthier and your relationships and daily lives are in a better place. There needs to be more time spent exposing our children in school to opportunities that may lie ahead of them and not wait until they are going to “Career Day” in high school. By the time they reach high school, their minds are focused on social skills and making sure they fit in. They are not interested in what their futures can hold and are too busy planning the weekend’s events with friends. If we started exposing our children in middle school to what they can achieve in the future, maybe they would be better prepared to pick a more suitable career when the time came. I got married at a young age and became complacent. If you constantly challenge yourself with learning new things, you become a more fulfilled person. Going back to school was a big decision. If kept in perspective, picking away at a career, one or two classes at a time, it can be done. It’s never too late to try.
I might add that if you wait until your 60 years old, you can go to any university for free. Knowledge can be learned at any age; it is never too late to make your goals a reality. The knowledge I collected in those classes help me every day in my career.
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