Career Planning

This past month I started my last year of high school and a question I am constantly asked is what my plan is for my career. I am sure that other seniors can identify with the feeling of being unceasingly reminded that your future holds no certainty. Of having a long stream of questions boil up from their place, constantly lurking at the back of your mind. Every time I am asked that loaded question, the following is the general thought process that goes through my mind.

Being in the final year of grade school holds many joys, but also apprehension. The eldest in school, we feel a new sense of priority. Of respect. I have always taken grades quite seriously, but for very little reason considering your pre-twelfth grade scores are of little importance to university admissions offices. I can finally say that my concern for my marks is legitimate.

My ambition and goal for the future has always been journalism, ever since I started seriously thinking about my career. I picked out the journalism school I was most interested in attending and set my GPA goal a few percent above the approximate entrance point. But besides my grades, I always thought extracurricular credentials would help with acceptance. I was wrong.

I met with a professor at my selected school this summer, and he was kind enough to inform me that the only thing that you have to stand for is your GPA. The two hundred highest achieving applicants are accepted. Simple as that. The higher the grades of a particular year’s applicants, the higher your grades must be in order to compete.

GPA is an acronym standing for Grade Point Average. It is a calculation of a student’s four highest, academic, grade twelve course marks. GPA can be seen as quite an inaccurate standard. This is because there are many courses that may apply, all varying in difficulty depending on the student. For example, for me it is much easier to achieve a high GPA if I take language, history or general knowledge courses rather than sciences or mathematics. This makes my decision more difficult. Do I jeopardize the ability to change my mind, by not taking sciences, thus raising my GPA. Or do I put my acceptance at risk by taking more difficult courses and keep my options open? Currently journalism is my goal, but really, I am only seventeen and the plan may very well change.

You see, there is quite a complex set of feelings associated with this question but also a revelation that comes with mulling over it. I have learned that as much as achieving my academic potential is important, I am not so concerned with what I am becoming as who I am becoming. There is much more to life than school! It is far more important to know who you are than what you are.