I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

5fd71dfd67e9f972924e_957ce7_d22ac00e1e734660959fa8e602ee54bc.jpg
5fd71dfd67e9f972924e_957ce7_d22ac00e1e734660959fa8e602ee54bc.jpg

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether the school I was representing offered a specific program.  I got everything from some obvious choices (“Do you have Math?” Of course we do!) to some less obvious.  I remember a student arguing with me that  if only we offered the proper program she would be able to be a licensed art therapist with a Bachelor’s degree (no, she wouldn’t).

Academic interest is one of the first factors that students use to weed through colleges when directed how to begin their search.  I would contend that this is a giant mistake.

Sign Up for E-News

All the adults out there reading this column, think back to high school.  Are you in the career you thought you’d be?  Are you in a career directly related to your college major?  How many times has your career, and your interests, evolved?  Chances are those of you who knew what you wanted to pursue as a teen, did so in college, and continue in that career today are in the minority.  The days of working for one organization for an entire career are over and continuing education is the name of the game for most professionals.

If all the above is true why do we feel the need to make high schoolers still choose majors and colleges the same way they did 50 years ago?  I would advocate for students to prioritize many other factors over program availability in their college search.  Is the school in an environment the student will enjoy?  What opportunities are in place for career exploration?   Are faculty available to mentor students?  What internships opportunities is the school connected with?

Don’t get me wrong, academic interests in a broader sense absolutely should be part of a college search.  The budding artist probably won’t be happy at a technical school and someone thinking pre-med shouldn’t go to a business school.  Even so, these broader interests are going to be much more useful than searching for a specific program.  Try asking, “tell me about your opportunities in engineering,” instead of, “do you offer a combined BS/MS in aeronautical engineering?”

It’s also beneficial to find out how schools address changes in major in your college search.  Will students be able to change their major at will?  When do they need to officially declare a major?  Can they change colleges within a university easily?  These questions are going to be of much more use than specifics about one program.

The bottom line is this: for some reason, being excited about a major goes hand in hand with being accepted at a good school.  I’ve heard parents say things like, “He got into Princeton!  But, ugh! I just can’t get him to choose a major!” (insert eye roll here).  Why is undecided a bad thing?  Exploring careers isn’t laziness, it might be a true lack of exposure to what’s out there.  Let’s celebrate the opportunity for students to explore, because only then can they truly find a path that will lead to happiness and success.

Admissions Abridged distills news and trends from the college admissions world to provide college-bound students and their families with helpful tools to approach the application process.

Kate Balboni has earned a Master’s in School Counseling and is a certified New Jersey School Counselor.  She has served as an admissions counselor for Drew University and as a regional admissions coordinator at the University of South Carolina.  During her time in Undergraduate Admissions she has reviewed thousands of applications and student essays, conducted hundreds of student interviews, and has visited over 50 college campuses throughout the nation.  Kate is the owner of Balboni College Advising, a concierge college consulting service, providing one-on-one guidance and counseling throughout the college application process.  For more information please visit www.balbonicollegeadvising.com

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Refugee Assistance Partners of NJ to Host World Refugee Day Event

June 17, 2018

Refugee Assistance Partners (RAP) of New Jersey will be hosting a World Refugee Day program on Wednesday, June 20, 7 pm at Willow Grove Church, 1961 Raritan Rd, Scotch Plains.  RAP, a non-profit, volunteer organization of Union County, recognizes and salutes the tenacity and gifts, skills and talents of refugees worldwide.  Spokesperson, Jill Segulin said, “We recognize the ...

Drawings by Mel Holston on Exhibit at Pearl Street Gallery

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present an exhibit of drawings by Plainfield resident Mel Holston, located in the gallery space at the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at 633 Pearl Street in Elizabeth.

A selection of Mr. Holston’s work titled, “Motherland: Life in Black and White,” will be on display at the gallery until August ...

Music, Classic Cars and Food Truck Festival Make Up Fanwood Summer FanJam

FANWOOD, NJ -- Unforgettable Fire, the New York area's premier U2 tribute band, will headline the second annual Fanwood Summer FanJam, a daylong music, classic cars, and food truck festival held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, in LaGrande Park.

The gig will literally be walking distance away from the home of Craig Kiell, the bassist for the popular band, which plays festivals, ...

Challenge Your Children with Our Fun-Size Development Program!

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” - Malcolm X

The Summit Area YMCA recognizes the potential in every child. We strive to provide the environment and resources for all youth to learn, grow, and thrive. With nurturing and supportive staff, enriching curriculum and programs, and a strong built-in value system, children are able to not only reach ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Union County Freeholders Support LGBTQ Community with Historical Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

June 4, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and independence fly’s high at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. 

This historic event by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Office of LGBTQ Services, Department of Human Services and many others, brought dignitaries and people from all over New Jersey to the steps of the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 20, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

The Masterwork Chorus Launches 19th Summer Sing ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_3e68b1f0c65d22cd79bc_d6a71058d531d31a8cff_achievers

Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour

Education

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Madison

Kids' Critter Camp

Education

Mon, June 25, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Summer Reading Kick-Off: Eyes of the Wild

Arts & Entertainment

Berkeley Heights Here and Now: May Edition

Berkeley Heights Here and Now

https://youtu.be/-Z6bxdOIRrk

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...