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El planeamiento de su futuro

Planning your future

by Antonia Wang

Imagine yourself packing your bags in the car and ready to go away on a family vacation, and not knowing whether to go to Disneyland, New York or the Grand Canyon as soon as you step out of your door. If you don't plan ahead, you won't know which road to take.

Do you want to go to college, join the army, learn a trade or work? Life after high school is exciting when you have a degree. Here are some examples of your available options.

Armed Forces

Chris played football in high school hoping to get into college with a football scholarship, but when he realized that his grades were not good enough he had to change his plans. He started considering the Army. The job seemed fun and in keepings with his competitive spirit, his fondness of team work and his willingness to work hard.

If some of your favorite hobbies include watching military movies with your family, learning about military battle strategy or watch Civil War dramatizations, then (think about the Navy, Armed Forces, Marines, Coast Guards) the Army may be right for you. A career filled with adventure might be the perfect choice for those who get bored at just the thought of a regular 9 to 5 job. This career gives you the opportunity to make a difference and help others. Besides, some employers like to hire ex-military personnel because of their discipline, honor and good work.

You will never hear anyone say that the military are weak. It's a hard job and the only way to keep up with it is by staying strong and healthy. If you get home-sick during summer camp, you need to know that the army is even more serious, as the military have to serve their country for several years and might be transferred from one base to another- without seeing their families for months. Military personnel also work nights, weekends and holidays. Battle is also a real and dangerous possibility.

Joining the army is a decision that should not be made lightly. Once you join it, you can't leave until the deadline. Make sure you talk to people who have served in the armed forces to get an idea of which division may be more suitable to your taste.

Vocational school

When she was a little girl, Cynthia liked mathematics. She thought that someday she'd be an accountant after finishing college. Her grandfather was a welder and after school Cynthia used to go to the welding shop to help him out. Cynthia loved to work with her hands and create objects with metal. One thing led to another and after high school, Cynthia decided to enroll in vocational school to learn more about welding.

Not all courses require four years of study. Vocational schools, also known as technical schools, are 2-year schools that offer training programs on several different trades.

Do you like working with animals? Perhaps vet technician might be a good choice for you.

Do you like disassembling the engine of your dad's old van? Maybe you are meant to be a mechanic. If you want to give education a shot after you finish high school but do not want to spend a lot of money, then vocational school might be the way to go. Just like Cynthia, you can pick a career and perfect your skills- therefore, a related program may help you pursue this goal.

Cooperative education

For several years, Billy was a news "addict". He would watch the news show every night and read the newspaper every morning before going to school. He was always up-to-date with the news and dreamt about becoming a news reporter.

One afternoon, his counselor mentioned that the school was offering a new cooperative education program. In fact, there was a job opening in the local newspaper for the coming semester. Cooperative programs allow schools and businesses to work in tandem to offer students the chance to practice in a workplace environment while they are still in high school. As a result of working a few hours a day with professional journalists, Billy earned some extra credits in his school record, a check and real-life experience. And the best part is that he could find out if that was the best career choice for him.

Cooperative programs offer students (usually high school seniors) the chance to spend part of the day at school and part of the day working. It's an old training method and a great way to learn. Not all high schools offer this program. Talk to your counselor to find out if your school offers this program.

University

Monica grew up in a family of six siblings. His father was a lawyer in a small town of Michigan. Monica always wanted to follow his dad's steps and become a lawyer herself. She knew that a lawyer's life is not as glamorous or exciting as the movies or television would have us believe. Monica knew it would take a lot of work, patience and dedication. But she was ready for the challenge.

Law is one of the many careers that require a university degree. Since Monica knew that she had to go to college to study law, she read and examined lots of books on several disciplines. She also knew that the courses taken in high school and her grades would play a major role in her being accepted at college.

For this reason, it's important to plan ahead, focus and prepare yourself.

If you care for sports, you should attend one of the "Big Ten" universities. Or if you come from a rural city, perhaps you feel more drawn to attend college in a big city. Or if you want to become a ballerina, you want to attend a specialized dance school.

Whatever you are looking for, it's important that you start exploring universities as soon as possible and think about what you may be able to do to increase your chances of being accepted in the university of your choice.

Getting lost is easy when you have no idea where you want to go. Your teachers or your school counselor are excellent resources to help you discover your skills, strengths, weaknesses and interests.

 Published 10-18-2012

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