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Create an Education Plan before College

For high school seniors, it not always easy to imagine what life will look like four years down the road – or sometimes even four months down the road! Starting college is an exciting time with a lot of change and new things on the horizon, and there are sure to be plenty of surprises along the way. But before you take the plunge and dive head-first into freshman year, it pays to create a plan for the next four years – or however long your education might last.

Not all high school seniors are certain of what they will major in in college, and many college students find that during the course of their college career their plans will change, they’ll switch your majors, and start a whole new path. However, even if you’re uncertain, sketching out a roadmap for the next few years while you prepare for the start of college will be a great way to prepare yourself for the potholes, speed bumps, and unexpected bends in the road.

Chances are, you have some kind of clue what fields you see yourself working in. Or at the very least, you know what fields are definitely not for you. You have probably considered your interests and strengths when you started the college application process. Exploring those interests further, along with taking steps to understand the industries to which they correlate, should give you an idea of what educational requirements you’ll need to enter the field. For example, do you need a Master’s degree? State or federal certifications? How much work experience will you need to reach your ideal position? If you start answering these questions now, you can save yourself from a last-minute scramble to get all the pieces in place and avoid surprises that may cost you time and money.

Though nothing needs to be set in stone, road-mapping your education from the start will enable you to take your time with important decisions like graduate school, internships, work experience, licensing exams, and even relocating, if that is necessary. Knowing where you are going – or at least, where you may be heading – in advance of getting there makes your path just a little bit clearer and much easier to work with.

But of course, there will always be bumps in the road and unexpected turns of events. There’s no way to plan for all the things that might happen – a change of heart, a collapse in industry, a new great idea – but having a plan to work and rebuild from is better than starting from scratch each time your path hits a roadblock. What’s more, it’s easier to see all the options that lay before you (believe me, there are more than you can imagine!), no matter which way you turn when you reach the inevitable fork in the road.

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1 Respond for Create an Education Plan before College

  1. Susie Watts says:

    As a private college counselor, I think it is beneficial for students to create an education plan before they begin college. They do not need to know a specific major, but they should choose classes their freshman and sophomore year that will fulfill their core requirements. They should find out what courses they need to take when they choose a major and make sure they know whether they are only offered the first or second semester. They should also consider part-time jobs or internships that they can participate in before they graduate from college. This provides some experience they might miss out on otherwise. If they can work community service into their education they should consider doing it in an area that interests them. Students will have a better chance of graduating on time and standing out as college graduates in the job market if they follow these suggestions.

    College Direction
    Denver, Colorado

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