Experts Speak: Knowing Yourself Can Help You Plan Your Future

College Board | Mar 07, 2013 | 4:55 PM
Taking some time to consider your interests, skills and goals is a great way to start the process of planning for your future. Ask a counselor, teacher or relative to help you think about your potential and use that information to discover future options.
Q. How can students learn more about their own personalities, strengths and interests?
A. The first place I tell students to start is … what we call self-assessment. … What are your favorite subjects? Are there any passions you have? Are they academic? Are they extracurricular? ... Who do you want to be? — Suzanne Colligan, Director of College Counseling, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School
A. Career fairs, field trips, research papers, interviews, small-group activities, classroom lessons, job shadows,portfolios and internships are all examples of self-knowledge opportunities for students. —Robert E. Bardwell, School Counselor, Monson High School
Q. How can students use self-knowledge to figure out their future path?
A. The latter part of high school is a great time to start connecting the academic subject areas with experiences that will help you know if you really want to be in [a certain] field. ... You can say to a teacher or a guidance counselor,... can [I] get into a hospital to be a volunteer or an intern? Or, can I work with small children in a preschool program where I could have some hands-on experience? —Susan Kastner Tree, Director of College Counseling, Westtown School
A. For career planning, look at descriptions of what skills and education level are required for a particular career. Far too many students say they want to be a doctor, but they hate science! —Cheryl L. Price, School Counselor, State College Virtual School
A. Self-knowledge includes understanding your desires and your limitations. I use a survey asking students whatsubjects they like, what career interests they have and what they think they might want to major in. Then I couple the responses with their transcript and talk to them realistically about the schools that have what they want and what they would need to do to get in. —Michelle Spiezia, Counselor, Manhattan International High School
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