Since birth we are told to get up in the morning, go to school, do homework and repeat until we finish high school. After high school we have our dependence stripped away from us and we become responsible for our own paths. Sure, some of us may still have our parent/guardians dictating our every move but now it is up to us. If you weren’t one of those kids that knew they wanted to be a police officer since they were born and stayed to that commitment, don’t worry you aren’t alone. 

Now that we've enjoyed the fireworks by the shore, it's sad to say summer is halfway over. There's only a handful more beach days left before the fall season takes over. Normally this would be the time where we would start to get emails from our high schools and pick our classes for next semester, but the last email we received was a reminder to pick up our diploma.

It’s frightening to think now we are in the "real world" and some of the people we spent our entire academic lives with, we may never see again. It may seem daunting that some of your friends are making plans to go to Rowan, Stockton, ACCC or even some out of state schools. If you don’t know what you want to do yet that is TOTALLY fine because many others don’t either.

In 2016, roughly 70% of high school graduates went to college after graduation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those students 75% of them either are undeclared or are going to change their major, according to Central College. Why are people so unsure of what career they should do? There are thousands of career fields out there and with overlapping responsibilities in those careers many of those can seem appealing. There shouldn’t be a rush to know what you want to do. Some people go thousands of dollars in student loan debt because they are unsure so please take your time. You are in control and you have the choice to do whatever you want. Take a year off. Do you research. Go on a vacation. Talk to your friends. Do things you’re terrified of. 

What about the other 30%? Without college, graduates can still make fulfilling high paying careers. Owning a business doesn’t necessarily require a degree and if done right it can be profitable. Some people have had fulfilling jobs in retail such as working at a bank or your local grocery store. Learning a trade can also be very rewarding. People always need fresh hairstyles to take on the Atlantic City nightlife, right?

Another factor comes from your friends and family’s input. It’s important to listen to them because they have your best interest at heart, however it is equally important to know what you want to do as well. At the end of the day you control your own destiny and you can start your journey whenever you’re ready. 

The bottom line is for you to enjoy your summer and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your successful career. 



This article was written by Jermaine Sullivan for the Summer 2019 Internship Program at Townsquare Media South Jersey.

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