Ask Angel — Planning for the Future

Why is it expected of me to know what I want to do for the rest of my life? How do I choose a program that can define my entire future? Stressed

Dear Stressed, 

What you’re describing is a feeling I’ve heard expressed many times among students this year. It’s understandable that you are worried about the future since this past year has been so full of uncertainty. Hopefully, I can give you some advice that will give you a sense of comfort and some steps you can take to make this path a bit easier. 

To answer your first question: it’s not expected that you know what your entire future should be. The expectations placed on teens in high school are high because the adults around you are trying to motivate you. The one thing I can say to reassure you is that you and your peers are all feeling the same pressure and anxiety about what’s to come next. 

I want you to know that it’s uncommon for anyone to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, but with that being said, it’s important to move in the direction of your general goals. Whichever grade you’re in, you should know which courses you enjoy and in which you do well. The key will be to select a program that is compatible with your interests. 

While there is no guarantee that you will end up in a career you choose as a teenager, if you head in the direction of your interests and aptitudes, you will likely find your way to a satisfying career and life. 

Fortunately for all Richview students, the Guidance Department provides resources to help in the transition from high school to university. There are computers available for research, specifically personality and career tests, and guidance counsellors are available to answer questions or to help get you started in your research. There are even numerous classes you can take to continue your career search! 

Nonetheless, balance your hard work with doing things that you enjoy. Be kind to yourself, and do things that contribute to your wellness. Working towards a practical career is important, but this will be more difficult to achieve if you are not mentally and physically well. 

Whether you’re deciding on a program, co-op, or job, the high school years are infamous for increasing levels of stress and mental health issues, often related to issues like yours. That’s why it’s important for you to plan ahead and make sure you’re working hard while also taking care of your mental health. Combined, you’ll be able to devise and complete all your goals and plans. 

Remember, everything happens for a reason—even if it doesn’t turn out the way you initially envisioned as a teen. 

Wishing you the best,