Why High Schools Don't Fully Prepare Students for College

It was the beginning of my last year at high school and like most high school seniors around this time, I was bombarded with the “Where do you want to go to school?”, “What are you majoring in?”, “What do you want to do with your future?” types of questions.

Now, a little background. I am absolutely the most indecisive person. For example, none of my friends like going shopping with me because I spend approximately half an hour in each store debating the pros and cons of every purchase and criticizing every piece of clothing I put on my body.

So when it came to deciding what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. I hated most subjects in school and could not imagine doing anything with any of those subjects for the rest of my life. Because of this, I wasn’t even completely sure that I wanted to go to college. It seemed like all of my peers had it figured out, but I was lost. I was never the best at math or science, which I thought were the higher paying salary options at the time, and I had no idea what types of jobs the English or social studies fields offered.

As I look back at that point in my life, I wonder how many students felt the same way I did.  How many of my peers were unsure of their career options?  At the time, I believed my only option was to turn to the internet. I scrolled through hundreds of different career websites and took countless online quizzes with titles like “What Major Suits You?”.

But even after all of this online digging, I was still unsure. Throughout my high school education I had limited opportunities to explore areas of interest other than those that pertained to the “basics”--math, English, etc., so, although some of the careers I researched interested me, I had no way of knowing if I had any aptitude for the subject or if I would even enjoy it. It was therefore hard for me to commit to a particular field, knowing I would be spending thousands of dollars per year studying it, may end up not even liking it, switching my major and then spending even more time and money in college. Realistically speaking, not everyone has an extra 20k to spend on unexpected years of schooling.

Because I know I’m not the only one who felt this way, I feel like high schools should offer a wider range of career exploratory classes, help with job shadowing opportunities, and in general give students more ways to figure out where they want to go with their lives. If more schools were to offer a wider variety of courses, it would help ease the stress put on students to know what they want to do and even spark interest in different fields. High school is supposed to prepare students for their futures, but how well are high schools actually preparing students if they’re left stranded while making some of the biggest decisions of their lives?