• S. Parris

What's Next?

I've taken somewhat of a hiatus due to finishing up my Masters degree (thank God), but I wanted to post this blog for sometime now. When I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in 2017, I was waiting for that "ah ha!" moment that would tell me exactly what I wanted to do with my career. Sidebar: That moment never happened.

Instead, I spent my final semester and entire post-grad summer figuring out where next is for me. This process was very pressuring and I know I'm not the first or last person to go through it. I wished there was a guideline or advice out there giving me a blueprint of how I should pursue higher education after college. Fortunately, I learned a few things along the way that I hope saves someone else a bit of stress and anxiety in pursuing the next step in their educational career.

For all the people thinking of pursuing higher education, I get it, there is absolutely nothing easy about choosing how to spend $50,000 a year on school. In hindsight, here are the things that I personally think will lessen the burden:

What do you like to do?

Sounds pretty simple right? Wrong. Some people were blessed with a God given talent, niche, hobby, whatever you want to call it, that they know they wouldn't mind spending the rest of their life doing. Me, on the other hand, had absolutely no idea. The only thing I was sure of as a 21 year old college student was that I wanted be able to afford shoes and margaritas. So instead of thinking about what I liked to do, I thought about some things I might be naturally good at or even had a slight interest in. That took reflecting through all the classes I enjoyed and parts of jobs that I've had in the past to come up with a field. Take some time to go through some of the topics that interests you the most in school or even in life. What are some things that come naturally to you? It could be that you're a good listener, a natural leader, detail oriented etc.

How to find a career?

After thinking about something you're good at or have an interest in, you can research careers that incorporate that thing. For example, you could decide you love helping people but aren't super into nursing, so you gear more towards social work. You can literally google anything, so why not google "careers for people who like _______" ? You might be surprised at what you can turn into a career. Once you've found what line of work you'd like to do, finding the major is almost instantaneous.

Finding a Program

Finding a program that best fits you is something I cannot stress enough. Nowadays, colleges offer an abundance of schedules, meeting times, teaching styles etc. Find a school that offers a program tailored to how you learn best. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find the right school and program & unfortunately that one you think is THE one, doesn't fall into your lap. Patience is definitely a virtue in this process, so keep it alive. Some people thrive in small classroom settings, some prefer online, it really all depends on your own preference but definitely take that into consideration. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in just wanting to get into a program and get it over with, that we end up in a curriculum that isn't beneficial.

If you're making that next step to pursue a higher degree, make sure you take your time in making the decision of where you'll end up; you can't get that tuition back if you change your mind (trust me I tried).

School will always be there, don't rush the process and don't be afraid of rejection.

Good Luck!