By Lizzie Goddard | August 24, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.

High school is a time of exploration, growth, and self-discovery. As you inch closer to the end of your high school journey, the inevitable question arises: What do you want to do with your life?

I was applying to college when I had JUST turned 17 years old. I asked myself, “How am I supposed to figure out what I want to do with my life right now?”

The pressure to choose a major and career path can be daunting, but fear not! Self-assessment is one of your guides on this journey.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a career path or college when you really don’t know what you want to do!

A high school student is reflecting on how her interests and hobbies might translate into potential career paths or academic fields; this is an important step in college preparation.What Are Your Interest and Hobbies?

Reflect on your interests and hobbies. Start by taking a deep dive into your interests and hobbies.

What do you find yourself drawn to during your free time?

Whether reading, painting, coding, or playing a sport, your hobbies can often indicate the areas you feel passionate about.

Consider how these interests might translate into potential career paths or academic fields.

What Are Your Strengths?A high school student is a natural math problem solver and is considering majoring in computer science or business.

Assess your skills and strengths.

Are you a natural problem solver, a skilled communicator, or a meticulous organizer?

Recognizing your strengths can guide you towards fields where these attributes are highly valued.

Think about how your skills align with different industries or academic disciplines.

The College Planning Center has a great student self-assessment that is used by our students in our program to explore possible career choices that match their aptitude and personality!How to Describe Yourself?

Discovering your personality type can be a powerful tool in identifying the perfect career path that aligns with your strengths and interests.

Are you an extrovert who thrives in social settings, or an introvert who prefers independent work?

We have a great assessment that we use for our students in our program to explore possible career choices that match their aptitude and personality!

Try Internships and Volunteer Opportunities.A high school student gains experience in a variety of fields by participating in internships or volunteering.

Engaging in internships or volunteering work can give you exposure to different fields.

Hands-on experience will help you understand the day-to-day realities of various careers and allow you to assess if they resonate with you. Be sure to start this early on in your high school years.

This will give you plenty of time to try out many different fields so that you can really hone in on what you enjoy doing.

When it comes to choosing a major or a career, self-assessment is an ongoing process that helps high school students stay attuned to their passions and aspirations.Embracing Changes and Flexibility.

It is perfectly normal to change your major! I changed my mind almost three times.

I was able to recognize through internships that my college required that I really did not want to teach first grade. I worked with my advisors, deans, and professors to find something that interested me, but I wasn’t afraid to start over! 

Be open to adapting and learning as you go along.

Remember, choosing a career is not a one-time choice but a journey of self-discovery.

You may choose a career path and then, ten years later, you want to make a change! Self-assessment is an ongoing process that helps you stay attuned to your passions and aspirations.

Embrace the fun of change and exploring new opportunities!

Free download of Student Self-Assessment for College Planning.