Today is “back to reality”, so this will be short and developed as a theme in the future.
Too many young people get the idea that they must follow a specific set of steps to get them to a goal that they–or their parents–think they want. I think this trend is getting worse over time (either that or I’m getting older–take your pick). In my job as a university professor I see several undergraduate and graduate students who were outstanding students in elementary, middle, and high school. They knew from an early stage that they wanted to become “X” (fill in the blank, but it is most often “medical doctor” in my experience). Many of these people are successful, and it is impressive.
Some are not so successful, and I have also seen many young people who seem miserable in their choices. This is very sad to me, and I worry that society and often families put considerable pressure on young people to follow specific paths to get to “X”.
When I finished high school, I had a mixed (to be generous) academic record and little or no interest in a specific career. I had already discovered that I wasn’t good enough to be a professional hockey player (my main aspiration). I got turned down from a few colleges after half-hearted applications. What is a kid to do??: Join a white water river touring company in Southern Utah. That was just the right ticket…