“Winging it” to civil engineer by Abby

Goal Setting, is probably something you’ve heard about over, and over again in school. Well, I’m actually not here to teach you about setting goals, but merely offer some friendly advice, and let’s be clear before we start, I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I’m actually just like all of you, young, passionate, and sometimes very, very lost.

Which brings me to my first tip: If you feel lost, now is the time to seek help, unfortunately after high school if you don’t attend post-secondary that support system is gone. So I recommend taking advantage, pull up your socks and I promise it’ll all be worth it.

Ironically, I spent the first nineteen years of my life “winging it”, this is a very big reason why I dropped out of school. Not once, but twice. I realize now, the faults I made as a younger teenage self. I had fun, lots of fun honestly. Isn’t that what we all want? For me, a break from school didn’t come after graduation, but half way through my second year of high school and I actually regret the time I lost.

Tip number 2: High School might be a time to live, and make friends; however, make no mistake it is a gateway to the better life you will build for yourself. Don’t mess up your foundation before you’ve begun to build the house.
Today I am three months from turning twenty, and yes this year I am finally graduating high school. I was granted a very lucky spot in an Adult Learning Program at NSCC, and this school has enlightened me in more than one way. I started my school year swamped with work (graduation in May, with ten credits between now and then). One of my new classes involved a lot of post-secondary planning, and at this point (last October) I had absolutely no goal for my future… Here’s a trick, Career Counselling does work. It did for me, I found my dream job. I set myself a goal of becoming a civil engineer, something I would have only pushed away in past years.

TIP 3!: Career counselling as awful as it might sound to you, it will help wonders. After sifting through piles of jobs types, you’ll come up with a few options that might actually surprise you. (I was surprised) OR why not take advantage of your catapult family and sign up for the career coaching program? Enjoy high school and all the assistance you can receive, it’s there to help make things so, so much easier for you!

Currently, I stress about post- secondary in terms of where I will go, but that’s next month’s read…
For now, let’s recognize the importance in setting:
-Long term goals (the future job you have in mind).
-Short term goals (studying hard to ace a test)
-Dreams (Becoming an Olympic medalist)

LAST TIP: Dreams and long-term goals are extremely similar, the small difference? Long term goals must have a concrete plan, so the first step toward your dreams is a plan!

I can’t stress setting goals enough, they saved my drop-out butt!

P.S Did you know that the whole feeling lost part happens to everyone of all ages? Because it does, this is why setting goals is extremely crucial, especially in the last year/ year after high school. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Pro tip: In high school counselling is free, don’t be afraid to take advantage of the resources available to you, and if you don’t like your counsellor always remember your catapult family! Support systems people! Have them, make them and rely on them!

Proudly, your goal setting future civil engineer,
Abby, Catapult Crew 2011 

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