By EVAN STATON
For me, something that has been on my mind a lot lately has been looking back to what was done to prepare me for college and life after high school. And to be honest, there was not a whole lot done to prepare me. Even though teachers had us apply to college and apply for scholarships. It still left me with a ton of unanswered questions.
I think the focus overall was just getting students in college, and not actually caring what they did with their lives or their passion. By no means am I saying college is bad, it just is not for everyone, and maybe there is something else they would be great at, like opening a business, joining the military, becoming a pastor, etc.
Anyway, my point is not that college is not necessary, the point is to help students find what they are good at early on and then start helping them go down that path and help make them successful in college or other endeavors. Then I think beginning in freshman year, students should actively be thinking about what they aspire to achieve in their lives and what career they want to pursue.
When it comes to junior and senior years in high school, I think internships or apprenticeships should be mandatory. Juniors have fewer free periods so they should have one period at the end of the day that is their internship period and the school should also help offer transportation if they do not have a ride.
Seniors should have a three-period internship or apprenticeship. It could be anything from helping a plumber to interning at a church or helping teach younger grades. Then at the end of every month, the students report back to school and tell the teachers how their internship is going.
They should also be able to request a change of internship if what they are trying is not for them. I really believe that it would help students explore new career fields and get insight into what that profession is like day today. Forme, if I would have had something like this, it would have helped me not change my degree so many times and would have helped me narrow down what I am really passionate about.
I realize that this is a very big ask and it would take a lot of funding to make happen. In the long run, however, it would be investing in the future generation of leaders for our country, and I think it would be worth it.