Blazing a trail: Pioneers find a path after high school

Research. Compare. Stress. Repeat. Most high schoolers are familiar with this cycle as the overwhelming pressure to discover the path that will seemingly determine any future success consumes every thought.

2013 graduate Kaylee Krumm, senior at The Ohio State University, was familiar with this sense of pressure as a high school student and began managing it by taking beneficial classes.

“In high school, I knew I wanted to go on to higher education, so I took several advanced placement classes to prepare for college,” Krumm said.

Krumm is currently attending OSU, whose extensive range of science programs led Krumm to discover her career interest. She hopes to continue into research and academia regarding neurological diseases.

“I decided to pursue neuroscience as a major and career after being introduced to it in college,” Krumm said. “To me, it is a combination of biology and psychology, which were always my two favorite classes.”

Course selection is a helpful component when determining a possible future career. 2014 graduate Michael Secrist, a junior at Columbus State Community College, was unsure of his plans after high school until he began focusing on his interests. He is currently taking steps to become a forensic investigator for the FBI.

“In high school, I knew I wanted to go into the science field, but I was not 100 percent sure what I wanted to pursue,” Secrist said. “I took as many science classes as I could to see if science really was where I wanted to go.”

Taking time to explore possible interests is helpful in

narrowing down the search. Take a closer look at hobbies, classes and activities that are enjoyable.

"I loved watching crime shows and solving mysteries on TV so I decided to look into a degree based on that,” Secrist said.

Choosing a career that holds interest and importance is something that should not be decided without further thought.

“Your future career and any education it may require is an investment, both mentally and financially,” Krumm said. “You want to make sure you are investing in exactly what you want to do.”

For those who choose to continue on to higher education, college offers more opportunities for exploration.

“When I first started college, I thought I was going to be a nurse,” Krumm said. “After a semester, I realized that wasn’t what I really wanted to do and began to research other majors.”

If it seems difficult to come to a decision in high school, higher education is another way to further research possibilities.

“No matter what school you go to you are going to have to complete general education classes,” Secrist said. “That is usually your freshman and sophomore years of college so not knowing or changing between a few degrees is OK.”

Although the pressure of time may make it seem like a career decision is final, it is comforting to remember that there are always other options and opportunities if a choice becomes unappealing.

“Don’t be afraid to change your mind,” Krumm said. “You may feel pressure from your family, your friends or even yourself to stick to a track you had planned, but your interests may change and that’s OK.”

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