“All my friends have a plan and I’m the only one who doesn’t.” High school students often think of their career choices in absolutes, fuelled by their stage of brain development and reliance on uninformed career advice. Devon Turcotte (careerified) explores how career development professionals, educators and parents can help lend perspective. (4-min. read)
Breaking the binary: How context shifts students from panic to possibility
Reading Time:4minutes – and it’s definitely worth it. A great article!
In my last year of high school in Ontario, as many students do, I applied to several universities. That was a couple of decades ago now, but I recall being very intentional about the order in which I listed my choices on my (paper) application form. In Ontario, there is a centralized application system for all the public universities, and you could (and still can) apply to three for one application fee. I put my last choice in as my first choice. Why? Because the word on the street was that if you didn’t list that particular university as your first choice, they wouldn’t even consider you.
I work mainly with high school students and youth who have withdrawn from post-secondary studies, and I routinely encounter absolutes just like the ones I once believed myself. I refer to them as “binary thinking,” because it usually sounds like there are only two options: getting it perfect, or complete and utter failure at everything in life. Nothing exists in between the two.
Here are a few common examples:
“If I don’t study _____ program at _____ university, I won’t be able to be a _____.”
“I don’t know what my passion is, what do I do?”
“All my friends have a plan and I’m the only one who doesn’t.”
“I like subjects _____ and _____, so the obvious career choice is a _____.”