Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, pick a random career and hope it flows

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I’ve been affectionately asked this question since I was three years old. Yet only recently, as the college process encouraging 17-year-olds to choose a lifelong career looms overhead, has this question become increasingly ironic and particularly daunting. My apprehension is exacerbated by my limited exposure to career fields; a service which should be provided by WHS. 

The irony exists in the fact that, as a five-year-old, I could name a plethora of careers I would love to have. Yet now, as it becomes increasingly more necessary to for me to choose a college major, my utter ignorance towards various careers makes me fear that I may join the 47 percent of millennials who wished they had chosen a different career path (according to, or change careers at least three times within my lifetime, as most New Yorkers are predicted to do (according to

In towns hyper focused on higher education, like Westfield, there exists an immense pressure for students to pick a major when applying to college because it can increase a student’s chances of being accepted. Yet to me, choosing the right major will be a difficult feat, as I have had minimal opportunities to learn about different careers.

Unfortunately, I am not the only clueless person out there. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education reported in 2017 that 30 percent of students enrolled in undergraduate and bachelor degree programs switched majors at least once within the first three years of their studies. It is undoubtedly a problem if young adults are wasting their time and money for classes in a major they will not continue with. Combine this with the psychological effect of the burden inherent in choosing a career path as a 17-year-old, and it becomes utterly apparent that WHS should provide its students with an outlet to learn more about various career fields prior to applying to college, rather than punting them doe-eyed and bushy-tailed into higher education.

Of course, not everyone is baffled by what their future holds for them.

I have heard many students talk about balancing their AP and honors classes based on the college majors they want to pursue, or attending expensive classes and summer camps centered around specific career paths. 

Yet, students who don’t want to commit to an AP class or pay an expensive two-week-long-science-sleep-away camp to find out what career field is right for them, should be provided with an outlet to learn more about careers by WHS.

To achieve this, WHS could implement a career day or similar convention in which students can learn about, and interact with, professionals in different careers. This exposure will provide students with a “jumping off point” to explore career fields of interest, the opportunity to ask questions to professionals with more knowledge than Google, and to feel the passion professionals have for their careers. 

Additionally, WHS could initiate a strong student internship program. Through internships, students can immerse themselves directly into a profession and narrow down their career options in high school rather than in college. 

With WHS’ support, students would have greater opportunities to learn about different career fields. This would reduce stress and save both money and time by helping students choose a path that flows.