Monday, October 25, 2010

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

The eight-week course I teach, Career Planning and Decision Making (ARSC 1040), just wrapped up last week. I always look forward to reading the final reflection papers from the students in the course because each student shares something that… well, that I wish I would have known when I was 20.

“Over the course of the last eight weeks I learned more about myself than I would normally in a year.”

“Changing my mind is not a bad thing; it’s my future and I can shape it anyway I want.”

“I have gained a lot of personal insight into who I am as a person and what I need in a career.”

“Making the most of college by joining various organizations and volunteer groups will not only help you towards a career goal, but it will help shape you as a person.”

“I want to take a couple of exploratory classes in areas that I have found are well-suited to me.”

“I am making an effort to try things that I haven’t tried before so that I will be able to make an intentional career decision.”

“It is not as hard as I thought it would be to get an internship and make contacts in the career world.”

“This class helped reduce my fears about choosing a career path and helped me identify the skills and processes necessary to get there.”

“It’s unusual for me to say something like this, but I don’t know where I’m going career-wise, but I am waiting for my experiences to light the way for me.”

“Along with earning good grades, I want to find a healthy balance in my life with respect to school, socializing, and extracurricular activities.”

“During the first week of the class I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future and my career, but now, eight weeks later, I have an idea of what would be best for me.”

“Some people don’t necessarily know what they are bound to do until the time is right. Plus, it’s okay to switch majors or deviate from a determined path. It’s a learning experience.”

“My career goals are still being shaped into a form that is not yet known – and I’m comfortable with that.”

“I know the next few years won’t be easy by any means, but they are the experiences and times of your life that will be with you forever.”

I used the words of J.R.R. Tolkien as my title for this blog because I think he got it just right... and the words my students shared in their final papers were also just right.

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