When asked what they intend to do for a living, the only reply most students can manage is one characterized by panic. With widened eyes and a phrase specifically designed to stall for time like “ummm...,” even the much simpler “What are you going to do after graduation?” can stump a number of them.
A sure-fire way to get any teen to start avoiding you is by asking too many questions like these.
To counteract the trend, The Dalles Wahtonka High School held an informal career fair Oct. 16 to expose students to a number of professional success stories drawn straight from the local community.
Students who weren’t sweating over timed examinations like the PSATs went from classroom to classroom to hear a total of nine different speakers talk about their educations, their professions and their first-hand knowledge about the best ways to get there.
“All of you are smart enough and good enough to go off to college and do well,” clinical psychologist Pamela Miller told students, “You’ve just got to put one foot in front of the other to get there.”
An important part of the process, TDW science teacher Bev Froemming said, is finding the job that best suits the individual.
Froemming said she leap-frogged from a business major to a biology major in college, and after entering the professional world further discovered that she found working with students far more rewarding than her old job conducting research in a lab.
“(Teaching) turned out to be the perfect job for me,” she said, “but I wouldn’t have gotten there if I hadn’t tried something different first.”
“The hardest part,” Miller said, “is getting up every morning and just showing up… doing your best and calling it a day. If you want to be successful, the question you’ve got to ask yourself is ‘Can I persevere?’ So long as the answer’s ‘yes,’ you’ll be able to make it through and figure out what’s really right for you.”