Taking Chances

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Taking Chances

Margaret Hoff, Web Editor

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Preparing for your future isn’t always something that can wait. You may think that planning for college and your future can wait a while when you’re a freshman, sophomore, or even a junior. But, the reality is that you do need to start taking opportunities and planning for your future regardless of your age. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to figure out exactly what college you want to go to, or exactly what field you want to study in, or even decide if you’ll go straight into the workforce. It just means you need to seize opportunities when they arrive for you.

During high school you are presented with tons of opportunities, most that you’ll never be met with again. You might not be interested in all of them completely, but it isn’t bad to try something new. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in high school is not taking any of these opportunities because you don’t know what you want to do yet. But I urge you, if anything interests you, even if you might not pursue a career in it, do it.

Taking on an internship, joining a new club, or applying for a summer program could end up being a deciding factor when it comes to what you want to do. You may think, “Oh, I’m probably not going to pursue a career in the medical field, but it is really interesting to me.” Taking some kind of internship at a hospital might help you decide that, “huh, maybe the medical field is for me,” or maybe it isn’t. Either way these opportunities help to shape your future, and can open up even more opportunities. They can also make your life a lot easier, because often, deciding what you want to do is really hard.

One of the most important things you can gain through taking a chance, is experience. And, let me tell you, that looks even better to colleges than maybe even taking a specific class. You could take a class on medical terms, which is a great opportunity too, but if your application says you were a health cadet or interned at a hospital, they might be more likely to pick you. This is because you obviously have already had actual experience in the field, and have probably used what is learned in the classroom and applied it real life, and possibly more.

Of course, plenty of things other than internships can gain you a leg up too. Simply playing a sport or being in the band or choir can help you a lot. If you’re even a little good at any of these, colleges could offer you scholarships, and why pass up free money that you don’t have to pay? And, as I said before, classes can be important too. In a rural community, there aren’t always too many classes, due to lack of teachers. This just means you should take these opportunities even more seriously. If you’re interested in something and there is a class for it at the high school, TAKE IT. Don’t wait for college to start involving yourself in your interests because I’m pretty sure you’d much rather take a free class that you end up not really liking than one you have to pay a few hundred dollars for and then change your major.
I myself am not too sure about what I want to do, other than knowing I want to do something in a creative field. Whether this be video editing, graphic design, journalism, or even the fine arts, I have no idea. But, that is why I am seizing my opportunities when they come. Any chance I have to enter a contest or try something new, I take it, even if it is a little out of my comfort zone. I mean I’ve entered a duck contest three years in a row and won awards every year, do you think I’m that into drawing duck? Not one bit, but it’s a great chance to showcase my work and see what others actually think of it, and decide if it is something I want to pursue. I mean, I wouldn’t even be writing for the Spud if I didn’t take these chances. When I signed up for the Spud I didn’t have that much interest in writing, but I knew I was alright at it. Once I started writing for the Spud, I realized that I actually really enjoy writing and can tear apart a paper in editing.

One of the things I was very unsure of doing but knew I wanted to because of my interests, was applying to Open Space at Hastings College. Open Space is defined as an “immersive art program” that only accepts 35 students a year. Basically, it is a week-long “summer camp” held at the Jackson-Dinsdale Art Center and you can even gain scholarships. Each day of the week you focus on a different medium, which is where it really interested me. They go over everything from drawing and painting, to digital designing, and even glass blowing. It was honestly, a little scary because Hastings is a Fine Arts school. It isn’t like applying to something at Chadron State, which isn’t necessarily an art school. I felt like I had to be pretty good to get into this. So, in December, I got a bunch of my strongest pieces together for a portfolio, took some pictures, filled out an application, and sent them all in. It was a long wait until March when I finally got an email congratulating me on my acceptance. And now, I cannot wait until June 2 rolls around.

I’m honestly so glad that I’ve taken these opportunities. They’re not only extremely validating if you’re not quite sure if you’re good enough for something, but they also show you a realistic view of what you’re looking into for a career. You can find an opportunity for pretty much anything that you’re interested in, and as I said before, please take them. You never know where you’re going to end up, but it’ll help you alot along the way.