We all know that one person who committed to a college and a major before the start of senior year of high school. However, for the larger percentage of high school students considering a college or a four-year university, visiting a college campus can be a crucial step in making a decision.
Typically, students who are interested in post-secondary institutions fall into four different categories. First, there are those who know what post-secondary institution they will attend, but are undecided on a major. Then, there are students who know what they want to study, but not at what institution. There are those students who do not know what or where they want to study. Finally, there is that small, lucky percentage of students who know what they want to study and where.
Going to a post-secondary school is a personal and family decision based on a few factors including, location, living options, programs of study, college culture, cost, etc. Combined, all of these factors could be overwhelming to any student and her parents. Here are a few helpful tips to consider before making a cross-country trip or committing to a miss-fit for the next four years.
How much will the lifestyle you desire cost you every month? How big a bite will routine bills take out of your paycheck? Which occupations provide the kind of salary that will let you buy what you want? Reality Check, an Idaho Career Information System tool, can help you, your students or your children understand the relationship between earnings, purchases and paying the bills.
Reality Check is helpful for students trying to understand the connection between income and expenses. A 12-item survey includes options for large monthly expenses like housing, utilities, transportation and health care. It also includes budget choices for entertainment, personal care, savings, student loan repayment and a “miscellaneous” category. The budget figures in Reality Check are updated throughout the year and accurately indicate the current cost of living in Idaho’s six metropolitan areas: Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello and Twin Falls.
What’s it like to be your own boss? Can you come in late, take vacation any time, hire other people to do the hard work?
Sorry, no. The truth is when you own a business, you probably work more hours than you did before – and work harder than anyone else in your company. At the same time, the rewards of self-employment can be great and as an owner, you will likely be doing the kind of work or producing the kind of work product that is meaningful to you.
What’s it like to work for yourself?
People who own their business wear a lot of hats. Usually the business starts out small, sometimes with no other employee than the owner. The owner works at a dream job, but may also be the bookkeeper, supply and inventory clerk, marketer and salesperson, receptionist, IT expert – and janitor. He or she is on their own to solve problems, develop new ideas, stay motivated and keep the business running. For some people, this is exactly what they want; for others this may sound overwhelming. (See Is self-employment right for you? in the Idaho Career Information System (CIS).)