Post High School Plans for Lost Souls
I watch my youngest child, now a senior in high school, grimace every time someone asks about her plans for after she graduates. She’s polite but evasive, and privately, she complains about the incessant nature of the question.
The truth is, she doesn’t know what she wants to do after high school. Except maybe exhale. And relax.
She’s applying to colleges, but even when well-meaning people ask her questions like:
- Do you want to go to a big university with lots of options or a small, intimate school?
- Where do you want to live – urban, suburban, or rural? What about the weather – do you want to be somewhere warm or cold?
- Do you think you want to explore Greek life and rush a sorority?
- Do you want to continue to play the harp?
She says it takes all of her willpower not to put her hands over her ears and scream, “I don’t know!”
And if someone asks her what she wants to study or her favorite classes in school, I can also see the steam pouring out of her ears.
It’s okay for our kids to be lost right now. They haven’t even been alive for two decades yet. Let’s give them some space.
I know, I know – none of us want our kids to be behind, to miss out on opportunities, to make a choice that constricts their future. But let’s give them a little room to breathe and to explore and to ask hard questions without panicking just yet.
First, they have to get their bearings:
- Who are they internally? What makes them thrive? What lights them up?
- How do they recover when they make mistakes?
- What spikes their anxiety? What makes them constrict, like a turtle pulling back into its shell?
Then, it’s important to be thorough in their exploration of the world of work:
- What are their college options – both in terms of traditional four-year universities and private schools as well as community colleges?
- What would a gap year or a differently designed break look like? What’s the appeal of that?
- What does money have to do with their decisions – both from a practical standpoint (what’s their budget) and from an internal standpoint (what does it mean to them to spend this kind of money?)?
- Where can they go to get data and do some exploring?
Finally, what does a plan that’s specifically designed for them look like?
- How can they draw a map and also plan for obstacles they might encounter?
- What’s does it look like and sound like to tell others about their plans?
Does This Group Fit My Child?
This group is designed for your children if all of these descriptions fit them:
- They’re in high school
- They would identify as introverts or shy
- They’re curious enough about the group that they’d like to meet with me via Zoom (the video conference platform that we use for the class) to talk about whether they want to participate and what it will look like
- They have permission from you and they’re willing to share their email address with other group participants for between class exchanges
Details About the Group
Meeting Frequency and Location
We’ll meet weekly within a group of between 6-8 kids, gathering for 75-90 minutes.
We’ll use a video conferencing platform called Zoom that’s similar to Skype so they can meet from anywhere. All you need is a webcam and a reliable internet connection. It’s particularly comforting for introverts to meet from the familiarity of their own homes. I often hear from my clients that they find the video connection intimate and personal, and prior to our initial meeting, I’ll send out easy instructions about using Zoom so that you’ll be on set on the day of our first session.
Cost and What’s Included:
- 6 sessions (between 75 and 90 minutes each) of group connection and learning
- Structured interactions between meetings that are quick and fun
- Access to me for email questions between meetings
- Practical tips and tools to address common areas of concern (responding kindly to people who ask about their plans, looking at how to make decisions and avoiding common traps)
- Option to schedule additional individual sessions for 20% off
Bonus: a session for you, the parent, separate from your child, to discuss your experience of parenting a high schooler (this will be in a group setting with parents of other participants).
Your price for this all-inclusive program: $220