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How to Talk to Your Middle School Counselor About Your Future

Regular, one-on-one conversations with a guidance counselor or trusted teacher can make all the difference in a student's education and eventual career.

Ask Yourself

  • When you think about your future, what seems most important to you?
  • Do you have a particular career in mind, a place you want to live, or a lifestyle you want to lead?
  • What kinds of subjects do you enjoy the most? Do you think you might want to study something similar in college or pursue a related career?
  • Do you understand the requirements to graduate from high school and your options for college and training that can lead to a career?
  • Do you have some ideas about how you can pay for college or training?
  • Do you know about advanced placement, dual enrollment classes, or career technical education options that might help you earn college credits or technical certifications while you’re in high school? Are you interested in these options?
  • If you aren’t planning to go to college, what would you like to do after high school? What questions do you have about how you can achieve your goals?

Starting to consider your life after high school, while still in middle school, is an easy way to give yourself an edge. Certain advanced opportunities need a bit more runway. Students in grades 7–12 who attend an Idaho public school can take overload courses, classes that earn both high school and college credits (at the same time!), and enroll in special technical programs alongside their regular curriculum. Each year, a handful of Idaho high school seniors even earn an associate’s degree BEFORE they graduate the 12th grade. The state has made over $4,000 available to each student to pursue these advanced opportunities.

But all of that starts with careful self-reflection and open conversation with an informed adult who can help answer the questions above. Good luck!

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