Planning for the future has never been easy. Everything can seem so blurry in the beginning. The events of the pandemic have reiterated that more than ever. However, despite the looming uncertainty over the following events, it should not stop you from planning around it, especially if these plans involve the betterment of your future progression.
Organizing for what is to come depends on each individual’s stage in life. The purpose of this context draws upon the underrepresented students. In the instance of high school students, the general expectation from a societal standpoint is for them to perceive a certain level of skill that would be able to transition and project them towards a future career-motivated lifestyle after college. Fulfilling these social expectations requires certain tools from these students.
Although underrepresented students may lack advantages such as, social and cultural capital, which is largely due to the heightened value given to cultural and social capital controlled by the dominant culture (i.e. middle and upper class families).
Nevertheless, what remains on the underrepresented group's side can distinguish them from others. For instance, low-income students that may face a stronger barrier to succeed more so than others are well equipped with an aspirational capital. This sort of capital allows underrepresented students to reserve their hopes and dreams for the future.
Other forms of capital that differentiate the underrepresented population can be found in the form of resistant capital, which recognizes the knowledge and skills garnered from a legacy of opposition that defies inequality. Therefore, these categories of community cultural wealth can further many underrepresented students' outlooks into topics such as, college and career motivation.
Furthermore, equipping high school students with a much needed career experience will allow them to better identify their future outlook. Enabling students to explore the working world will bring opportunity to gain relevant skills. The high school stage is one of the most significant stages when it comes to planning for which path you wish to pursue.
The best way to understand your path is to gain some form of experience from it, either through an internship, shadowing, volunteering, or even networking with people from the same field of interest.
Businesses benefit from providing high school students a work opportunity. The main reasons they do so is to gain new perspectives, support local high schools, as well as find future college interns. Therefore, high school students should not feel discouraged when applying for internships, since both parties gain an advantage.
While focusing on the present may be more important, preparing for what’s ahead will give you more confidence in what you wish to pursue. Moreover, your future self will definitely thank you for planning ahead.
Dodson, A., 2020. How to find internships in high school (Advice From a College Intern). [online] Rethink Together. Available at: <https://xqsuperschool.org/rethinktogether/how-to-find-an-internship-high-school-college/> [Accessed 14 February 2021].
Murillo, M., Quartz, K. and Del Razo, J., 2017. High School Internships: Utilizing a community cultural wealth framework to support career preparation and college-going among low-income students of color. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 22(4), pp.237-252.
SHRM. 2014. Employers, students benefit from high school internships. [online] Available at: <https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/pages/high-school-internships.aspx> [Accessed 14 February 2021].