Freshmen Encouraged to Make Life Decisions Sooner than Later

Freshman+Louise+Hager+waits+at+the+Counselor%27s+Office+in+the+afternoon+to+talk+to+her+counselor+about+her+pathway.
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Freshmen Encouraged to Make Life Decisions Sooner than Later

Freshman Louise Hager waits at the Counselor's Office in the afternoon to talk to her counselor about her pathway.

Freshman Louise Hager waits at the Counselor's Office in the afternoon to talk to her counselor about her pathway.

Aaron Sullivan

Freshman Louise Hager waits at the Counselor's Office in the afternoon to talk to her counselor about her pathway.

Aaron Sullivan

Aaron Sullivan

Freshman Louise Hager waits at the Counselor's Office in the afternoon to talk to her counselor about her pathway.

Aaron Sullivan, Reporter

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Young people today are having to think about what they’re going to do as a career earlier and earlier. Today’s freshmen have already been tasked with this challenge as eighth graders before they even walk through the doors of Bastrop High School. While the school guides students by using a system of endorsements and pathways to assist them in deciding what they want to do in life, the stress of a looming future never goes away.

“Students choose an Endorsement, or a plan, such as: Business & Industry, Health Science, Art & Humanities, Multi-Disciplinary or STEM,” said counselor Paula Rodriguez, “Once they choose their Endorsement, they can then choose a pathway based on the Endorsement they chose, example: Business & Industry, Pathway Automotive Technology.” The State of Texas requires that students explore their interests as early as possible. This allows students to have a better idea about their interests and skills. “It should benefit [students],” said Rodriguez, “Based on the classes and skills they learn, they can then make sound decisions about their academic futures.” Even though guidance counselors at Bastrop High have these methods in place, many fourteen and fifteen year olds have anxiety about deciding their futures.

“I was really stressed, because I didn’t know what I wanted to be and I felt like it was sprung upon me,” said freshman Louise Hager. “I wasn’t prepared and I hadn’t thought about it enough.” Hager is just one of many students at Bastrop High who, at first, felt the strain of making such a big decision so quickly. She eventually chose the multidisciplinary pathway which allows her to keep an open mind and a more flexible schedule.

Even though most students feel the pressure to set their future, others see the advantages to the newer system. “My pathway is Law Enforcement, but I want to study attorney style law,” said freshman Aidan Barger. “I chose it, because I feel not enough people get represented in some cases and a lot more could change from it.” Under Barger’s pathway, classes like Intro to Law and Public Safety, and Forensics are offered. “This helps me determine what part of the field I want to enter by listing what you can do and the benefits of each profession,” said Barger.

Although the anxiety of an approaching future never seems to go away, Bastrop High and their counselors are giving students an excellent way to orientate themselves in a hyper-competitive college environment. “You get to interact with the community in multiple different ways, and build a trust with [that community],” said Barger.

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