Planning Ahead – Is There a “Too Far?”

Hayden Rose, Staff Writer

Thinking about your next life when your high school days are over is something that most people at least try to do, and it’s also something that the majority of students stress about. This stress can easily be intensified by some bad habits and mindsets and could in turn harm any student.

Parents, teachers, counselors, and even other students all often say that looking ahead and planning everything about your future is beneficial, and while that’s true to an extent, thinking too far ahead can lead to a slippery slope, where you could get stuck and prevent yourself from moving forward. It’s important to remember that, while you think you either do or don’t know what you want to do in the future, you need to open up your other options. BHS often uses the saying, “keep your options open,” that serves as a reminder to this point. Without knowing this information, it’s possible for a student to box themselves in, pushing them into this idea of a slippery slope, which essentially sounds like, “What if I can’t make the career I want, then I won’t be able to make money, then I won’t be able to afford my degree, then I won’t be able to finish school, then I won’t be able to get a good job…” etc. This kind of thinking is something that many people go through all the time, but getting stuck in that habit can lead people to feel demotivated or scared of reaching for new heights. 

Meg Lyons, a writer from, states that, “When you consider the cost of staying in the limbo of indecision, you may find it’s better to commit to a decision. You can then move forward with the self-belief that you’re able to handle what comes next. Trust yourself.”

For those that know they don’t want to go to college, it’s still very possible to make a living without a full college degree and education; there’s always jobs to fill, there’s always freelance work, there’s always smaller odd jobs and opportunities that show up every now and then. As stated before, it’s important to keep options open and make sure there are always other places to go and other options to take if/when something doesn’t go to plan.

The future is important, and making sure that you choose everything for yourself is imperative for success and long-term happiness with the career you’ve chosen. Choosing something because someone else said it was a “safer option,” or because it’s what someone else wants you to do is something that you should avoid. It’s important to choose the path that you want to walk, and if you don’t know what that is, then make sure you give yourself opportunities to find out.

Overthinking can be dangerous for the mind, and while some people may be able to handle the stress, it’s always better to do anything that can dial it back a bit. Making sure that there are multiple options is among the most important things to keep in mind when planning for the future, next to making sure that you choose your future for yourself and nobody else.