Making decisions

Last Updated: 12/1/2020 10:04 PM

Preparing for your future

It's so easy to go home, sit down to dinner that someone else has prepared, have no concern about paying an electric bill, car payment or rent and not generally worry about money or responsibilities.

Adults provide for us as children and that's as it should be. But sooner or later, you have to leave the nest and make your own way and assume those adult responsibilities yourself. Before you take that first big step in the real world, you need to know what you're doing and prepare for the unexpected.


Choose a path... 

This is not hard but you do need to use some common sense and face reality.  

You're not going to be a doctor with a 2.0 GPA. The odds are against your becoming a professional athlete unless you've really made significant accomplishments and set records in high school and college.  

If you want to become a lawyer, you should probably take a law class in high school.  If you want to be a teacher, joining FEA would help you understand the field. The opportunities and resources Merrillville High School offers are awesome and your teachers really do want you to succeed; that's why they're here!

You start by thinking about the things you really love in life: Animals? Children? Helping people? Computers? Machinery? Military? Building things? Working outside? Cooking? Problem solving? Music? Sports?

  • Make a list of those things you love and number them in order with #1 being your favorite. 
  • Talk to your parents. They've been out there in the real world and have valuable advice. Trust them. Make a FAMILY CAREER TREE and find out what obs or careers your parents, grandparents and relatives have had in their lives.
  • Talk to your teachers and coaches.  They're also in the real world and can tell you the good things and bad things about what you want to do when you grow up.
  • Talk to your guidance counselors. They know what courses will help you and what resources you have for after you leave school.
  • Make an appointment and talk to someone who is already doing the job you want to do in the real world. Ask them questions.
  • Take an internship in high school and actually work in that position to see if you like it.  (A horrible thing that often happens in college is that you spend $50,000 or studying for a career and just as you graduate with all that debt, you realize you don't like this career. Don't let this happen to you!) 
  • Take a Careers class and explore what the world has to offer in careers.
  • Use this website and take advantage of the wonderful resources Merrillville offers to their students. 

The State of Indiana Department of Education has outlined 11 (plus STEM) career pathways. Each one lists many, many occupations.  Click here to explore these potential fields.     


Get that diploma!

MHS offers three (3) types of diplomas.  Before you plan for that diploma, figure out what you want to do in life.  A Core 40 Diploma will enable you to obtain a job but an Academic Honors or Technical Honors speaks volumes about your knowledge and skills. 

An Academic Honors Diploma shows you have taken Advanced Placement Courses (something colleges like) and have studied a foreign language.  You've taken a couple dual credit courses (probably in an AP or Business course) and you have an overall GPA of 3.0 (B average).  

None of your grades are lower than a C and you've scored well on the SAT.  It shows you do the hard work and get good grades.

Technical Honors Diploma is just as rigorous as an Academic Honors diploma but focused a little differently.  You still need that GPA of 3.0 or better (B Average) and you can't get below an C in any of your classes but you don't need a foreign language.  

You need a minimum of six courses in an major area such as Business, Industrial Arts, FACS, etc. if this is where your passion lies. You'll also be able to take dual college credit courses, work an internship and/or get Microsoft Certified.  

Colleges also look favorably on Technical Honors Diplomas; but if college is not your thing, this diploma will open doors for you because you've taken the right courses for a career which you may start as early as right after high school.  

With a Technical Honors diploma, you will have taken the basic courses and have the career foundation you need before you even graduate from high school.

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