NAI’s College and Career Week Recap

Last week, students heard about teachers' college experiences and aspirations. Here are some reactions.

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NAI’s College and Career Week Recap

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Last week, teachers and staff members at NAI shared their college and career experiences with their students in hopes to better prepare them for their own futures. It was definitely an educational, inspirational week, but had a few downsides. NAEye gathered some student’s thoughts and got an overview of the memorable week.

First off, a large part of this week involved Naviance, the website that displays an endless list of colleges and possible jobs. While this is a great resource, about 53% of students said that, as a freshman or sophomore, Naviance is actually overwhelming. Of course, that means that the other 47% don’t mind it.

Teachers also used Naviance to show students videos about varying careers in their subjects. The videos touched on every job under the sun– from a flavorist at Jelly Belly to a CEO running her own company.

One of the issues many students saw with this week was the constant repetition. Every single story came from a current teacher’s perspective, so they typically followed the same occupational path. This made their stories very similar, and at some points, boring.

“All the teachers either went to Pitt, Penn State, or a college fairly nearby in Ohio or something.” said student Faith Nguyen. “It seems that they all expect us to follow the safe, predictable path of going to a fairly good college, getting a degree, and working until we die.”

“I do think that it is nice to hear advice about what to consider, but most of the teachers had the same stories. It got pretty repetitive, and if anything, stressed me out even more about making a decision.” Angeline Chalifoux commented.

Dressing up was also encouraged, so the days were filled with teachers rocking their college gear and students following themes. It certainly added some fun.

Many say that they think the most important thing they learned was that it is okay to make mistakes, and maybe, that’s a really good thing.

“Most of my teachers did not originally go to college to be a teacher and that was reassuring because it showed me that I do not have to know what I want to do, and I have time to figure it out,” said sophomore Ashley Solenday.

“It let me realize that I could screw up or change my mind as much as I want to,” another sophomore, Anna Mott, added.

Overall, this year’s college and career week accomplished exactly what it was meant to. 88% of students said they received helpful advice from their teachers, and an additional 74% think that the week should become an annual event. Plus, 63% of kids described it as positive and informational.

Thank you to all the teachers for sharing their stories and for providing some of the biggest lessons of them all– that it’s okay to make mistakes and to make sure that whatever you do, you’re happy.