Recent editorial about students having to go the Next Step reminded me of my own. I worked at many jobs in high school after school, weekends and summers. Driving tractor, stocking shoes at Penney’s, sacking groceries at Safeway, folding newspapers for the weekly paper, filling 200 pound propane bottles, delivering propane to farms, installing propane appliances, crawling under houses and through attics as an electrician helper, hauling wheat to the elevator in town, milking cows by hand, etc.
By the time I graduated from high school, I already knew what I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life. I was drafted by the Army but joined the Navy. I wanted to get into Navy electronics, but the Navy said I was partially color-blind. I was discouraged.
I found, took and completed a radio and TV correspondence course using most of my Navy pay. I taught instrument flying to Navy pilots and also repaired the Link Trainers. Upon leaving the service, I enrolled at K-State. I had no money so decided to work one year. With my added electronic knowledge, I job a job at IBM fixing punch card machines. At the end of that year, I dearly loved my job and worked for IBM for 31 years.
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My advice is to work enough jobs in high school to know what it is you don’t want to do.