I taught business studies to a class of 17-year-olds at the beginning of 2019. They were a lively group and keen to understand more about the intriguing world of business. One day, one of my students asked me what advice I would give to my younger self. Drawing from what I shared with the student, here are some insights I would give myself at 17…
Read more. Explore a range of subjects and search continuously until you find a subject area you feel drawn to. The more you research, the sooner you will find your passion. I would have loved to be an avid reader when I was 17 years old. However, I very much struggled to read the novels and other forms of literature from the compulsory reading list. I only wanted to read my own books from cover to cover, to actively enjoy the journey. One day, though, I discovered a field which I was genuinely interested in. Reading books on psychology was never a struggle, it was a real joy. I developed a real passion for the subject which served me well for decades.
Have you ever felt pressured to choose your career direction? When I was 17-years-old, I had countless conversations about possible future career options. I felt rushed, pressured and confused at times. I wondered how I could decide on my career path when I had never worked in a job before.
Do not be tempted to rush into a career decision which does not feel right for you. Be courageous and voice your ideas, listen to other people’s insights and avoid making important decisions in a hurry.
Being a 17-year-old is not easy. You are faced with growing expectations both at school and at home. It might feel like you are grown up but people can still treat you like a child, and that can mean you find yourself wishing time away. Daydreaming too much about being at university, an independent grown up or working in a serious job is something you might actually end up regretting, though. It is of course helpful to have aspirations, but do not think continuously about the future. Take the time to appreciate all the great things which you have right now. Develop an attitude of appreciation for the present.
These are all insights I would give myself at 17. Remember, your age is wonderful, because you have a myriad of opportunities ahead of you.
Henrietta Nagy is a seasoned portfolio worker with over 10 years’ experience in the UK education sector. Henrietta writes educational content, designs academic courses, delivers university lecturers, mentors entrepreneurs, and provides career development coaching. With 9 years of higher education studies internationally (including an MBA), she has worked with CEOs, academics, scholars, managers, women entrepreneurs, academic administrators, and other consultants.