Navigating the Exciting Journey of College and Career Choices with Jen Lembright

Make Informed Decisions About Your Life.

Published : March 8th, 2024
Contributors : Premmy Mepremwattana and Jason Weimer

In this article we were able to sit down with Mrs. Jen, an experienced college counselor, and Proud, a senior who's navigating her own journey through these decisions. Focused on practical advice, personal experiences, and straightforward tips, we hope this post can help you make informed choices about your education and career path. Whether you're in high school or thinking about college, this post is packed with insights to guide you on your journey.

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Image Source: Students Incorporated

Embracing the College Journey: The Four P's

Firstly, the first crucial step is finding a college that is a fit for you. Mrs. Jen introduces the “four P's” – Price, Program, Place, and People – as a framework to simplify this complex decision. “Price” involves considering the financial aspect, ensuring the choice aligns with your family's budget. The “Program” refers to the academic offerings, ensuring they match your interests and career aspirations. “Place” takes into account the geographic and cultural setting of the institution, while “People” emphasizes the importance of community, including potential connections with alumni and peers.

In sharing her personal journey, Proud underscores the significance of these factors. She speaks of her ambitious choice to pursue challenging fields like bioengineering or biochemistry. Ultimately, her story is a testament to the power of passion and determination in shaping one's educational path.

Beyond Academics: Holistic Development and Global Perspectives

Shifting to a broader perspective, let’s dive into the ways in which current global and local events have impacted the college admissions process. From the recovery of the Thai tourist industry post-pandemic to the potential global economic challenges signaled by FedEx's performance, such topics highlight the importance of being aware of the world around us. This awareness is crucial as it shapes the environment we step into post-graduation.

This global outlook is not just about being informed; it's about preparing ourselves to be adaptable, resilient, and versatile in a rapidly changing world. In this way, it is clear that the journey through college and into a career is as much about understanding the world as it is about understanding ourselves.

Personal Growth Through Challenges: Proud's Story

Proud's narrative offers a powerful illustration of turning personal challenges into opportunities for growth. She speaks about her grandfather's battle with dementia, a turning point that led her to delve into research on the potential benefits of soybeans in dementia treatment. Her proactive approach and willingness to reach out to experts in the field exemplify how personal experiences can ignite a passion for research and innovation.

However, Proud's journey doesn't stop there. She's also deeply involved in addressing gender disparities in STEM and combating colorism in Thailand. Her initiatives in these areas demonstrate a commitment to societal change and embody the spirit of using one's talents and interests to make a positive impact on the world. Proud was accepted into Yale where she is currently working on her undergraduate degree.


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The College Application Process: Then and Now

With a tint of nostalgia, Mrs. Jen reflects on how the college application process has evolved over the years. From the simplicity of the '90s to the complex, multifaceted process of today, these changes underscore the importance of adaptability and thorough preparation. The shift to test-optional admissions in many universities post-pandemic is a critical example of this evolution, indicating a move towards a more holistic review of applicants.

Preparing for the Future: Advice for Underclassmen

Having discussed the holistic view of college application, Proud’s personal journey, as well as the shifts and trends in the College Application Process, Mrs. Jen and Proud turn to offer valuable advice for underclassmen. Mrs. Jen emphasizes the importance of building a supportive team during the college application process, including parents, teachers, mentors, and counselors. She encourages students to make the most of their high school years, not just academically but also in personal development and extracurricular involvement.

Proud advises underclassmen to start familiarizing themselves with the college process early but without undue stress. She stresses the importance of finding one's passion and pursuing it wholeheartedly, a sentiment that resonates with anyone standing at the crossroads of education and career.

Conclusion: Your Journey, Your Story

As we draw to an end, we hope that through Mrs. Jen’s and Proud’s sharing of experiences, advice, and encouragement, this article is able to serve as a reminder that the journey through college and into a career is deeply personal yet universally challenging. The process is about making informed decisions, embracing your passions, and preparing to adapt to an ever-changing world.

As you navigate your path, remember that like Proud and many before her, you have the power to turn challenges into opportunities. Your college and career choices are not just steps towards a profession– the choices are also steps towards self-discovery and making a meaningful impact in the world.

Think about it, “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” – Rachel Wolchin.
Embrace your journey– you were meant to explore!

So, as you think over your next steps, whether you're just starting high school or preparing for college, remember this: Your journey is unique, and it's yours to shape. Be informed, be passionate, and most importantly, be ready to embrace the exciting journey ahead! Don’t forget to listen to this episode on any streaming platforms, check out our latest ones, and follow us on social media platforms! Until then, have fun and make the most out of your College Applications journey!

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About Jen Lembright
Jen Lembright serves as a counselor at the International Community School of Bangkok.

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