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 | By Cynthia Kaan

What’s Next? Gap Year? Community College?


Many parents begin planning their child’s education soon after conception. Perhaps they envision a successful high school career, enrollment in a good college and then a solid career that provides financial security. How do we discern whether that is the path God wants for us or if community college or a gap year is part of our calling?


  1. PRAY. In particular, pray a novena to St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of students. Ask for his intercession in discovering God’s will for your life. In addition, spend some quiet time in adoration. Open your heart and mind to God’s plan.
  2. LOOK INTERNALLY. Take some time to dig deep into the natural talents with which you have been blessed. Ask those who know you well for their input. Dig into their answers rather than accepting a quick response – ask why and ask for examples. This will encourage contemplation in mind and heart.
  3. ACTIVELY RESEARCH. Seek opportunities to explore passions that could be a calling. Interview or shadow those whose career choice piques your interest.

We are all called to fulfill different purposes, and our paths will be as different as our personalities. When the Lord was calling Samuel, he said: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Sam 3:10) Make this your prayer and give Jesus the opportunity to speak to you.