This post was written by Jenny Bloom, Interim Teen Services Librarian at the Bainbridge Island branch of Kitsap Regional Library.

Dear Teen,

It’s Springtime and your stress level may be high. I am part of the problem. I mean well, and I try not to ask, but I always seem to anyway; “What’s new?”

I truly care, and I don’t want to add to your anxiety, but I bet I do. And you can see it in my pleading eyes. What I really mean is “what are your plans?”

This time of the year, there is so much piled on your shoulders. From school work to sports, and jobs, but with Spring comes the anticipation of the end of the school year. How will you spend your summer? Are there pressures to figure out what you want to do and find an internship, job or college that will help you get there? Will you be taking the right steps to get where you want to go? Will today’s choices close doors for you or open them?

These are big considerations. And it is true, now is a great time to start building your resume. But the future can be hard to see, and lots of kids don’t know exactly where they are headed. Without strong support from family and teachers, it can seem overwhelming to find your way. Even with strong support, how do those who don’t have a clear view of themselves-in-the-future decide?

My advice, take a deep breath. Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy. The key to where you will be happy lies there. I don’t mean to be so simplistic- I’m not saying it will be easy. But evaluation of what tasks you enjoy, or what kind of a thinker and learner you are could help you get a broader view of yourself- which might help you see the road you would like to be on. Check out the resources below to help you de-stress and get started.

I am a doer. I am happiest when I am engaged on a hands-on level. I like to help people. I am interested in how things work, as well as why. Does that sound like you or are you more of a thinker who analyzes?

Noting these things about myself have led me to a meandering path of employment; from training Llamas to teaching, to Social Media Management and directing volunteers. I wouldn’t trade any of those jobs which have brought me experiences and skills. When it occurred to me a couple of years ago that all those things would be used well in a library setting, I headed back to school to get my Masters Degree in Library Science. I am thrilled I did, but if you had asked me while in High School if I would, I might have thought you were nuts.

Sometimes, the path is not straight. I know I've stopped to smell the roses and follow rabbits down holes.

Also, join us on April 24th from 1:30-6:30 at Bainbridge Island High School for our Teen Job Boot Camp or make a Career Center appointment at our Bainbridge, Downtown Bremerton, Port Orchard or Poulsbo location.

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