Getting Specific: What Do YOU Want?

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This lesson helps students explore their different values and goals as they relate to what they desire from their experience in school.

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overview & purpose

The activity aims to help participants gain a better understanding of their personal motivations and aspirations, and to encourage them to think critically about how their experiences in school can help them achieve their goals.

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lesson / activity

Look at the following list and indicate which statements feel most accurate or true for you in terms of what you want to get out of your experience in school:

Star (or highlight in blue) the top five statements.

Within these five statements,  circle (or highlight in yellow) the top three statements.

Within these three statements, underline (or highlight in green) the number one choice—the statement that seems most true.

  • I want to get into college.
  • I want to be a leader in my community.
  • I want to get good grades.
  • I want to graduate.
  • I want to have fun in school.
  • I want to learn about a specific content area (e.g. math, English, history, science, etc.) because this is something I can envision using in my professional career.
  • I want to please my parents, teachers, coaches, and other adult figures in my life.
  • I want to experience a particular extracurricular activity (e.g., dance, theater, sports, government, etc.) because I want to develop skills that are necessary for excellence in this area of work and that might be useful for my future career.
  • I want to be independent.
  • I want to fulfill a spiritual calling—a belief that I’m here to do something specific.
  • I want to make friends I’ll have for a lifetime.
  • I want to find a significant other to spend time with.
  • I want to be liked and respected by my friends.
  • I want to have fun in my free time.
  • I want the highest grade-point average in my class.

Discussion Questions

What are the most important aspects of school for you? Why? What do you want to get out of being a student?

Do you ever think about what your current work might lead to in the future? In what kind of work do you see yourself involved? Why?

How does your life at school—as a student, athlete, member of a club, friend, classmate—relate to what you think about doing in the future?

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