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Exploring my interests

What do you think?

Before you get started, think about how you would answer the following questions.

  1. What do you dream about for your future?
  2. What do you like doing outside of school?
  3. During what activities do you get so involved that you lose track of time?
  4. If success was guaranteed and money was no object, what would you like to accomplish in your life?
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What are your interests?

If you answered the questions above, you are well on your way to identifying your interests. You can consider an activity or hobby an interest. The important thing to realize is that it captures your attention and you enjoy doing whatever it may be for recreation or leisure.

Maybe you pursue your interests after school or on the weekend. Your interests can provide a diversion from your everyday tasks and give you a chance to use other skills and abilities.

Discover, develop and apply

Like strengths, interests can be discovered and developed through your class work, participation in school or community organizations or activities with family or friends. For example, maybe you became curious about marine life after you visited an aquarium while on vacation with your parents. Other times, interests are sparked through reading books, watching movies and talking with people. Perhaps you are intrigued by the topic and conversation of a television talk show.

Both identifying and developing interests are an important part of our own self expression. Sometimes interests can develop into career choices. For example if you like to play an instrument, you may choose to become a music teacher. Other interests may be purely for spare time recreational pursuits, to energize you, provide a change of pace and use other skills and abilities.

Start exploring

To get started, think about some activities that you enjoy and answer the following questions.

  • Are you with people, for example, talking with them, helping them, guiding them or serving them?
  • Are you working with information, for example, adding numbers, writing words, organizing concepts or researching on the Internet?
  • Are you working with your hands, for example, making a sculpture, fixing an automobile, cooking food or mixing chemicals?

These broad categories reflect your preferences and can be used as a beginning point for identifying your interests.

Your values can also play a role in discovering your interests and choosing potential career paths. By clarifying your values, you can more clearly define what is important to you, how you want to spend your time and how you want to invest your resources.

Colleges often consider how much involvement applicants have with extracurricular activities. To begin exploring your interests, complete the activities and check out the eSources.