19 Step – Plan and Prepare for Your Future Two weeks ago, a student named Ryan came to my office and told me that he wanted to quit school. I tried to talk him out of it, but Ryan was 18, and he’d made up his mind. He withdrew from school that day. Three days later, I looked up, and there was Ryan in my doorway. He sat down and said, “Man, they won’t even give me a job at the gas station because I don’t have my high school diploma. I think I need to come back.” To prepare for your future, get the best education you can. When you graduate from high school, you want to be able to look ahead to a future that’s full of opportunities and choices. Of course, there are many factors that will determine what kinds of opportunities will come your way. The biggest factor, however, will be your education. The better your educa- tion, the more choices and opportunities you will have in life! Here is one high school counselor’s story about a student who came very close to limiting his options. Fortunately, Ryan quickly realized that without his diploma, his options were going to be very limited. What Ryan also needs to realize is that while a high school diploma is essential, his options will be far greater if he continues his education after high school. Choose your high school courses carefully While you’re in high school, take as many English courses as possible. Every- one needs to know how to read, write, and communicate effectively. You should also take as many math courses as you can. It’s important to have good general math skills and, if possible, some algebra and geometry. 10