It felt like someone had physically hit me. Our counselor had come in to my language arts class to discuss schedules for next year and I was shocked. Somehow I had survived the last three years of high school without realizing that it all had to end.
Before this lecture I wasn't worried about the future at all. The future as I saw it was this vague fuzzy place where I would graduate and then end up (somehow) in the perfect college -- that of course someone else would pay for. No more high school drama, no more doing pointless busywork during class, and most of all no more standardized tests. I would, to use a clich, live happily ever after.
But what is all of this our counselor talked about? The tests you have to take, the applications you have to fill out and the scholarship essays you have to write. That wasn't even the scariest part of the whole deal. It's all the choices that I would have to make. All the big decisions that I fear if I make the wrong choice I can't go back.
Do I take college classes over the summer or get a job? What should I major in? And here's the real kicker -- are advanced placement classes worth my time? I didn't know any of the answers and it had me petrified. I worried that if I screw up something at this level then the mistake will haunt me forever, just like that huge piece of chocolate cake I ate just before trying on that tight dress in the back of my closet.
I keep asking myself, "What am I supposed to do?"
The stupid thing is that I don't know yet. My dad tells us story about when he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. The answer this younger, more short sighted, but confident me came up with was either a doctor, or, an actual school bus. Since being a school bus sounds like a disgusting job and I hate hospitals, neither of these past dreams seem appealing.
This leaves me exactly where I started. I don't know where I'm going and I only have a little over a year left to figure it out. A year can seem like such a short time. It feels like time is flying faster each day. There are still so many things I want to do and places I want to go before my life is consumed by college.
I keep looking back on the past and wishing I had more time. But I don't, so I guess I have to take advantage of every second I have left of high school. The future may be a daunting place but I can prepare for it.
Our counselor's lecture may have scared the crap out of me but she, and other people, have given me a lot of good advice. Advice like which forms to fill out, how to start applying to schools and for scholarships, and the importance of a summer job. It made me realize that I have a lot of work to do in the coming year, but stressing over it isn't going to help. The decisions I make now may not lead to my "living happily ever after" story book ending but they will lead to a bright future, one I have decided not to be afraid of.
This article is the opinion of Carol Clonan. Clonan is a junior at Skyview High School.
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