Growing up should come with a warning label, manual


Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2006

There are certain things in life that some of us really miss the boat on. There is always something that somebody is not telling you.

For example, no one told me how intense senior year was going to be. Had I known the amount of stress that comes with entering my last year in high school, I would have found a way to stay in middle school forever.

I was under the impression senior year would be a breeze. I must have missed an important memo somewhere along the line.

I will admit I am not making it easy for myself; I happen to be the type of person that takes on everything that is offered to me, regardless of the fact that I am already trying to find a way to get more than 24 hours out of the day (if anyone does happen to know how to go about that, let me know).

The other day, someone asked me which college I planned to attend. That is a good question, actually. I would have liked to have answered, “How about you tell me?”

If only it were that simple. There are so many options — how am I supposed to decide? There are in-state or out-of-state, public or private, two-year or four-year colleges, and of course, a warm climate or another ice box needs to be considered.

Are you familiar with the Staples commercials? They have these big red “easy” buttons that when pushed, instantly provide the frustrated office worker with exactly what he or she needs and plenty of it.

I wish I had one of those.

With one push of a button, all of my decisions would be made for me.

Some of my friends have their entire

lives planned out. They know exact-

ly where they are going, what they are doing, and how long it will take to be successful. If there was an undecided category in life, I would fall into it.

Setting the whole college issue aside, there is plenty to keep me biting my nails. The SAT is just one example. As a born procrastinator, I waited until the very last minute to take the test. I figured that the study guide would help prepare me, so I paid the extra $14 and ordered it. It is the thickest book I have ever seen in my life. How the authors expect a person to work through the entire thing will forever be a mystery to me (by the way, I still have yet to open it). On top of having to figure out the rest of our lives and prepare for silly things like the SATs, many high school seniors also balance a job. It is entirely crazy, but hey, we are 17 or 18 and we know everything, right?


There lies our problem. Coming of age comes with a certain amount of ignorance, and boy, can that make some nice-sized waves.

Despite it all, what many seniors want is to be successful. My single, greatest fear is becoming a disappointment. I envy little kids; they have it so easy. When I was 6 years old, I knew exactly how my life would be. I was going to be a ballerina, more specifically a princess ballerina. And as a princess ballerina, I would not have to worry about college, money or even life for that matter. Of course I am not a princess ballerina — I lost the desire for that years ago.

Thankfully, new aspirations are steadily replacing my old ones.

If you know a senior in high school, don’t hesitate to take a few moments to give them a little extra encouragement. They may look as if they have it all together, but the truth is, it is just a really good show.

Whitney Brown is a senior at Kenai Central High School and a Jump Start student attending Kenai Peninsula College.

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