The future can wait until tomorrow


Kylie Redding, Op/ed editor

     High school is such a strange time. Honestly, a lot of us are just trying to get through our test next class, and then suddenly we’re being asked what we want to do with our lives. On top of the stress of school and grades we’re expected to make decisions that have the potential to shape our entire life… but no pressure, right? 

     If I got a dollar for every time I was asked a question along the lines of “what do you want to do after high school?” “where do you see yourself in five years?” or “do you know what career you want to pursue?” then I would be able to pay off the student loans debt that I’m going to have after college. 

     And I know adults mean well when they ask us these questions, or when planning for the future is required as a class assignment, but for many students I know, myself included, it feels like we’re expected to have it all figured out. Why aren’t we being told that it’s okay to not know yet, it’s okay to take it step by step, and it’s even okay to choose a path besides further education?

     Of course, having some sort of plan is probably a good idea, but when we’re looking at the blank canvas of life after high school, it can feel like we need to fill the entire page right now. If no one else has told you this, then I am—that just isn’t true. We can focus on one thing at a time. Life has a tendency to do whatever it wants anyway. 

     If trying to decide what you want to do with your entire life makes your palms sweaty and your heart start to race, then don’t. Start with what you want to do right after high school. Trade school? College? Gap year? Military? Work? All of these are valid options, and this is a big enough decision on it’s own.

     If you already know what you want to major in, then that’s really cool, but what isn’t talked about much is the fact that around 30 percent of college students switch majors at least once anyways. It usually doesn’t need to be set in stone until sophomore year of college. You don’t need to stress yourself out about deciding yet.

     I want to stress that I’m not suggesting that preparing for college isn’t important. It is. I’m merely acknowledging that we don’t need to put immense pressure on ourselves to choose every detail of our adult lives right now. That’s not realistic nor is it fair to ourselves. We’re going to change our minds as we grow and mature. Being unsure of who we are and what we want for ourselves is completely normal.

     So all this being said, next time you’re asked about your future, and we all know that there will be a next time, don’t be discouraged if you have no idea. Take it one day at a time, breathe, and know that in the end things will work out how they’re meant to. You’re doing great.