By Emily Doucette
Special to The Guardian
Time’s up, make a decision on the rest of your life… now! You only get one chance, so do it right, otherwise you will be unemployed, poor, and your life will be sad and lonely.
OK, so maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it surely feels that way when you’re faced with all the possibilities and realities that are coming after high school. You are in your final year, after working to get here from kindergarten, and now teachers, parents, and even siblings, are trying to convince you to make that final choice, to answer their question “what comes next?” They expect you to be ready to answer this, to take responsibility, and act like the adult that you have yet to become, when there are still some mornings that you can’t remember to bring an umbrella in a downpour. How are you supposed to know what you’re doing with the rest of your life when you don’t know how to check the daily weather reports?
Sure, you may have some of your own opinions and ideas on the future, you might have even decided that you just don’t want to go to school, and that’s perfectly fine; however, with all the voices telling you what to do or not to do, it’s easy to second-guess yourself. There are so many choices, and everyone has their own opinion on what is right and wrong. You like art? There’s no money in it, give it up. Take science instead. You want to go away for school? Stay here, it’s cheaper, it doesn’t matter if the Island schools don’t have the program you want, choose something else. You want to just enter the work world? If you don’t go to college, you will be homeless on the streets. These are just some examples of what you could be told, and they can affect what you will decide to do in the end, for better or worse.
Making those big decisions is hard, and frustrating, especially when you find out you don’t have all the requirements for your chosen program, so you have to rearrange your entire second semester schedule, and lose a class you really wanted to take, or was necessary for a different program. It can be stressful, for sure.
Your future decisions might end up being based on simplicity, necessity, and cost, instead of on interest and desire, and that’s probably the most upsetting fact. What you have to remember is that, it’s not your mother’s, sister’s or French teacher’s whose life is being discussed, it’s yours, and you need to make the right decisions to make yourself happy. It might be hard, or pricey, but nothing worthwhile comes without payment of some kind.
Emily Doucette is a Grade 12 student at Bluefield High School, who is completing a co-op work placement with The Guardian.