Get good grades. Pass every standardized test. Research a career. Pick challenging classes. Every choice you make in these four short years of your life will help determine the next few decades of your future.
We’re all teenagers, but all the adults around us expect us to make decisions for ourselves with a certain amount of maturity and foresight. Some of us have trouble figuring out what we want for lunch, so how can we be expected to plan out the next few years of our lives?
Half of us are not old enough to drive. Almost all of us can’t drink or vote or even watch R rated movies. To the government, we are virtually still babies that need to be taken care of every step of the way.
We are being told to make all these choices and decisions as if the world is expecting us to fly and survive after throwing us out of a window from the top floor of the Empire State Building.
Teenagers don’t rebel because we’re “at that age.” We rebel because we can’t handle the pressure, and the expectations to be the wondrous new generation, to fix everything that is wrong, and to make many improvements and innovations for the world.
Like most people my age, I procrastinate. I like to put everything off even though I know that the only thing left for me to do would only take a second. I always tell myself, “You have time. What’s the difference between doing it now and doing it later?”
With that train of thought, I ask myself, “Why should I have to start preparing for a job I’ll have seven years from now? Why can’t I wait six more years to make all these choices?”
Counselors try to ease us by letting us know we can go into colleges with an undecided major and that we can always choose to change careers when we grow older. In a way, that does help assuage our anxiety by letting us know the results of our choices are ephemeral. Throughout our entire lives, we will be forced to make choices, so even though things may seem unfair now, we’d just have to accept it and learn to deal.
In the end, everyone, no matter how old, is just experimenting and hoping for the best. There’s still two more years left of high school for me, and I just hope my choices will bring me to favorable outcomes.