I have my entire life ahead of me and yet I feel like it’s disappearing before it’s even started. There is so much pressure on students to go to post-secondary that it’s become my main objective. But here I am unprepared, with no idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life.
It took me years to get over my initial fear of something as simple as getting a job.
It’s simple in the sense that as a 16-year old, any job I get is just entry-level, but now I have an entire future to fund and I haven’t even started. Along with trying to secure a source of income, I have to face obstacles that come with the prospect of having this money. How will I manage it, save it, and spend it?
As a dependent person, I have relied on my parents for my entire life, for pretty much everything. Right now, I am not independent financially nor am I self-reliant when it comes to taking care of myself. Approaching Grade 12, the last year that I will have as a minor, I feel severely underprepared. It feels akin to jumping into a pond with much bigger fish than me.
With my Grade 11 year coming to an end while socially distancing, I feel like it’s a milestone that I’m missing. I’m approaching the age of 17, I feel at this point there’s an expectation of a certain level of maturity, independence, and self-reliance, which I know I’m not meeting.
I’ve heard different speculation of what the school year of 2020-2021 is going to be like. Some people have told me they think everything will be back to normal before September, others have said that school will be far from normal when we go back. Either way, this is my last year in high school, and despite facing so many insecurities and an unsure future, it’s still my future.
It’s time for me to grow up and take control of my life. If I want to go to university in the fall of 2021, then I have to work to make enough money. If I want to have a great graduating year, then I have to take control of my experience and enjoy it while I can.
Here I go, I guess.
Emily Rice is a Grade 11 student in Squamish