To put it plainly, in eighteen years of life, I’ve noticed that many of my peers are largely unaware of the reality that faces them on May 27th. In my mind, this is the date that things are finally turned loose, and all of my efforts for the past 13 years culminate to. To others, it is simply another stepping stone in the educational hierarchy – and this is where many people fail to ascertain the true nature and gravity of graduating. After receiving a diploma and after walking off stage, that’s when we as students get to decide what’s next – and that will be the hardest thing. Up until this point, we’ve been directed in our decisions. Since we’ve been five years old, we were told to go to school and make good grades. Since twelve, we were told that we had to start thinking about our futures that were fast approaching. Since sixteen, many students were told to go get their drivers license. In our eighteenth year of life, the decision is suddenly left up to us. “What colleges are you going to apply for?” they ask. “Are you going to take out student loans?” they question. The life of unquestioning faithfulness to the words of adults is quickly coming to a close as we become the adults.
I only recently came to grips with this idea, and I find myself in a state of disbelief. Of course I do not doubt that some of my classmates won’t go on to hit the ground sprinting following the graduation ceremony, and will fully assimilate into the strange new land across the horizon; but what of those who remain sheltered and remain oblivious to the true nature of the world outside of high school – unforgiving, cold and larger than any other. Up until this point, we’ve only received a small slice of life where our portions have been facilitated and reviewed as to not overwhelm anybody. This is not how it really works.
Life begins to rush at us at unprecedented speeds following graduation. There is no one here to tell us how much of life’s experiences we can intake at one time – it’s a free-for-all. I will take a larger portion than some, and many will likely take an even larger portion than I.
All things considered, I am bewildered by the fact that this is what 13 years amounts to. Walking across a stage into a dead-sprint through a strange wood; leaving the comfort of home for the chaos of apartment leases, car payments, copious amounts of bills and crippling college debt. To me it seems that a high school diploma buys us debt and confusion, and in turn, confusion about that debt.
Perhaps this is the world we live in.
We can only prepare so much for such a life-changing moment, and perhaps it’s unfair to expect anyone to live for that moment. My parents, especially, are constantly telling me to enjoy my final moths, because after this, that’s it. No more cradling. No more people telling me how to live. No more guidance. As I said before, life as we know it is coming to a close. No one would willingly run to
ward the apocalypse, so really, may
be we young adults are just utilizing what little time we have before the end. Maybe, it is imperative for us to continue being young until May, before we are denied that right.
I know my mom (bless her soul for raising such an inwardly reflective child with bad temperament) has always reminded how great it would be to be young again. Honestly, being young really is great. I am free to do as I please and basically excuse it as “trying to partake in new experiences.” I am free to voice my opinions and claim it in pursuit of “seeking intellectual verification.” Ina a time so full of change, I long for consistency and the perseverance of young ideals. Largely, I rebuke the storm of change.
In the coming months of college acceptance letters and copious senior events, I hope I can eek out some semblance of who I am, before I must become something else entirely.