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The Future Is Scary…But That Is Okay!

Caleb Balos
Planning for the future is scary, but people here at Verrado are ready to help.

With the second quarter of the school year reaching the halfway point by next week, the creeping question of “What will you do after high school?” is starting to loom over many seniors’ heads at Verrado.

This question seems to be quite the struggle for the seniors here at Verrado as many of them, when asked, reply to the question with an “I don’t know.” This is proving to be frustrating for both the parents of these students and teachers and faculty who are trying to help these students get a good start once out of high school.

High schoolers, past and present, were asked three questions depending on whether or not they were still high schoolers. “How has your high school plan worked out so far or did your high school plan work out?” “What do you want to do after high school or what did you want to do after high school?” “Do you like the career you’re interested in/planning to be involved in or do you like your current career?”

According to senior Taylor Sisk, “Getting asked these questions is scary. For a long time, I glamorized the idea of growing up, but now that it is almost here, it is daunting to not have a clear path.”

Although many seniors are stressed by the future it is important to remember that life can take unexpected turns, and plans can change, and that is OKAY.

When asked if her plans out of high school work, Whitney Lee, a security guard here at Verrado, said, “No. I’m in school now, but my grandmother got sick so I had to go take care of her. I don’t think you know what you want to do until after you’re out of high school.”

Ms Whitney, a Verrado High School security guard who loves reaching out to students. (Ariel Bolich)

According to her, she originally wanted to be a doctor, so now she is pursuing sports med while also being a security guard for Verrado.

Although her plan didn’t work out she is glad that she was able to be on the school security team. “I love kids and I mean, I try to be relatable and a lot of kids don’t like the security guards and it is not about getting on you, and I will get on you but I’ll also ask questions if they are out of the same class everyday questions like ‘What about this class don’t you like?’ So, I ask different questions instead of keep trying to get on you and I’m just trying to steer you in the right direction.”

A teacher here at Verrado, Ms. Renaldi, said her high school plan didn’t work out. “No, mine didn’t work out. I went to fashion school for a year. But it was before we had computers and I couldn’t keep up with the drawing. But I like kids. So no, it didn’t work out, but I’m so glad it didn’t.”

It can be difficult for seniors to know what they are going to do after high school. Taking classes like financial literacy, learning from other people and sources, getting to know the real ideas of college and everything that goes into college, applying for student loans, and FAFSA is a daunting task. There is so much pressure with deadlines, financial aid, and deciding where you want to go and if the choice you make will positively affect your future.

Questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up” seemed like something so far away, and with little knowledge of what careers are, we said stuff like an astronaut, veterinarian, or doctor. And now we are answering these questions for real this time, and applying for colleges that have all our wants and career paths.

It’s hard for students, especially seniors, to grasp the idea of growing up and becoming an adult. This is a huge factor in deciding a career path that will be with you for your lifetime. Choosing your career and what you want to do in college it’s like choosing your life plan. If you go to school to become a lawyer, once you’re a couple of years in, you can’t necessarily just change it.

Ms Renaldi, a teacher here at Verrado. (Ariel Bolich)

While you can change your major while in college, it might not be as easy as it seems. The classes you have already taken don’t meet the requirements for the career you now want to pursue, or you didn’t need the classes you already took.

It’s important to have an idea of what you want to do, but it’s also important to take time to think about it. How do you want your life to go, do you want to be in a certain field, do you want to live far or close to home? All these questions come into play.

The struggle for students to decide is so hard, but the possibilities are endless of careers, and trades you can do.

Having interests and ideas of future life paths is something to start with. “What are you passionate about?” “Is there someone who inspires you with their career that makes you want to do the same?” “Has anyone impacted your life through a career?”.

Many students here at Verrado own their businesses, podcasts, and other small businesses that are helping them grow in the work field and help them realize what exactly they want to do with their lives. Small businesses are a great start for students who love to express their emotions and creativity and put it into a product for people to enjoy and see themselves in.

For students looking to go to college, it is often not the most affordable thing, and it’s a huge struggle for many students. Looking into scholarships, and community college are two very important things that help students. Community college allows students to do core classes that they will need without having a set major, and without spending the money on a four year for the same classes.

It’s important to do things sooner than later and to apply for whatever you may need. Talk to your parents or guardians, teachers, friends, and other resources if help is needed.

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