High School. What Then?

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Photo Credit: Yearbook Staff

A Graduating Senior wears her cap with a design reading “On to the next step”.

Caitlin Kronberg, Staff Reporter

As the cliche says, growing up is hard. It comes with a lot of new responsibilities that are all dumped onto you faster than you can say “High School Graduation”. I may still be a junior, but it’s just hit me like a sackful of bricks that I’ll be turning 18 in two months. Responsibilities have just seemed to pile up this year faster than ever before. 

For one, college is a thing that I have to worry about now. I’ve grown up very close to both my parents. The thought of them not being around is kind of intimidating, as wimpy as it sounds. I rely on them for a lot of things. In college, I’ll be completely responsible for myself. Every decision is made with my own judgment and wisdom. To be honest, I can be a bit of an airhead sometimes.  My parents have always reminded me that “my way” isn’t always the best method to resort to. I’ll have to do my own laundry.  

Choosing and applying to a college is a whole other equation that’s turning my brain to mush. I really wish there was some sort of half semester class where a professional could explain it all to me. When should I start applying to colleges? How do I know which ones are worth their outrageous tuition? Colleges are definitely not created equal. Some are, well, not exactly cheap, but others have the yearly tuition of a small house! I’d like to be educated and be hired for a good job, but I don’t want to be in debt for the rest of my life. I don’t even have a major picked out, either. 

Separation between work and play has also been shifting. I’m used to seeing summer as a “vacation” from all my responsibilities. I sleep in late and laze about the house all day. This summer is looking much more busy. I may be working night shifts at the hotel where I’m employed, but I’ll also be working three days a week as a babysitter during the day. To top it all off, I often clean people’s homes for a little extra cash. My summer days seem completely booked. 

Speaking of money, it’s about time that I actually learn how to use it. I would say that I usually don’t spend money on anything except for gas, but on the occasions that I do, its usually on something very stupid. For example, I once spent fifty dollars on special thick string to make octopus yarn dolls. Now I have an army that creepily stares at me while I sleep. That was not a useful purchase. What I really need to do is separate money into a spending account and a separate savings account so that I’m not staring at that fat stack all the time. Maybe then my yarn dolls will stop looking so demanding. 

My money will also have to pay for a lot more than my gasoline in the future. I’ll most likely be working a full time job beside my college classes. I’m used to working part time or on my own schedule. That first eight hour shift is going to hurt. Instead of getting home and raiding my father’s refrigerator, I’ll be responsible for cooking for myself. I foresee many lunchables in my future. I dread the day that I must pay for my own wifi. All these little expenses will make me miss the days of freeloading

Getting older makes life change in unexpected and often demanding ways, but as with another cliche, it’s better than the alternative. It’ll take some time, but I know that I’ll eventually find my way. I could type out ten pages of rants about my worries, but we both probably have better things to do. I hope this little chat either amused you, or reminded you that most of us suffer from the same inconvenient problems related to gaining or loosing an inch of height. It’s not all bad, though. Someday when I’m older, I’ll finally have my own Netflix account that can’t be overrun by the user limit.