June 2003
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Don't worry; I'll Be All Right
By Amy T., Grade 12, Delta Secondary, Delta, BC

How many times this year, has someone asked you "what are you doing to do after you graduate"? Maybe if you are in grade 10 or 11 you could escape this trap. But being in grade 12, this question haunts my dinner table conversations and my long-distance phone calls. It seems that this phrase is hastily replacing the usual "so what's new with you".

I can't quite decipher if people are actually interested in what you are doing after high school or they just want to hear that you are going to some school, to take some program, just to work some job!

With the research done on the benefits of post-secondary education, I personally don't blame people for asking. I'm sure they are just looking out for what's best. But it's a hauntingly vast world and I can't help but wonder as to what is out there for me.

As my final year is about to commence, I look around and see my friends scrambling, with every last strength, in search for some unseen miracle that will some how save them from going back to school in September. But, instead of searching, they should be praying for a miracle because there is no way that their parents would let them do "something so foolish". But let's step back and observe which is really more "foolish".

On one hand, you could work or travel the world, meet new people, live out new experiences and possibly find out what you love about life and make it your own or on the other hand, you could be forced into post-secondary education and take a less than soul-satisfying program, end up doing a half-ass job because you're resenting what you are doing with your young life; you end up with an average job and soon realize that you've wasted some of your most precious years.

Don't get me wrong, I am an avid supporter of post-secondary education, I just believe that at our young, adolescent age we can't possibly decide the path of our lives right now and neither should someone else. I also believe that to be truly successful at something your whole heart has to be thrust into it, you have to love what you do and if you don't, then what's the point of doing it?

However, I do understand the point of view of a parent with a child who is graduating into "the big scary world". Our parents did not have the same opportunities that today's kids have and our parents want us to take advantage of every opportunity that may come our way. They want to prepare us for life. But in saying that, just because there is an opportunity for you, that does not mean you have to take it right now! Live your life and you will have no regrets and don't worry, you will learn enough along the way.

So I urge kids that find themselves in the conversational trap, to tell your questioner that you are going to do what you want to do and if that means you're not going to school right this second then so be it. Guarantee them that you will still turn out all right.


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