A Case of the Early Jitters
By Briana, age 17, New York
I'm sick. It's the first day back to school after the winter break and I didn't go. I have double ear infections and a sinus infection so bad that I can't believe I'm sitting here at my computer. I think my head might explode ... or just fall off, because it feels like it weighs 100 pounds.
Tonight is the first episode of the second season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Even though I don't feel good, my next door neighbor is coming over, and I cannot wait to watch it. We had an ice storm last night, causing 2 hour delays for school all over the place. My boyfriend just called from work on his break to see how I felt. Tomorrow is the start of a new marking period at school. I get to start 'Participation in Government'. The brake lights in my car were fixed today, along with an oil change. They've been blown out for about a month now.
All of that stuff is irrelevant. It doesn't need to be known by anyone but me. What else is going on though? What else is going on that could put all of these little things into perspective? Could it be that this is my senior year? I guess it could be. I guess it could be that every waking second of the day I don't worry about all of the little details that are going on. I worry about what's going to be going on. I worry about everything that is happening 7 or 8 months from now, rather than what is going on with me now. Knowing me, I'm not one to worry. Now though, now I have a completely different outlook on everything.
All I think about is what's going to be happening in August. That's when Josh (my boyfriend of 1 ½ years) will be going far away. I've made a promise to myself that I'll drive the 5 ½ hours each way to see him every other weekend. When I say 'far away' I mean to collage. They sent him a scholarship, which made him ecstatic. That's also when my best friend (aka my other half of 13 years) will be going away. Not as far as Josh, only an hour and a half drive. Will we stay best friends?
I have an internship starting as soon as I go back to school tomorrow. If this means me moving onto bigger and better things, as far as not working at McDonalds anymore, then that's great. I'm going to the college down the road and will be interning at the preschool that is connected to it. My teacher said they offer jobs to girls who are going to be attending college there in the fall. They even make your work schedule right around your class schedule. It would be perfect for me.
I guess what I'm wondering is why I'm worrying about this so early. I've always been told that I'm mature for my age. Even when I was little I would insist on doing things on my own. I guess that's why no one was surprised when I was 10 years old and allowed to walk around my circle neighborhood. Not just alone, but with my 4 month old little brother strapped on the front of me in his baby bouncer. I've always done things on my own. I've made deadlines for school papers by drawing out time charts, helped out my school's counseling center by running my own on the side, and have even babysat all the children in my neighborhood by myself since I was 9.
Why is it that when it comes to filling out scholarships and going to financial aid nights I just keep putting it off? It's not that I'm not excited, because I am. I think it's just that I don't want to be responsible for everything that gets thrown my way. I've realized I need to let a lot of things go, and handle things that are important. I need to let my friends do what they want. I can only hope to stay in touch as much as possible. I need to go to the college I want to go to because it's best for me. I can't go somewhere else because my boyfriend is going there. I can go visit him like I want to though, and that's part of the responsibility I'll need to take on.
I'm not saying I have everything figured out, and that I'm not pulling my hair out about it any more, because I am. If I have to go through the next 5 months of school and then through the 2 months of summer worried about it, then so be it. I can only ask my friends if we'll stay in touch so much. I can only ask my boyfriend if he's sure he won't change so much. I can only go on worrying myself about it so much.
If everything backfires on me, then that's how things are supposed to be. Things happen so that better things can become. I can fill up the time I spend worrying by trying to wonder about all the new and better things that can come along. I'll make new friends, but I'll still keep the old ones. I'll take on new responsibilities, but they'll pay off. I can also take things one day at a time, because you can only do what you believe to be best for you.
P.S. I'm sure I'll be letting you all know what's happened next year at this time, and just how worry-free about college I am.