By Jasmin, age 17, Indiana
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
Now, I know my job here is to keep things light and fashion frothy with pointers here and there on clothes and accessories, style advice for the darkest of your hair days, or really wherever the wardrobe wind takes me. However, today I'm going to mix something a little bit different into our stew of style. It's a topic I know a lot of you will curse me for and I am fully prepared for the sudden hate mail, but everyone deserves to be prepared for their future, and I know that I am beginning to feel the pressure myself, as I'm sure all of you other Juniors and especially Seniors are as well. Yes, as you have probably guessed, I am talking about the ominous subject of college, or wherever your heart (or brain, for all you smarty-pants) takes you after high school.
I do know that college is not made for everyone and that is perfectly okay. I won't give you the 'do whatever you want, as long as you're happy speech' and I won't dwell on the many pressures of the upcoming few years, as I do want to eventually get into the more light and fun part, the fashion. But I just want to share a little bit about this more serious side of teenage life, mostly because for me, personally, I've been struggling and stressing about what's next. Just since I've started my junior year, tons of counselors and teachers have been practically shoving college info down my throat, talking about all these open houses, college fairs, and scholarship application deadlines. All of this information, and most kids just get completely lost in it, wondering what should I do? What do I want to do with my life?
Fortunately, for me, I've had these tough questions answered since about fourth grade when I discovered my calling was fashion. I knew what I eventually wanted, and as I've gotten older I've realized what it takes to get there. Nevertheless, I know that a big portion of the rest of teens my age have no clue and aren't as lucky to be so dead-set and firm on knowing what they want to do. And frankly, you guys are the main ones I'm writing this article for, to help you. I know that terrifying, scary feeling of being unsure, or just plain helplessly clueless about what to do. Because, although I've known for a while what I want to do, I haven't really taken the necessary steps to get there, which is an equally scary feeling. I knew precisely what I wanted to do but had no real clue of how to get there. Then came the doubts and the uncertainty - do I really want to do this? Am I good enough to actually make it? Am I that special or different that anyone will truly notice me?
So many different thoughts go through your head, some down-putting, some uplifting, some just really confusing and that create a million more questions that seem like they will never be answered. And it all just comes crashing down on you, when it seems like one minute you're enjoying your sophomore year, and college doesn't even cross your wildest thoughts. I mean, hey, I've got plenty of time! Until suddenly, you don't. Junior year is zooming by, three months of school are practically gone. What, a semester already halfway gone!? That's when the Pre-Panic arrives. The constant shove of it by every teacher, administrator, and counselor in the school makes you even more anxious and alarmed about what's going to happen next. That senior year seems to be looming closer and closer. You think, in a year I'll be doing the exact same thing Jamie's doing: buying her cap and gown, getting her senior pictures taken, leaving school to visit potential colleges - that'll be me!
And then you think, wait, why isn't Jamie freaking out like I am right now!? She's way closer to her future than I am, yet she's perfectly calm and normal, casually discussing her future like it's a cashmere sweater on sale at Nordstrom's! And here is the answer to your question: she has already been there, done that. A year ago, while you were still enjoying your seemingly childish, yet fun sophomoric days, Jamie was the junior stressing about colleges and applications and deadlines. So, in the bigger picture, what I'm trying to say is that it's okay to be buggin' out about your future; everyone around you that's about your age should be too! And if they're not, they definitely need to let all of us panickers in on the secret to staying calm and composed about these things!
To end my long saga of future woes and worries, I just want everyone, mostly those freaking out and would rather jump out of an airplane than think about the day you graduate high school, to know that you are not alone. Take it from the future fashion designer who just now decided she wants to possibly go to a different college, although she's known since fourth grade which one she wanted to attend. Nice, right? All that time in middle school and early high school when it didn't matter that I knew where I wanted to attend, and now that it's getting to be crunch time I decide to opt out and choose a different one. Heck, I'm still deciding on the state I want to go to college in!
So, you can take it from me, thinking about your future is most certainly not an easy thing to do. I give all of you who let it enter your minds for a minimum of 30 seconds without hyperventilating a congrats! As for all of you guys who did not even attempt to think about it and are still in total denial, well, you just need more time. :)