Back in June, we desperately wanted exams to be over and dreamed about summer. For most people, especially the ones in grade 11, it was a year full of emotional stress, tears, over thinking, and life talks with friends.

So how come when we have 2 months off to think about whatever we want OTHER than school, our minds are still frantically racing about reaching the cut-off average for university or what program will be right for us?

We are always told to do what makes us happy or do what we’re passionate about. However, at this age, we don’t really know ourselves and especially not what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we wonder if something we enjoy now will be a chore if we have to do it as a career. Even though we’re just teenagers, something we also have to consider is what will make us money.

The other day at work, I was having a conversation with a colleague about two different programs I’m thinking about applying for university. “Choose whatever makes more money, that’s what it’s all about these days.” Sad, but pretty accurate. “Be realistic.” 17 year old me may want to do something that I think will be fulfilling, but 30 year old me may wonder why I didn’t listen to what everyone said about money when I’m unemployed. Exaggeration or reality? Who knows. It makes us question the reasoning behind why we must follow the systematic route that society molds for us just to make money in the end.

There seems to be certain steps that we have to follow in life to be deemed as “successful.” Being a student, school is our whole life. It’s hard not to seek self-worth from getting high grades or being accepted into a prestigious university.

Everyone wants to get it right on the first try. We want to pinpoint one specific destination that will provide a happy and comfortable life. Not to mention, we feel the need to know how to get to the “perfect” career. No one wants to work hard towards their goal just to fail and have to start all over again… or realize what they wanted to do so badly isn’t what they want anymore. Truth is, most of us will switch careers a couple times throughout our life.

At the camp I worked at this summer, a colleague worked in finance for multiple years, but decided that she doesn’t like it anymore and wants to be a teacher. So, she went back to school and worked at Summer Institute to network and gain experience. She’s working with teenagers and people in university, but she had the courage to take action and pursue a different career. We just have to learn to accept uncertainty and embrace change.

Everybody hates hearing “There’s still time.” But, there really is. Focus on now, and let the future shape itself because it is non-existent right now. It’s the experiences, mistakes, lessons, and knowledge that we gain now that create our future. No matter how badly we want to wave a magic wand so it can paint a picture of our future, we really can’t.

Through all the stress during school, there has to be some things that were enjoyable. For me, the first highlight of my year would definitely be travelling to Greece, Italy, and Spain for our school trip. From climbing the Acropolis in Greece, visiting the Piazza Del Duomo in Italy, and eating Paella in Spain, it was something I never thought I could do at this age. The second highlight would have to be that I interviewed a spa director and wrote a feature article for Spa Inc. Magazine for my co-op placement at Dovetail Communications. I wanted to gain journalistic experience and I got a huge opportunity to write for them which I am thankful for. Think about two things that you enjoyed and remember that the upcoming school year will be bearable thanks to the good moments.

 

Everything will work out.

 

Thanks for reading! Are you someone who stresses about the future too much? Well, remember to RELAX. Let me know what you enjoyed about your school year. 🙂