I finally made it to my senior year. I have been waiting for this time in my life for at least four years. I have now arrived, and I find out I have to decide now where I am going next.
I thought my senior year was supposed to be fun and time to let myself be me and enjoy myself. How can I do that when I am trying to decide where and if I am going to school after graduation and what I plan to be "when I grow up?" This part of being a senior is not so fun. I hope next semester I can relax.
But for now, I have to finish my college applications. I admire the seniors who have already done early admissions and have already finished their applications. I couldn't decide what to do, so I did nothing. My parents ask me daily if I need their help, and I want to scream out to them and say, "Yes!" Instead, I tell them I have everything under control and remind them that this is my life and my decision.
Secretly, I wish they would take over and help me out. I know it is okay to get their input, but ultimately this is my decision and I need to take full responsibility for choosing what I want to do after high school.
Truthfully, the guidance office at my school provides average students like me very little direction. Counselors tell us about scholarships, but when it comes time to get the applications, it seems no one knows where to find them. I have tried talking to a few of my favorite teachers about this college thing, and they are helpful, but they're not able to spend the hours I seem to need from someone to make these decisions.
I want to be successful. I want to make something of myself. I want to like the career I choose, and I want to make a good living. I want to work with people who are educated, either in a trade or in college. I want to never stop learning and have an interest in what's going on around me and in the world.
I want to work and feel good about what I do. I don't want to bungle this time in my life, and I am afraid if I don't make the right choices now, my life could be messed up forever. I know that is not really true, but I feel that way right now.
I need help, and I need to get my college applications filled out now. I will leave a note for my parents and attach the application to it. I will ask them to look over what I have already done and help me with the parts I am struggling with. I think that will let them know I am trying and maybe they can help me get unstuck.
I think I have a workable plan, and I have a way to show my parents I am able to take care of myself. I need to get this behind me, because I really do want to have fun during my senior year.
This is the last year things are going to be fully provided for me, and I want to make the most of it. I am looking forward to leaving home (kind of) and making all my own decisions. I am also beginning to see that I do need my parents' help, too, and that doesn't make me irresponsible.
- IT! Private thoughts of the Indomitable Teen is written by Cecilia Tucker under the editorial guidance of a panel of teenagers (in exchange for pizza and volunteer hours). Tucker is a licensed marriage and family therapist at the Counseling Center for New Direction in Seminole. Comments are welcome. You may write c/o: IT!, Xpress, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail Floridian@sptimes.com If you are interested in being on the teen editorial panel, please contact Cecilia Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org