Certain About the Uncertainty

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Teen Talk

Certain About the Uncertainty      

By Mikayla Carroll

A question I’ve been hearing more and more of lately: “Where are you going to college?” These days, when I’m attending any sort of family gathering, I wait in anticipation for the first question like this. As I come to a close of the spring of my junior year, I ask myself that same question on a daily basis, only because I’m one of the ones that don’t have it figured out yet.

I think that’s the misconception; that I believe everyone who isn’t me already has their life together, in that sense. I imagine the universal “they” as your typical high schooler. I imagine they already have their heart set on the perfect school with their desired major. They’ve got the test scores and the GPA to make it there. They know what city they want to live in, they know if they can afford to live there, and they’ve long applied for the scholarships to make sure they can; all things I have yet to truly delve into.

The truth is, I believe most of us high school juniors are wandering aimlessly through these last few remaining months, knowing that we’re about to spend possibly our last summer at home, dreading that college application deadlines are much closer than they appear.

But when I’m presented with that question, that “where are you going to college?” question, I usually improvise on the spot. I entertain the thought of staying in-state for the most part, and I name-drop a few relatively well-known state schools that I may have researched a bit online or heard good things about. This is because, as of now, my college search consists of watching virtual college tours and reading up on the “top 100 journalism schools.” I usually feel that the asker of the question isn’t satisfied with my answer, or my indecisiveness.

I also am keenly aware of the slight disapproval that comes when I tell an adult I’d like to study journalism. These are usually the prescriptivist people who like to tell me that print media is dying, and that journalists twist words, and that there’s no money in that career unless you strike fame. On another note, most people assume that journalism itself is vanishing. It’s not by any means. It’s simply changing. As for me, growing up with technology has only prepared my current high school student self for a future in journalism.

Even with all this uncertainty about my future, I find it more exciting than anything. Somehow I find it comforting that in two years everything around me could be different, from where I’m living, to the people I’m surrounded by. The unpredictability is likely the biggest motivator for me these days, as motivation is hard to come by in this final stretch.

As I watch my senior friends finish out their final weeks in high school, I find myself wishing I was in their situation: counting down the days till moving day, until my first day of university. But then the sensible part of me shuts down the daydreaming and I’m reminded that I should probably be studying to improve my SAT score or something of that nature. Until I find that place I’m looking for, I’ll stay going through the motions, trying to make the best of it along the way.