Riley Woody, a senior at Farragut High School who has set her sights on a career in journalism, will serve as an FHS Class of 2018 correspondent to farragutpress. She will provide a monthly column through May with updates on senior life, highlighted by her own experiences, down the stretch toward graduation.
Two words: Senior year.
For high school students, these words ring like freedom because it means that in two semesters you’ll be home free — or at least you are now an adult and can make your own decisions.
There are no curfews, no asking permission [at least from parents] and no chores around the house.
Yet on the flip side, as graduation looms just around the corner, most of us find ourselves slightly overwhelmed by the idea of being financially independent and off at college. No one is going to pick up your dinner bill, or wash your clothes or schedule your doctor’s visits.
And no one is going to remind you to do your homework.
Beyond the newness of it all is the uncertainty of it all. Since kindergarten, students have been asked to discuss their aspirations, but I can personally attest to the evolution of such goals as we mature.
For instance, I wanted to be a vet when I was 5, specifically one who worked with killer whales. When I was a freshman, I dreamt of being an engineer.
Yet I now find myself striving every day to be a better writer, because I have discovered that is where I gain satisfaction.
When I started looking at schools, I maintained three basic criteria: programs for my major, scholarship opportunities and safe locations.
My friends sometimes glare at me because they say “you have it all figured out.” If you have no idea what you want, the college selection process practically drowns you with all of its possibilities.
I am a dreamer, so I have always maintained a goal to strive towards even if that goal changes quite often.
Yet I still struggle to make decisions.
On one hand, I hope it will take me closer to my prime destination.
However, I fear a bad decision will ruin my chances of achievement forever. How much harder is it for an adolescent, with no picture of their future in their head, to figure out the right path for them?
The stress can be paralyzing. And it mounts when a disconnect exists between students and their parents. We’re not kids anymore, and yet we have never been adults before, so entering this new world without the guidance of your parents feels so scary it’s almost condemning.
My parents took me on several college visits this summer and were constantly amazed by the opportunities campus life offers, as well as the sheer amount of good schools there are in the United States.
So, not only am I struggling to make a decision on where I would be most prosperous in the next four years, but my parents’ endeavors to help also prove unsuccessful due to limited understanding.
It’s like visiting a foreign country, where no one speaks English, and all your life you’ve thought that when you traveled there, your parents would be your translators — but the dialect is so altered they can’t speak it now either.
Above all else, I have hope.
In the end, I will go where I’m meant to be, even if the journey is bumpy.