by Ashley Miller

Everyone around me seems to have their futures planned, or they at least have some clue of what they want to do. This year, my fellow seniors celebrate their last firsts of the school year. Almost everyone is excited about picking out our class flower, quote and colors for graduation, and I’m sitting there panicking. I have never been more unprepared for something in my life.

It’s my senior year, and I still haven’t the slightest idea of what I want to do afterwards. My years of avoiding decision making have finally caught up to me. Decisions needing to be made are knocking down my front door like the SWAT team and kicking me until I squeak out an answer. I know I want to go to a college that lets me run track. I know I want a job that makes six figures a year. I know I don’t want to be still working at Casey’s in two years’ time. I definitely know that I will not be working retail ever again if my nonexistent plan goes the way I hope it does.

What I don’t know is where I’m going to get my college degree or what job will actually grant me six glorious figures a year. Where will this job take me, and will I handle being away from everything I know well enough? I’ve lived in the same town my entire life. I’ve had the same friends pretty much my entire life. In less than a year, I will be away from everything I know and without any social skills to my name; I am freaking out.

I am actually kind of excited for this change, though. Perhaps being around people that I haven’t known for my entire life will allow me to actually, just maybe, speak without stuttering or speak at all. This year I’ve actually attempted speaking more in hopes of developing an ounce of these skills, but I’m pretty sure my two extra words a day have made no difference. At least I’m trying, right?

I could go on about my incessant panicking or lack of communication skills, but I feel as if I have droned on enough about both of those topics. So, I guess it’s time to start at least seriously thinking about my future and not just about what I’m going to do when I get home from school, which I actually consider a sort of hard question. Everything will turn out at least somewhat decent because I won’t accept anything other than that outcome. A mediocre life will not be my fate if I can help it. The rest of this year will be dedicated to guaranteeing my ideal future whose specifics I still haven’t figured out, but that’s okay because I will also try to get some idea rolling by May 27.