Student Life

Now What?

In the aftermath of college applications, a new question plagues every senior’s mind: Now what?
Now What?
Congratulations, everyone! We’ve made it to the next decade. Has anyone else gone shopping for inspirational calendars for 2020 yet? Lightheartedness aside, the entry into a new decade can be an immensely scary event for people. Personally, I know I woke up next to my greatest existentialist fears. (I’m not the only one, right? I remember 2010 like it was yesterday.) These existential quandaries plague many people around the world; however, for high school seniors, the sun rising on a new January is a fearful event for another reason: college applications! I would wager it’s safe to say the majority of college applicants will be sending in most of their applications sometime within the first two weeks of January. For those who still have work to do on their applications, I have no doubt in my mind that these next two weeks will be stressful—I will be praying for you. Since I am declaring the theme of this month to be existentialism—just for this article, as my declarations do not necessarily indicate the opinions of the greater Fastweb.com community and company—let’s fast forward just a tad into the near future: late January, early February, whenever you are officially done with college applications. Our minds start to consider a new question: Now what? With the greatest milestone (and time-sink) of the last year of high school finally completed, I would wager we all have a lot of free time…seniors. Here are a few suggestions for what we could do for the remainder of high school: First, did you have to temporarily give up any extracurricular activities or hobbies for these past few months to focus on school and college applications? If you did, now would be the time to dive back into those if you so desire. College applications are done. Hooray for free time! Additionally, it’s your last year of high school. Hooray for youth! (And—many tears for the impermanence of youth. Don’t let that eat you up, though. It’ll give you a panic attack, at least.) Go out and do what you love before you are handed that shiny high school diploma. If you are one of the brave souls who did not temporarily give anything up to complete college applications—first of all, wow! I envy you—and second, if for some reason you are looking for more to do, here are some recommendations. Getting a part-time job is always a cliché recommendation, or executive order from the parental units, but it certainly has its benefits. You can start making and saving money for college and you can get some work experience out of it, too. If you have a new-found passion or hobby, exploring that before going off to college is also a very good idea. You can delve deep into the passion/hobby and become more skilled at it—if it is something which one can become more skilled at—before going “off to college.” Plus, when college starts, you can seek out clubs and other extracurricular activities that align with your interests. (Don’t stress over having any “defined” passions, hobbies, or interests. We’re teens; we’re constantly changing. I feel like my interests are always changing in relation to which I like more than the other—the ranking, I’m beginning to realize, is an unhealthy mental habit—so don’t stress! These are just passions, not career or life goals.) Spending time with friends may sound unproductive, but I truly think it is a vital activity to pursue while you’re in high school. Sure, you’ll have friends all throughout life, but (I assume) it won’t be the same as right now. We’re teens! These people have been your best buddies, at the very least, throughout this past month of high school, and probably even more! Some of you may have best friends that go back to pre-school. You won’t be able to see them every day by next autumn, so you should enjoy spending whatever sum remains of your youth (and one of the addends in that equation depends entirely upon you) while you can. Finally, one last thing you can look into doing is to spending time with your family. Call me old-fashioned, sure, but I’m going to miss my parents and my sisters (I’d bet my quarter that I’m not the only high school senior who feels that way). We will no longer see the people who we’ve been living with for the entirety of our lives daily. All those nights you spent either watching T.V. with your family, or rather (shamelessly—then, regretfully—now) watching them watch T.V. as you walk through the living room to get some milk and cookies to bring back to your room? Gone. They were in your life, but soon, they won’t be. And no matter how much you protest, I bet you’ll miss them too. That’s about it for my post-college application suggestions. The most I can simply say is to keep living your life, return to the life you had before the college application season began, and add to your life if you can and want to. Once again, congratulations on making it to 2020. Especially to the fellow graduating class of 2020. It’s been quite the ride. Seniors, most of us were born either in 2001 or 2002. Isn’t that crazy to think about? How quickly time passes! As I said before, I remember 2010 and before like it was yesterday. It blows my mind. Anyway, I hope you all have a nice rest of the year, hopefully with good news from the college you really want to go to! Happy New Year!

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