An open letter to incoming juniors who fear the future

Junior year is so important. It’s an entire year dedicated to growth, learning, and exploring your interests. It was also one of the most difficult years of my life.

By the time you reach your junior year, you’re supposed to be aware of your limits and passions. You’re supposed to know all of the colleges you are applying to and what you want to major in, but it’s a lot harder than it seems. What I learned this year, that I think every junior should learn, is to let your future come to you instead of trying to plan every detail so early.

It was a big year for Vandegrift – we celebrated our ten year anniversary, we broke

records and started many new programs.

It was also a big year for me.

I competed in DECA for the second year in a row, I had my first year on staff of the Voice, I competed on the UIL Academics Journalism team for the second year, I started an environmental community service club with a few of my friends, I helped plan for the PALS and Special Education school store, Honcho Hut. I traveled to Dallas with the PALS program, began planning the new freshman mentoring program, got involved in the new on-campus mentoring class, BRAVE, and became the first ever co-Vice President of PALS.

Needless to say, I’ve been busy. Beyond all of these extra items, I’m in eight classes and getting ready to apply for college. In fact, regardless of everything else I do, the only thing I seem to ever get asked about is college. Where am I going to school? What will I major in?

I always manage to give a simple answer of my dream school or maybe a safety that I will be applying to, saying I’ll probably major in communications like my brother is. Even with this, though, the questions never stop. But I’m 16. That’s one thing I don’t think many people really consider when asking students about their future.

We, as students, are all so young. It’s arbitrary to expect so much of people who still know so little in the grand scheme of things. Even for those rare few students who have somehow always known that they want to be a pediatric doctor or a fashion designer or an engineer, I imagine it’s still difficult to find all of the answers that we’re being begged for.

For so long, I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to go to school, what I would major in, what I would do after. But I was wrong. I don’t know, I have no idea at all.

I could do anything under the sun. Journalist, psychiatrist, philanthropist, entrepreneur, an environmental activist. But that’s not for me to decide right now. Not when I have teachers urging me one way and family urging me another.

Individuals need to understand that things change, fast. Opinions, thoughts, hopes,

dreams, expectations. Nothing is for sure, and though that sounds scary, it really isn’t. I’m young, I can do anything, my future hasn’t been decided for me yet, and I certainly am not planning on changing that and planning it myself. I will let is come to me, as you should, too.

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