I just turned 18, I have applied to my colleges, and I’ll be making my decision soon. I am so excited to live in a new place, no matter how close I stay. I can’t wait to have a room mate, have a meal plan, and have all this freedom!
But then what? What happens after college? I won’t lie, I am terrified of not having the structure of organized schooling. Since I was in 2nd grade, I knew I would go to middle school, then high school, then college, then get a job.
Get a job. How vague is that? I know my intended major (Hospitality and Tourism Management), and I guess I’ll get an internship somewhere in college, and go from there, but the point I’m trying to make is that with more freedom, there is less certainty.
This idea is exciting… and terrifying. As doubts run through my head late at night, I force myself to remember what my parents have told me countless times, that no matter what happens, I have a safety net in my family.
All I know about being 18 is that I can now buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, and I can be tried as an adult (along with a few other things). Hopefully, none of these new legalities will affect me. I wouldn’t say I’m considered an adult to most, I think I have to earn that respect. But my idea of how to do so is heavily based on just copying authoritative figures, following their steps like an ethical Simon Says.
Freedom breeds potential. I could be anything at this point. I could explore the deepest of oceans, or the final frontier. I could be a food critic, a movie star, or a cubical jockey.
But for now, I can focus on college. While it may seem stressful now, at least I’m not on my own.
I feel ready for chapter 2.