Looking to the future brings stress

As students face the roads ahead, they struggle between what they want to do and what they have to do. (Photo by Ryann Heinlen)
As students face the road ahead, they struggle between what they want to do and what they have to do. (Photo by Ryann Heinlen)

By Ryann Heinlen

Students in high school are bombarded with countless questions concerning their futures. “Where will you go?” “What will you be?” The list is endless.

The fact of the matter is that a majority of the student body doesn’t know what they want to be. They might know where they want to go, or where they want to be by a certain age, but for the most part, how they are going to get there is more of a hope than it is a plan.

The “real world” is quickly approaching, and the closer it gets, the more frantic students become about figuring out what they are going to do after high school.

There’s an underlying fear that what you will choose is wrong. Though how could it be if you pick it?

Let’s face it, 17 and 18 year olds are too young to make permanent decisions. What they want to do now is most likely not going to be what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Asking a teenager to decide what they want to study in college is like asking a toddler to decide on a retirement plan.

Putting this constant pressure on teenagers to decide their futures burdens them with stress that makes their final years in high school full of anxiety. The future should be a welcoming place, but instead, it is a scary thought that forces teens to choose between economic success and happiness.

Parents look at their children and wish to see them in positions of higher authority such as lawyers or doctors. They will do everything in their power to make their dreams reality, even if it means compromising their own children’s happiness.

In the battle between happiness and success, happiness should always win. It is your life, and no one but you can decide the path that you take. It is better to be happy and barely getting by than sad with an abundance of wealth, for money cannot buy happiness.