Where do we go now?


Brinly Johnson, Editor

High school graduation is the day we were prepped for since the moment we stepped foot into our kindergarten classroom. Every lesson, every day, and every moment we spend in school is in preparation for the day we get to throw our hats into the sky. But what about after? What do we do when we file out of the auditorium with the promise of keeping in touch in the air? What do we do when we all find our ways home and are hit with the sudden realization that was it? That moment we daydreamed about since youth, is over with and lived through. Where do we go now? 

It seems we all like to trick ourselves into thinking we are prepared for life after high school. High school puts an emphasis on preparing for “life” after high school, such as jobs and college. That itself tricks our minds into thinking that is what life will be, that each and every one of us will just jump straight from youth to adulthood with grace. With that acceptance letter or job interview nailed, we are utterly set. That is not true. 

Life is not simply work and school after high school. It turns into every child’s worst nightmare. Your friends will move away, people will pass away, and nothing will seem to fit into place. You will no longer be in the same place with the same people you were with for twelve years of your life, and you probably won’t see them again in your lifetime. Chances are you won’t sleep inside the same four walls that have protected you since you were born. And it is going to be the most awful feeling, but it might actually be the best thing that has happened to you. 

There isn’t one word in the dictionary that can properly define what life is going to feel like, but I feel like reinvention is good enough. When you sit and think about what life is going to be like, the only thing that comes to mind is it won’t be the same. You will not be the same person you were when you were 18-years-old than you will be at 28, just like you aren’t the same person you were when you were 8. We are all going to change, whether we want to or not. Haircuts, clothing styles, and most importantly, personalities. It sounds scary not knowing who you are going to be and that is probably for the best. Everything that is beautiful in life is unexpected. Allow change to find its way into your life; it is the best way to grow. 

Where do we go now? Forward. We go forward, and take the memories that we have now and change. Allow ourselves to begin again, to be lonely, to learn, to listen to those who tell us the truth, even when it is hard to hear. Letting ourselves reinvent even if those around us aren’t so sure of those changes. Being okay with not getting what we think we want because that will probably save us in the grand scheme of things. The cards that get handed to us aren’t something we get to choose but we do get to choose what we do with them. In the words of the great Taylor Swift “You’re on your own kid, you always have been.”