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Student voices: Choose your own future

It is crazy to me that I will be graduate in less than two months. That means leaving this town I have spent so many years growing up in. It means I will be one sad girl leaving my family to go off to college.

I’m sure everyone else feels the same way no matter where they are going. My friend Karissa, who graduated last year, decided fairly early in her high school career that she wanted to go into the Air Force. She left this past winter for basic training in Texas and has since graduated and is on to studying.

I am going to be a few hours away from home. She is practically across the country. I always looked up to her for that. Doing something no one else does, something beneficial and worth her time, and something that might make her feel uncomfortable right now being so far away from home, but so worth it in the long run.

Last week I got to talk to Karissa on the phone. What I thought was going to be a 10 minute phone call turned out to be a two and a half hour conversation. It was so great getting to talk to her after so long and finally catch up. It was only a couple of months but it felt like an eternity.

I asked her countless questions about how the Air Force was and she asked me how back home was. I told her about a lot of people in her grade and what they have been doing. Some are barely passing their college classes while others are flourishing in their school work. And of course I can’t forget about the ones that are off working and making money to start their future. It made her happy to know she is being really productive and getting really far in life shortly after high school. It makes me really happy too.

Listening to all the things she has done in the past couple months makes me feel lazy and unproductive. She has trained and taken up many skills in such a short time and here I am focusing on what is for dinner. I admire her for all the things she has accomplished.

I think we take people that join the Armed Forces for granted. I hear people criticize people that go into the military way too often when in reality, your future choice doesn’t make anyone better than someone else. Whether you go into the military, go into the workforce or go to college, one is not better than the other. People should base their choices on what they want to do and what they love in life, not off of other people’s views. This is why I am writing this, in hopes that some high schooler out there is skeptical on what they want.

Karissa loves what she is doing and is already starting her successful future. Although my career choice is different than Karissa’s, I too have mine in mind.

So underclassmen, my advice as a senior to you is to start thinking now what you want and would love to do the rest of your life. It is never too early to brainstorm and make decisions.

I decided late but know it will probably be the right choice. Karissa decided early and made an excellent choice. Be who you want to be not who society thinks you should be.

This is your life, buckle up and grab the wheel.