What scares me about my future, you may ask? I think a better phrasing of that question would be, what doesn’t scare me?
Before I dare divulge into a question that large, I’d like to (briefly) share my feelings on the extremely flawed public school system. I spent three quarters of my life in an extremely underfunded, microaggressive, middle-class school system where teachers still denounce spaghetti straps as young girls being “sexually distracting.” I spent all four years of high school keeping my fingers crossed that the entire arts & theater program wouldn’t be removed from my curriculum and completely go to sh*t. I spent most of my young life not only feeling confused by what adults expected of me, but also what I expected of myself. It’s difficult to feel confident in your future as an artist if the public institution granting your education would rather pay for football jerseys than pay an art teacher a salary.
I’m scared because everyone around me is telling me I lack experience in the “real world.” I’m scared because I was somehow supposed to have figured out what my life’s true calling was by the age of seventeen, then smacked down fifty grand to a college to pursue a degree I had relatively no experience in. And then, after I made that payment and relocated my entire life, I realized that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I was broke, locked in to an absolute institution, and completely bored with my life.
Why the hell did I do that?
If I could go back and rewrite things, I know I wouldn’t jump right into college at the age of eighteen. We tell ourselves we go to college to find ourselves, but how can we do such a thing if we don’t know what we’re looking for in the first place?
I’m scared because I didn’t give myself a chance to figure “it” out. I jumped on the college bandwagon because that’s what everybody else was doing, and if I didn’t, well, the only other option was to flip burgers at Mcdonalds for the rest of my life.
I’m not denouncing college as a whole. In fact, I rather enjoy the environment. But I just wish that I had given myself a chance to breathe, try new things, maybe travel the country, and search for a passion. After all, one thing I’ve known since kindergarten was that my perfect, bright, future didn’t belong to Amesbury, Massachusetts. I knew, even at the age of five, that I wanted more than that.
Control is very versatile. I can choose to do nothing and accept the cookie-cutter life that my high school teachers hoped I would follow, or I can leave everything behind and take control of exactly what I want. And, when the time is right, that is exactly what I intend to do. Initiating change is hard, and obviously scary, but it’s a “good” scary. I’d rather be frightened of what’s yet to come, rather than what never will be.