Your future depends on it


Ellen Rosson

Graduating high school is overwhelming on its own, not to mention the added stress of others’ opinions on the next steps of life. The pressure placed from outside sources makes students feel as if their future depends on it.

For the past four years, seniors have been preparing to submit college applications and waiting to hear back from their number one school. All the effort and hours that have been poured into education come down to the outcome of a few emails from admissions offices. 

“It is a nerve-racking experience to open decision letters from colleges, especially your top schools,” Senior Infinity Drinkard said.

As Mid-February hits, college decisions fill high school senior’s inboxes. While some know their dream school and seem to have a trajectory for the next four years of their life, others are unsure where to turn next.  

“For me, I knew I wanted to go to college, but it was picking between two schools that presented an obstacle for me,” Senior Chloe Paige said.

Individually trying to narrow down schools to decide where to go is difficult enough without the opinions of others. Whether it is a teacher, parent, or friend, everyone seems to feel there is a “right” path to take after graduation.

 According to, 72% of advice dealing with post-graduation plans comes from family, 51% comes from friends, and 45% comes from school faculty and staff.

At the mention of any college, people quickly state their emotions and stories with it. Maybe it’s a “party school” or “not the right fit,” but who are they to judge the decision that feels best fit for an individual’s future?

“Talking to students around the school definitely presented a challenge because everyone has very strong opinions,” Paige said.

However, other students have a plan for their future due to long term goals and chasing their dreams. 

“I hope to attend school for musical theater and from there move to New York and make it onto Broadway,” Senior Ethan Phelps said.

Although students may have an idea of what they want to do, pressure is applied in different areas than just selecting a school, such as, sports recruiting, submitting portfolios or auditions.

“Choosing a school is a lot of pressure because I only have two months and the process of auditioning for schools makes it impossible to know for sure where I can even go,” Phelps said.

When deciding where to attend, the whole dynamic of life changes. A dream school might move students to a different state or even force them to be independent for the first time. states, “52% say they feel pressure to make decisions about their future too soon.”

Stress stems from the idea that choosing a college or a career plan for after high school is irreversible and students are unable to change their minds. In reality, changing one’s mind on a major or even school is all part of the process of learning and exploring interests. 

Ohio State University estimates, “50 to 75% of all undergraduate students change majors at least one time before earning a degree.”

May 19, 2023, is the date we will walk across the stage and graduate, but it is important to keep in mind that our whole future does not just depend on that day. Take the time to decide what is the best plan of action for whatever dreams and goals one may be chasing.

“There is so much time to decide what school you want to attend,” College Advisor Ms. A said, “I always stress to students not to jump into making a decision on where to attend for school or what to study, take time to evaluate each school’s values and what they are able to offer you.” 

Whether seniors know their future plans or not, there is still some time left to decide. Take the pressure off of yourself and trust the process. 

“This school will be your home for the next four years, so make sure you feel seen and valued there,” Ms. A states, “You have not yet met all the people or experienced all the opportunities that could potentially change your life.”

In the end, we will all end up where we are meant to be.