What now? Journey after graduation begins

Illustration by Sam Reeves

By Alberto Gomez, Entertainment Editor

Indian Trail seniors will leave high school in only a few days. Students count down days and will scream when no moments remain.

As I sit here writing, I can’t stop thinking, what now? What do I do when I get out of what many view as a jailhouse? What do I do when I land in Minnesota for college? Where do I go to file my taxes? How do I file taxes? Will I have enough money to feed myself at the end of the day? Am I ready? When do I know to propose to someone? Can I be an adult in a few months?

What now?

The doors of childhood finally begin to close behind us, but where do we go from here? Will the skills accumulated over the years serve enough to prevent starvation?

School’s over. Youth’s over. Now everyone must take everything he or she learned and somehow make it work. But what if we can’t? What if every day we spent building carefully crafted personas for peers to gawk at left us unmarketable and incapable?

A 2016 survey by Youth Truth concluded that while 87 percent of high school students want to attend college,  only 59 percent will move on to a four year school. But the scary number is 45. Of the students surveyed, only 45 percent claim to be prepared. So many students remain worried for their next chapter.

Nightmares emerge as the summer’s sunset inches a tad further away, and when dusk finally comes, when September comes to take many away across the universe, who will be ready?

The concept of freedom entices. By summer’s end, reins that held many back will be cut loose, a wide open field waits mere inches away. But like a runaway dog, no doubt many will return to the comfort of Kenosha; reluctantly, happily, or because someone got hungry again.

As I sit here writing, I can’t help but feel bothered that I never learned how to pour drinks, drive a car, properly grill a medium-rare steak. These minute skills, that it seems every adult can do in some degree, worry me.

But that’s okay.

I ask myself  “What now?” But everytime those questions reappear, I get giddy, too. Maybe I don’t know “What now,” maybe I can’t file my own taxes, maybe I still dance like a dying crane, maybe I’m a million miles from “ready,” but really who is?

Is not the glory of life and youth figuring everything out? Odds are when many walk the stage a second time, everyone will be more tired than ever before, more indebted than ever before, and without a nickel to our name, but we will look back at this sleepy town and take pride in how foolish we were to sprint towards our dreams.