The daunting end of high school

A teen perspective: What are you going to do after?

There’s this buzz lingering around lately. It seems like everyone just hit panic mode with last-minute scholarship applications and grad dress shopping. Although I am in Grade 11, I’m already feeling the Grade 12 pressures and the daunting question of “what are you going to do after high school?”

I can’t bear the thought of making choices and essentially growing up.

Wandering down our Grade 12 halls, I can practically smell the fear and excitement. I guess it’s the sheer realization that they are graduating and have to move on from everything they have known for the last 12 years.

I remember the days in elementary and middle school where I could not wait till I was older. I longed to get on with my life. Now it’s crazy to even think that next year this will be me in their position, constantly weighing the options.

All my life I thought I had my future figured out. I was going to go to university right out of high school and become a chiropractor. As I grew up I realized that though chiropractic is an amazing career, it wasn’t my passion.

That being said I have always seen myself doing something in the medical field. It just seemed like a natural fit. In Grade 10 I took a career test in planning class and found my top option was naturopathy. I found the career super intriguing, allowing me to be in the medical field without ever having to go into surgery. I finished Grade 10 thinking I had a clear pathway ahead.

Halfway through my first term in Grade 11 my schedule got changed and I fell into the journalism class. As I started to write more frequently each day I realized how much I enjoyed the class. I loved everything about it – the topic choices, the researching, interviewing, publishing and even the timelines. I began to seriously think about journalism as a future career, though it has always felt like it was more of a dream. I have this thought stuck in my head that careers aren’t supposed to be so enjoyable. Reality is you won’t be successful at something if you don’t have the drive or passion for it.

I can’t say that at this moment I have a distinct idea whether I’m going into the medical field or pursuing a writing career. But I can say that the more I research and try new things out the more I learn about myself and what I can see myself doing in the future. I think it’s important to seek out what interests you and see where that goes. Who knows, I could end up in a place I love by chance.

Thinking forward to these crucial and necessary decisions has given me a tremendous respect for those in that position now.

I hope and believe it gets easier, and I sincerely wish the Grade 12s all the best in your future plans.



Paige Gueldner has grown up in Abbotsford, and currently attends MEI. She has had numerous articles published in the school newspaper “The Talon,” Paige is actively involved in her community and has organized events including a fundraiser for International Justice mission.

Watch for her next blog in coming weeks.