Feeling the Heat
As the temperature starts to rise with the coming of Spring, the rising stress levels of high school students is also beginning to be felt. For grades 7-9, choosing the subjects that they want to do next year means pressure, for grade 10, choosing the subjects for senior is ‘basically’ the same as choosing your career (or so it seems!) and for grades 11 and 12, well they’re either preparing for their final year of high school or preparing to leave high school and applying for university.
Basically, this month at school feels like deciding the rest of your life no matter what grade you’re in.
Schools are pushing students to imagine what their career will be and to “decide on their future” from as young as 13 years old. This is exactly the pressure and stress that Girl Now looks to acknowledge and remind people that these decisions aren’t everything. From the stories I have heard from friends, family and the Extraordinary Women that Girl Shaped Flames has connected me with, I have learnt that the future is unpredictable and all we can do is follow our passions until we find something we love (or someone creates a crystal ball!).
This time of year always pushes people to envision their future and to think of the dreaded “what am I going to do after school?” or even “what am I going to do next year?” Now, while it’s a good idea to plan ahead (mostly so that assignments don’t catch up on you) trying to predict the future is a very fickle thing. All that we can do is find what ignites the flame inside of us today and let the future nurture and grow that flame. In other words, do what brings you joy today and see where this takes you.
Being in grade 12 this year, it seems like every second person is asking “what are you doing next year?” In the last two weeks I have applied for university, sat QCS (as the last cohort ever!) and started looking at the music for our graduation ceremony. Each of these things are kinda scary but also very big reminders that the future is extremely unpredictable. Over the last 4 years at school, I have learnt just this. The future cannot be seen in crystal balls, but to ensure that it is as enjoyable as possible we must today choose what brings us happiness.
My time at school, partnered with being at Girl Shaped Flames events and hearing Tanya ask many women “when you were 15, did you ever imagine yourself as …?” and the answer always being “not at all! I wanted to be an astronaut… a chef… an Olympian… a stunt car driver… or honestly, I had no idea what I was going to be,” I have learnt that while we may have to choose our future when we’re in high school, it is never set in stone. I have learnt that our actions and passions today will always lead to a future in which we are doing something that brings us happiness, or if it doesn’t, we can change it.
The future is unpredictable, but today, we have the opportunity to make it as enjoyable as possible.