So what am I going to do after high school? Well ...

One of the most stressful questions I’ve been asked is, "What do you want to do next year?"

People have been asking me about my post-high school plans for a few years, but now it’s my senior year. This is the time when I’m supposed to start having answers to these questions, and it’s a lot of pressure.

When I first started getting questions about colleges and majors and future careers, I panicked. I had no idea what I wanted to do, apart from the fact that I knew I wanted to go to college. I couldn’t even answer any of the basic questions to consider when choosing a college: Public or private? Big or small? Near home or far away?

Since then, I’ve developed a better understanding of what I want to do and where I’d like to be, but it’s been a long process. One of the most useful things for me has been visiting colleges.

I didn’t like the first few schools I visited, so that gave me an idea of what I wasn’t looking for. Armed with this information, I could start identifying colleges that would be a better match for me.


Although I’m extremely excited that I’ll be starting college next year, I wish I had more time for the college-search process. After being gone all summer, I realized that I hardly had any time left for college visits or more soul-searching before I had to decide where I was going to apply.

I did get in a trip over MEA, but there’s a limit to what I could do in four days.

Even though I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked, I think I’ve finally come up with a good list of colleges where I would like to go — now I’m working on the next, equally stressful step of actually applying.

I’ve realized as I’ve gone through this difficult and exciting process that everyone wants something different. I have friends whose dream colleges are the same ones that I hated, and there are people (such as my dad) who can’t fathom what attracts me to the colleges I like.

My job is to make choices that will make me happy, not to do what someone else says I should. After all, I’m the one who will be living my life.

What To Read Next
Get Local