Growing Up

Finishing High School And The Fear Of The Unknown

words by Year13 | photo by twoodork

Finishing high school might just be the most significant, life-changing event of your life so far. You’ve just spent the last 13 years learning and growing and socialising within this institution. Some days you’ve thrived, on other days you’ve cried. And let’s face it, you’ve complained a lot. ‘I hate school’ is a sentence you’ve whined more than once.

Now, finally, the end is in sight. You’re right on the edge of the big, wide world. Here’s the thing though; you’re a bit scared now. The future is unknown. You’ve been the big fish in the small pond for so long. Now the pond is 983746086 times bigger but you’re still the same size. And everything is just about to change forever.

What’s going to change? And how? Well, let’s go through it.

Relationships

Your friends are going to disperse all over the place. Some will travel the world; others will never really leave the area. Some will go off to study at university; others will get trades. Some will struggle to find a place in the workforce; others will be working the day after their final exams. Some you’ll never see again; others you might remain lifelong friends with.

Whatever happens, your relationships will require a bit more maintenance from now on. You won’t simply rock up to school and see everyone. You’ll have to make an effort to spend time with the people you care about.

Work 

I worked at a supermarket during high school and loved it. But as soon as school was finished and I was pulling longer shifts on weekdays, I thought to myself, ‘how long can I do this for?’

When you’re at school, working tends to be novel and fun and good for earning a quick bit of cash. But when you’re working all the time, you can get sick of what you’re doing pretty quickly. When you start to think about things in the long term you get a totally different perspective. This could just as easily happen to you.

Sport

Sport gets very different post high school. Age groups dissolve and suddenly you’re playing with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Depending on your chosen sport, this can be very intimidating and even dangerous. Sadly, this is the point where a lot of people realise they’re not quite going to cut it as a professional athlete. This doesn’t mean you should quit, but that’s what most people do.

Money

Do you know how much a tube of toothpaste costs? What about a quarterly electricity bill? Or a fortnight’s rent? Well, you’re just about to learn the hard economics of life and unless you’ve got a lot of financial support from your family, you’re probably going to be poor at first. Appreciate the privileges you enjoy now and brace yourself for financial independence.