Anna’s Answers

Anna writes this entry about how she feels about the future

Anna Schmidt, Editor

One of my biggest anxieties right now is the idea of the future. Where I’ll go to college. What I want to study. Who I’m going to be. It’s a big decision. The biggest yet, actually. 
Before this year I think I had a fairly strong grasp on who I wanted to be. I knew what I liked to do, what I was capable of, and where I wanted to be. And I guess I could say that I still know those things today, but it IS to a lesser extent than it has previously been. And I think that is the case for A LOT of high school students, because once deadlines grow closer, our doubt grows stronger and our dreams grow seemingly less achievable.  
I think that before this year, most high school students have a similar plan. We will grow up and hope to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or what have you. We know the steps it will take to get ourselves there. We’ll go to college. We’ll graduate. We’ll get hired. We might have to work hard, but in the end it’s worth it. 
We think we have that plan, but once the time rolls around for you to ACTUALLY take steps toward what we will do with our life, things seem to become less clear. Each day pulls us closer to a deadline for the biggest decision of our lives and it SCARES us! All of sudden we start to doubt everything we’ve ever aspired for or dreamed of. We wonder things like: Will I make a good teacher? Will I fail as a doctor? Will I survive as a lawyer? Am I cut out for this? Can I afford this? Am I really meant to do something like this? And so on. Sometimes it just feels like the job is meant for someone else. It feels like the students or patients or clients would be better off if someone else was helping them because what if we mess up? What if we can’t do this? What if we’re bad at our job?  
I think the reason that we all feel this way is because doubt is a natural human emotion. Everyone experiences it at some point in their life. The key, however, is to realize that doubt is JUST doubt, and we don’t have to let it be more than that. We CAN give in to it and stop trying to achieve and let it make our lives less great, but we SHOULDN’T. Giving in to the doubt and the fog in our minds that tells us we don’t actually know what to do with our lives would actually be nothing short of a tragedy because WE DO KNOW! We each have specific hearts that want specific things and want to contribute to society in specific ways. And society NEEDS for us to make our contributions. It needs us to make it better and to make our entire WORLD better. And it needs us because we are each an important and necessary piece of the workforce and the system that sustains an upstanding community. We are MEANT to do that for each other. 
You and I are both part of this world and if we don’t follow our paths and our dreams, then who will? If it’s not us that have to keep this giant planet functioning, then who is it? And if it’s not us that follow our paths and our dreams, then who do future generations have to look to? Who do children have to learn from, and how are they ever going to chase after their dreams if they don’t see the people before them doing it? 
So it’s not just important for us, and our own lives right now. It’s about EVERYONE. It’s about the people here in the world right now who need teachers and doctors and lawyers and WHATEVER it is you want to be. And it is also about the people who haven’t been born yet. Our kids and our grandkids. Following our dreams is about showing them what it looks like to really live, and that they can do that too. It is SO important that young people see what that looks like. 
Right now I might not have everything figured out and I might not know how I’m going to get to where I’m supposed to be, but I just know that when I do figure it out, I’m not going to let go of that. I’m not going to let doubt take me over; I’m just going to push through it and do what I have to do to get to where I am supposed to be because the world NEEDS me there. And the world needs you in that spot that you are supposed to be. Do you know where that is? If so, it’s time to go do it. The world is depending on you.