It's getting real: Coming to terms with growing up

If I asked a group of kids what they are most scared of I’d most likely hear: bugs, snakes, heights, or dogs. For me, it’s growing up. Nothing scares me more than the idea of everyone I know and love, including myself, growing older, moving away, having new and bigger responsibilities.

10 years from now I will laugh at the fact I cried on a Saturday night I had to miss a hang out with my friends. I will laugh that I cared what I wore more than it really ever mattered. I will laugh at all the little things that I thought were the most important things in the world.

I didn’t realize I was this anxious and scared until the college application process began. I have started my application maybe 100 times now. I keep thinking back to last year, hearing the 2020 seniors emphasize their struggles, but I never thought it would be this stressful. To be completely honest, I thought many of them were being dramatic because how hard can writing a paper and filling out a form be?

If I was able to, I would be apologizing for all of those thoughts right now. The prompts are difficult for me because I can write about almost anything and the idea of showing my “identity” in 600 words seems unrealistic.

While the application process is scary, what will come after is very thrilling: a good mix between scary and exciting. For example, I am really excited to meet new people and be in a new environment. However, I am nervous I won’t make the same connections as I did with people I met in high school.

Everything is getting very “real”, especially when it comes to finances. I have always made sure to have a job, working a fair amount, saving money for college and saving money for things I want to buy in general. While I may seem financially smart, my parents recently had the talk with me about how much college will cost and how I will basically be broke all of college. This was a new concept and while I am not sure what I expected, it wasn’t this that’s for sure.

Let me tell you: saying you’re going to college verses actually looking at how much college costs will really be a deciding factor. In my house, college isn’t an option so they are teaching me ways to be financially smart from the start and for that, I am thankful.

The process of learning how to be a financially stable teenager is close to impossible. It adds a crazy amount of stress to my plate but I know it’s all worth it. My parents made me get a job at 15 since I was always bombarding them for money and never saved any of it. At the time, I was so angry it took the time out of my weekend I would spend with friends and family and now I can’t thank them enough.

I feel so lucky to have gone to this high school because I’ve had so many opportunities to find what I am most passionate about. Our school offers so many different courses for almost any academic interest. If there’s not a course, I guarantee someone started a club for it. I had the chance to join a handful of clubs and once I realized what I loved doing, I took every course related to it.

I joined the journalism programs because I love everything about them and hope to incorporate them into my future career. I joined Spanish, Interact, Class Cabinet and Medical club out of pure interest and I was able to do so alongside my friends. Those clubs and Class Cabinet are such a good way to meet people and do interactive activities with my friends.

I definitely have a newfound appreciation for our high school, and the high school experience in general because of what comes next. High school is kind of like a last chance to be young and not have all the responsibilities and stress of adulthood. I am glad I used all the resources Orange has given me so I can stress less and hopefully be prepared for adulthood when it comes time for graduation.


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Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

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The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

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