Some days it just hits you: whoa, I’m graduating in less than three months.

It’s a weird feeling I don’t think I’ve quite accepted yet, knowing that the largest part of my life for the past 13 years will be over in just 11 weeks. As excited as I am, realizing I’ll be leaving the people I’ve spent a majority of my days for most of my life with leaves me with an almost melancholy feeling. And again, as excited as I am, let me just say one thing: if someone asks me what I’m going to major in one more time, I’m going to pack up everything I own and drive somewhere and become a recluse for the rest of my life.

As scary as it is to think about the fact I’ll be leaving home in a few months and living on my own, nothing scares me more than the fact that I have to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life when I’m not even 18 years old. My entire future has relied on the past few years: every grade I got in every useless math class, my ACT score, my attendance, even on days where I don’t even do anything- it all decides what my future will be like. It decided where I went to school, it decides how much debt I’ll be in after I graduate college, and how successful I’ll be with my major.

It scares me to death that every choice I’ve made as a teenager will impact me as an adult. Let’s face it: teenagers are stupid. Myself and all my peers have all made our mistakes, and probably have regrets when it comes to school.  None of us quite understand that we make as reckless, uninformed, lazy kids will have an impact on our future. However, I don’t think we’re the ones that can be blamed for it.

Because how can I be expected to make decisions that decide my entire future when I still have to raise my hand to ask to go to the bathroom?

Our school system definitely has its share of problems. But without a doubt in my mind, the number one issue is that we don’t prepare kids for the real world. We teach kids trigonometry, chemistry, and how to write a paper in APA format, but how does that give me sufficient preparation to decide what I want to major in? Where’s the class on how to file taxes, and why aren’t we teaching kids about politics until their senior year? I want to know what a 401k is, how to have a successful job interview, and what exactly it means when my parents talk about utility bills. Why was I forced to take physics, but was never taught comprehensive and realistic sex education, or the real impact of issues like sexism and racism?

As I prepare to enter the next stage of my life, I find myself scared that I won’t know how to live on my own. I’m scared that I’ll be hit in the face hard by life after leaving my sheltered world in Johnson County. However, as scared as I am, mostly I’m just bitter that I wasted so much time being forced to take classes that will be in no way applicable to my future. Pre-calc, I’m looking at you.