By Rusaba Alam:
You complain endlessly to your friends about having to install Internet Explorer to make your course selections. You, or at least thirty people you know, have been among the long list of students summoned down to Student Services recently. Your Facebook newsfeed is filling up with stories about other people’s university acceptance offers and prestigious scholarships. In short, you are forced, temporarily or not, to confront the uncertainties of your future. Perhaps I shouldn’t use the word “uncertainties”; after all, a lot of Lisgarites seem to have it all planned out. More and more often, when the topic comes up, the conversation goes something like this—
Me: Wow, you’re practically only taking maths and sciences next year! Are you sure you’re going to enjoy that? If you’re looking for a different course to take, World History was a lot of f—
Classmate: Oh, no! That’s a useless course.
Me: Sorry, what?
Classmate: It won’t help you get a good job outside of school, anyway.
Oh. Oh, honey.
At this point in the conversation, I suppress the offended history student in me, and try being logical. Though I don’t mean to parrot your guidance counselor, the first thing I have to say is that that is not how high school is supposed to work. By grade nine or ten, you probably have a good sense of what your strengths and interests are, but that doesn’t mean that you know exactly what you’re going to be doing ten or twenty years down the road. You’re probably not going to know that by the time you graduate, either, and that’s okay.
It can be tempting to convince yourself to take on a more difficult course load than you can handle—I’ve been guilty of this—or, for that matter, to shy away from classes that sound challenging or fall outside your comfort zone. On the other hand, you don’t want to find yourself regretting your choices next year. When it comes down to it, there really is no safe bet for choices about your future, whether they concern course selections or plans after high school. With that in mind, why shouldn’t your years at Lisgar serve as more than just a means of eventually getting you out of here?
Broaden your horizons; don’t be afraid to try something new. Be prepared to accept the fact that you’re not going to
succeed at every single thing you try, and be flexible with the goals you set for yourself over the next few years. Most of all, though, do what you love—and learn to love what you do.