By Sara Horan
The last few weeks of Year 12 are strange, and they don’t warn you about that. You’re in the in-between, you’ve got things to do but it’s not the overwhelming stress that became familiar during trials. It’s a weird sense of ‘things aren’t done’ and ‘my time to leave have almost come.’
I came to Loreto in Year 7 in 2015. Adele released her first single in three years, ‘Hello’. The Greek government was facing a debt crisis, Pixar’s Inside Out had been released and Malcolm Turnbull had become Prime Minister in September.
I had wanted to go to Covenant or Arden where all my primary school friends went off to. Instead, I developed strong friendships at Loreto, made amazing memories and grew a sense of community. Now, I am ready to leave but it is hard to say goodbye to the steadiness and joy school has brought me over the years, and I can’t help but be anxious about the future.
I will be at peace in a study. Being a good and dedicated student until my brain switches on to tell me that I should be worried about studying in Communications in a world post-COVID, or making new friends at university, or that I’ll fail completely everything and be completely shunned from higher education itself and forced to learn how to juggle to join the circus. Or even worse, do something I have no interest in but is a ‘stable job’ and a ‘probably smart career decision’.
During Christmas, my Great Aunt approached me and asked what I wanted to do after school. I told her politely and she answered with a purse of her lips, and with a grimace told me; “Maybe have a plan B.” My aunt later scoffed and told me to not worry about it and that I’d be fine whatever I decided to do.
Now being anxious about things that have nothing to do with what I need to be anxious for right now hasn’t been helpful for my studies. So, I’ve had to train myself to think positively. I truly believe life is a journey. You can’t be expected to decide your entire life plan as a teenager. No one expects a teenager to have a full idea of who they are as a person, but we’re still expected to decide what we want to do next, which is terrifying. However, I have a small clue that no one knows what they’re doing, and that they’re just figuring it out as they go along. Your peer might have a full plan of what’s next, but I can guarantee that they’re searching and doubting as much as you are. So whatever I do, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
I hope that life is much bigger and greater than one decision you make at 18.
When I was in the younger years, people would tell me to enjoy it while you can, and I always hated when they told me that because I would start worrying if I’m not enjoying it enough. Which is stupid because there are some aspects of school you’re just not going to be able to enjoy; no one looks back and feels nostalgic for that Year 8 Integrated Assessment. The moments that you don’t expect can be enjoyed just as much as the moments you do expect.
So, I think instead of worrying about the future, I should be excited for figuring things out and enjoying life. During this year I’ve been creating a list of things I want to do after the HSC, and it grows each time I have a conversation with people I haven’t spoken to in a while or after long chats with friends in the library. Some of those things are going to a certain place, make a short video or do something creative or even simply marathoning old barbie movies for the fun of it.
I may have a goal right now of where I want to go but in the end, it doesn’t really matter as long as I’m surrounded by people I love and am doing things I find fulfilling. When I’m older, I want to be around others, laughing around the dinner table, sharing stories. While I have more ambitious dreams, at the end of the day, that’s the biggest dream. The biggest dream is to enjoy life.
But maybe that won’t happen! Either way, I’ll figure it out.