Katie’s Column: The future and the doors it closes

October 30, 2020

Photography+by+Katharine+Wilson

Photography by Katharine Wilson

College application season is in full swing, and the future seems closer and more daunting than ever. We’re all writing essays attempting to summarize our entire lives and personalities, knowing that our lives and views on many things will soon change forever as we start the next phase. 

My goal right now is to move out of state, preferably to the Northeast, to study journalism and political science. I want to be closer to the center of political action and hubs of major news publications. I know that this is the obvious choice I have to make for my career goals and my future but it’s impossible to not feel overwhelmed. Leaving every place and every person I’ve ever met seems impossible right now. 

I wonder if high school friendships actually last if you move far away. My mom still talks to her friends from high school even though she’s across the country from them but for the most part she also went to college with those people and even that could just be because of the era she grew up in. She had grown up in a small town, where everyone knew one another. Most of my friends I’ve only been close to for a couple years so those bonds might be easier to break. 

One of my worst habits is that I forget to reach out to my friends which has only been made more and more glaring over quarantine. After getting used to a busy and jam-packed schedule for the majority of my life I had gotten used to just talking with my friends at rehearsals, classes, or practices and never scheduling extra time just for hanging out. I have always refrained from texting or calling anyone first because I don’t want to seem overbearing or bothersome. Even if they text me first I always feel like I’m bothering them by responding. During quarantine, because I no longer saw everyone at these activities, I have become already more isolated from my friends. So if I keep up this pattern, I’m worried that I might lose all of the connections I have had. But even if I don’t what will I have in common with my current friends if we all take very different paths following high school?

I don’t know how these friendships will carry through, or if they even will but I want them to in some way or another. Certainly I don’t want to become so attached to my hometown that I have problems moving away out of a fear of change. . However it would be nice to still talk to the people I’ve grown up with once in a while and see one another every couple of years at a wedding or whenever we’re all in town. 

This is why I want to move away starting in college, so I don’t get too attached with people. If I leave now it’s like ripping a bandaid off, quick and easy. Everyone is choosing how they want to continue their life so it’s easier to just make a big leap off to another state. That way I can’t fall into a loop of just staying in this area because it’s easy and I know everybody, even if I would really like to move far away. Most of us, unless you’ve moved away, have always had some people you can fall back on. Moving to high school we mostly had people we knew from middle school who we could talk to. Or at least we had our family to come home to. 

Another worry of mine is will my current identity be washed away following graduation. Since I was five years old, I’ve been performing in musical theatre productions. Because I’m not majoring in anything related to that and my plans to double major, I doubt that I’ll be able to perform again because of time constraints. This may seem like a small problem to a lot of people but this is something that I’ve spent the majority of my life doing and I don’t know whether that side of me is gone forever and, if it is, what’s left? 

I know there are risks with everything. What if I decide I hate my major, that I should have gone to a different school, or that I shouldn’t have left home at all? But what if I stayed to have the security of being close to my friends, family, and hometown and then always felt like I wasted my chance to change and grow? To me, it is worse not moving away and taking a chance to have the career I want.

Our last year in this place we’ve known for so long and the last real year of our childhood is filled with all this anxiety for the years to come. This year we might not even have a real chance to say goodbye to all of it, depending on what will happen with the Coronavirus pandemic in the upcoming months. I know I’ll miss everyone here so much but at the same time, I have to do what feels right to me. 

 

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