Growing up too fast


Illustrated by Ty Brack

Teagan Redinger, Editor

The question “what do you want to be when you grow up” is such an innocent question, but once you pass eighth grade that question becomes an impending reality. Children, especially high school students, are being forced to grow up too soon. 

As 14- and 15-year-old freshmen, we are required to decide our four years of high school that pertain to a career that our 50-year-old selves will have. A lot of students feel the pressure of having to have their lives from 14 to 24 and even further completely planned out. With the pressure to decide on a career that makes a lot of money and to take classes that pertain to that profession, students have no creative freedom to take classes that might interest them.

While the ability to take things like Advanced Placement classes and classes for college credit are a terrific opportunity, they also can limit a student’s ability to explore and have fun.

Many adults are still lost in what they want to do in life and are more concerned with money. Now imagine a 14-year-old making the same decisions as them, but where do the decisions lead to? The same spot as the adults who hate their jobs? Or will they attempt to be an artist and struggle to pay rent? The answer is a bit more complex than what they should be.

With the living wage in the United States being $16.54 an hour, the pressure to have a high-paying job is more prevalent now than ever. As college tuition rises, the struggle to pay for college is getting harder and harder.

For students who are undecided on their path or choosing a career path that does not make a lot of money, the anxiety of being behind their peers is enough to make them choose a job that makes money, even if they will not be happy with that choice later on in life.

High school feels like it goes by too fast and many students don’t get the chance to have the high school experience. Students have to start worrying about and making decisions pertaining to their future as soon as and even before they enter high school. 

Not only are students dealing with planning their futures, but they are also dealing with schoolwork and in some cases jobs.

 Some high schoolers feel like if they don’t get into a certain college they failed themselves or their parents. Many parents are very accepting and will support their child’s desires for their future profession, but many parents also put pressure on their kids to know what they want to do, what college they’re going to, how much money the college costs, and so much more. 

We are so pressured by adults to have everything about our future figured out when most of them went to college to explore and figure out what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives. We had to start thinking about that decision in eighth grade. 

There are too many choices for college and careers for students to be required to make that decision so early in a student’s lives. 

Students should be allowed time to grow and explore as people before they are supposed to decide on a career. High school students are still humans, they need time to understand and develop who they are as a person so that way they can pick a career that suits them and something that they enjoy doing.