As a catastrophizing adolescent boy full of anxiety, I am nowhere near ready for the future. Besides realizing that I’ll be able to start learning to drive next year (which is weird now that I’m saying it out loud), there are many things that made me come to this conclusion. And while I could try to stop thinking about it, I simply cannot. How else am I supposed to keep myself awake at night? So, I might as well publicly tell the school about them because maybe someone out there shares my struggles. Welcome to my venting session, I guess.
The first and main thing that got me worried about the future was having to pick my APs. For those who don’t know, APs, or Advanced Placement, are classes you can take to get college credits in high school but they are more rigorous. College credits are like the measurement of how well you did in the class or how much effort you put into it. I had to search all this up because I didn't know what they were prior; I’ve never in my life had the need to know what APs were up until now. And while I did end up choosing an AP, I don’t know what kind of torture I just signed up for. My brain immediately thought, “Did I just sign away all of my free time? How long will I last before I inevitably lose my marbles and strangle my Wooper plush to death? One week? Two weeks?” I know some of my closest friends have been stressing about APs as well, so I decided to ask them how they feel about it.
“I feel very stressed about going into 10th grade. I have been thinking a lot about the classes that I can take, and if I should take this AP class or that AP class and all that. Yet, at the same time, I’m excited. I want to prove myself and take on more challenges,” said fellow Eagle’s Scream writer, Sebastian Ashcraft.
“I'm a little nervous about it. There's definitely a lot of pressure among us high schoolers, especially because of the 10th-grade passion project. Sometimes I have suspicions and second thoughts about taking AP classes. At the end of the day, I'm going to do my best and get as many tasks done as possible. It's a strange feeling of mixed emotions. I accept my fate, but also I'm scared,” said another friend.
Of course, with taking APs comes thinking about college. APs are meant to prepare one for college, but I’m over here not even knowing what college I want to go to yet. For goodness sake, I don’t even know what I want to go to college for. I mean, I know I want to try to stay in the art industry, but will that be enough? Yes, a job in the art industry will give me enjoyment, but there’s also the problem of financial stability. There’s this stereotype of “the starving artist”, saying that most artists will use as much of their income to support their career despite not earning much. It definitely doesn’t feel great thinking that that could be me one day. Why am I even talking about a future job when I don’t even know what I am doing right now? I hear about some of my other friends finishing 12-mile runs and building robots. There are probably some other kids out there in the world inventing new stuff every day. On the other hand, here I am, bouncing a bottle cap against the wall with three Pokémon plushies by my side. Whatever the opposite of “adulting” is, that’s what I’m doing with my life.
Sometimes, my own brain is not my best friend. I realize that I need to stop letting the worst possibilities and aspects of my life get the best of me. As you’ve been reading this article, you might have created this image that I am this frazzled little kid with eye bags and that I am going to hate the rest of my high school life. However in reality, while still a frazzled kid with eye bags, I truly think that I am at least a bit excited about 10th grade. Yes, I’ll be taking some of the hardest classes I have ever taken, but as my friends said, I have accepted my fate and am ready for the challenge. Yes, I may not know if the career I want to pursue will be able to keep me alive, but I am sure I’ll be able to make ends meet. And yes, while I do have Pokémon plushies by my side that make me seem childish, ain’t nobody going to talk trash about my boys Spheal, Swinub, and Wooper. Plus, I got a lot of things to look forward to to help me get through the rough times. I got a great friend group and a special friend to make memories with (hello if you are those people in my life) and a bunch of curveballs waiting to smack me in the face. So, as I bring this article to a close, here is a picture of my chaotic self with the boys with a quote for you to leave with.