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In the Future This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“What are you going to be when you grow up?” I envy people who have an answer to that question. I have been asked it time and time again since I was old enough to understand the concept of time. I often respond: “Grow up? Why on earth would I want to do that?” But unfortunately, as I am ­reminded daily by an endless stream of college pamphlets and ­­­e-mails and an unnatural fear for my grade-point average, it is inevitable. Sometimes I can almost hear the clock ticking down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds I have left until my semi-worry-free state of mind is shattered. The future is uncertain at best, and to me, that makes it a scary place. I like knowing what is going to happen.

The media certainly doesn’t help quell my fears. According to CNN, if ­I am lucky enough to find a job that ­hasn’t been outsourced to India, China, Mexico, or the Middle East, I will have no way to get to work because gas (if there is any left) will cost more per gallon than I make in a day. I won’t be able to walk because one, I will be too obese, and two, it burns ­energy that I won’t be able to afford to replace by eating outrageously priced food.

If I ever do find a way to work, one thing I hope to be able to afford is a house. Unfortunately, when I am old and receiving no social security from the collapsed system that I pumped thousands of dollars into, my house will be worth less than what I pay in taxes.

In an effort to save money by conserving energy, I will try to install some kind of solar panels but discover that all the natural resources have been used up so that nothing new can be made. This is good news for global warming and pollution activists. It is really a moot point, however, because in a short while the Earth will be destroyed by nuclear weapons, and a couple of years after that it will be ­devoured by a gigantic black hole.

I am sick of the news making the ­future sound like a tacky sci-fi movie. A lot can change in a person’s lifetime, but I’m hoping that most of the changes in mine won’t be for the worse.

When I’ve gotten past my insecurities about what lies ahead for me, I ­actually find thinking about the future interesting. What will it be like? What kind of music will there be? Will there be strange slang words? Odd fashions? Will kids still have to go to school? What will things look like? What will I look like? Did everything work out after all? I can imagine a million different answers to each of these questions determined by what happens now, through our choices and actions. The idea that one little bit of luck or one tiny mistake can impact my whole life is amazing.

As changeable as the future is, it is definitely easier to predict if you have a plan. The sad truth is I have no great plan. I have a two-year goal – to figure out my great plan. So far I have no idea where I would like to go to school, what I want to study, or what career I want. My interests seem to change every time I fill out a survey. I tend to like whatever I’m good at, but unfortunately I’m not good at many useful things.

Besides an education and a career, there are many other important decisions to make. For this I have ­another foolproof plan: decisions about having a family or where I will live I will make only after I have ­received an ­education of some sort and secured a decent job.

My biggest fear for the future is that I will be disappointed. If I could ask my future self one question (besides what stocks to invest in), it would be “What should I have done differently?” When things aren’t going well, I try to look ahead. But I hate feeling like there was something I could have done better. My future is largely determined by what I do now.

I’m not sure exactly what I want the future to hold. I can barely decide what I want to do five minutes from now. The only plan I have set in stone is to try my best at whatever I think will make me happy.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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AnnabelleSARGENT said...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 6:12 am
I received my first home loans when I was not very old and this helped my family a lot. Nevertheless, I require the collateral loan also.
 
sally said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm
the voice that you used was amazing and you really put a lot of thought in to it.
 
hubble said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm
This guy must have worked day and night to get nine olimpic medals.
 
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