Senior year is highly romanticized yet it is this: the end of our public funded education and the first truly divergent path for our future. The question “Now what?” plagues those of us attempting to step out of the world of youth and establish ourselves as adults. Now that school has drawn to a close and summer sets in many have to stand to face their final decision. College is where many of us hope to plant our roots while others seek to dive into the working world. Regardless the next few months will be a daunting challenge.
Perhaps since it is our last chance to claim to be children we are encouraged to make senior year special. I know that is a reason why I wanted to participate in the Almond Blossom Festival; something to mark this year and make it a true lifetime memory. Still, even with the diversions as a graduating senior I stand at the edge of the college cliff. Questions of how to pay and where to live haunt me as I embark on the road of higher education. A bachelor’s degree today is what a high school diploma was 20 and 30 years ago so it is often required to get a job. When the economy was booming many students selected majors in the Art History and Liberal Arts fields. However if we have any hopes of having a paycheck that will pay off student loans before we die most of us are turning to majors in the engineering and medical fields. Even if everything falls we will always have a need for homes and doctors, financial stability has become the priority.
My generation was born into a transitional age from VCRs to DVDs and now BluRay; today toddlers and businessmen alike carry cell phones. We feel confident in our technological skills, yet a fear for entering this era of economic woe is fairly universal. Still I have confidence we can pack up our senior memories for comfort and inspiration and navigate through this. Our grandparents and great grandparents made it through WWII and the Dust Bowl: No way are we going to admit we can’t measure up to that.