Optimism overshadows otherwise cloudy vision of future November 24, 2010 — by Sarah Hull Junior Sarah Hull 17. For me, this used to be a golden number, the age I craved to be. Though it holds no particular real world value (it is neither the driving age nor when you become a legal adult), I would always try to imagine what I would look like and how I would act when I finally reached this magical time in my life. 17. For me, this used to be a golden number, the age I craved to be. Though it holds no particular real world value (it is neither the driving age nor when you become a legal adult), I would always try to imagine what I would look like and how I would act when I finally reached this magical time in my life. As my 17th birthday draws closer, I cannot help but wonder if I have lived up to all the expectations I had for myself. Have I stayed true to who I am? Have I always made the right choices? Or have I completely changed? I know that in some regards I have become a different person, as we all do when we grow up. I am not as shy as I used to be and am able to open up to people more easily. I no longer rely so heavily on my parents and have become my own person. However, I have, in the past 10 years, been heavily influenced by the world around me, more so now than ever before because of the wealth of information I am able to reach through the Internet, television and radio. I feel as though this gravitation toward new technology and advancements typifies my generation and will continue to play an important role in the future. Growing up with the privilege of having this technology at my fingertips has left me with an unfortunate dependence on it. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t use my computer or cell phone, and I think that this will only get worse as more resources and utilities are available via the Internet. Today, I still harbor many feelings of nostalgia for the past, wishing for a simpler time when I didn’t need any technology at all, when I could have fun by merely coloring in a sketchbook or playing with stuffed animals. Nevertheless, it’s not beneficial to linger in the past or to dwell on what could have been; instead, I now must look ahead to what the upcoming years of my life will bring. At a younger age, I could have told anyone precisely which direction my life was headed and exactly where I would be in 10 years’ time. Though my desired career path changed from artist to teacher to veterinarian and so on, I always had a clear vision of what my future would entail. Now, however, that vision of the future has been blurred, distorted by the approaching reality of actually leaving for college and fending for myself. I no longer have a career choice in mind and, truthfully, cannot see my future at all. As it becomes more imperative to make these decisions about where my life is going, I just become more and more indecisive. Whenever I am asked simple questions like where I want to attend college and where I see myself in a decade, I feel a momentary sense of panic. I have no idea how to answer them. Though I have an infinite number of concerns about the future, I hope that when the time comes to make those life-changing decisions, I will make the right ones for myself, the ones that will lead to my happiness and well-being. There is only one thing that I know for sure about where I will be in 10 years: I will be living the life that is best for me.