What do you want to be when you grow up? 

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Sophia W (Year 12), Assistant Editor in Chief

High school will eventually come to an end. I know – shocking! 

For you, that might be in a few years. For me, it’s in 122 days. But no matter how much longer you have, there will always be that pervasive question … “What are you going to do when you leave school?” A question that started off fun when the answers consisted of fairies, astronauts and the Prime Minister. But as the last day of school approaches, this question becomes a little daunting. It forces answers to big questions like: Do I go to Uni? What do I study? When will I move out? And how on earth am I going to afford it? – all at the ripe age of ‘grown’.  

Let’s try and make sense of it all. What is grown-up?  

Some of the Yr 12’s at this school voted on the weekend. So technically they are already … grown-ups? Many of us are already driving, have jobs and some have already secured scholarships. God bless you! Seriously, even some of the ‘grown ups’ in our society aren’t as mature as those in the Class of 2022. Hence, we can define grown-up as undefinable. The closer I get to leaving school, the more I realise that being a grown-up has already started. Yes, it’s a little daunting, but it’s also exciting! Leaving school isn’t just about the label of my future career, it’s also about who I want to be and how I can use this to help others. And how do I make a living from all of this. I know so many people my age who are already running their own businesses – a gig that some adults are too terrified to try!   

So, with that in mind let’s go back to the beginning … how much time is there before you have to officially grow up? One, two, three years? Or, could you say … now? From my perspective, it really doesn’t matter when your last day of school is, because with every passing moment, you have the choice to grow. What really matters is the constant, tenacious pursuit of growth itself.  

What you do after school is of course important, but also paradoxically unimportant. To quote Mr Doherty, ‘it’s all about who you are becoming’. 

I deeply apologise if you started reading this article with the intention of figuring out your future career, because I am completely useless in that field. I honestly still don’t know if I want to be an engineer, an entrepreneur or a fairy (who flies far away from all of this). But hopefully I’ve reframed that question for you. The next time someone asks you ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’, don’t get too stressed if you haven’t figured it out – they probably don’t know themselves. Instead, focus on how you can grow and give; here and now.