A Successfully Unsatisfactory Future


Jane Elliston, a Senior at Fair Grove High School.

Jane Elliston

When a student goes on a college visit or attends a family gathering, they’re often asked the same question: “What’re your plans after high school?”

Of course, there are many ways a student could answer this question: “I’m going to become an astronaut”; “I am going to OTC to get my gen ed’s”; “I am going to serve”; “I am going to S&T to become an engineer”; “I am going to enslave an ogre to save a princess from the nearby tower.”

To which, the adult who asked the question, has one of two ways to respond to the student: “Wow! I wish you the best of luck.” or

“Wow…that’s what you’re going to do? What a shame.”

So, here’s to the adults out there who say, “What a shame…” This is for the adults who go out of their way to crush the dreams of youth because they are “realists.”

First of all, I would like to ask you, what is your definition of success? What do you even consider a, “bright future?”

Some might say that success is measured by the amount of money you have in your bank account, but you are wrong. I could be a drug lord, running multiple cartels, and I would very much be monetarily successful, but because it is an illegal industry, I would instead be considered a criminal.

Others might state that job security is more beneficial than anything else. I can definitely sit in a cubicle for eight hours every weekday, inputting numbers on a computer program with no human interaction, and have 100% job security, but for me, it would be extremely boring and a rather uninspiring life.

According to Dictionary.com, success is defined as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

What should really matter is not the cash in your wallet, or the fact that you have a job to drive to every day- although these things are important, and I am sure some adults love this- what should matter is the fulfillment you gain from your everyday life.

The fact that you have a feeling of purpose and feeling that you are bettering the world with what you are doing.

So, I’m going to study Political Science in college. Maybe even get a minor in French and an emphasis in International Peace. I think I want to work in the private sector as a Foreign Services Officer. Maybe, I will be an ambassador in Japan; or maybe, I will begin programs that will benefit numerous children! I know, I won’t have 100% job security and at some points not even have a job; but I’m going to better the world of tomorrow, in the best way that I can, because it’s what I think is the purpose for my life. I am going to be a successful adult.

Editor’s Note: Jane Elliston is a Senior at Fair Grove High School, she writes about her life and the challenges she faces.