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At this age...

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By Jazzmine Freedom

A good friend of mine often says that anything is possible, but not everything is possible. This will probably never be as clear as it is at 17 and 18. Let me explain.

We are at a time in our lives when, for the first time, whatever comes next is our decision. True, it often doesn’t feel like it’s completely up to us, and being legally old enough to rebel against our parents’ well-intended plans for us doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to or even that we want to. But it does mean that we are technically adults, and thus are technically free to make our own choices.

This is where the “anything is possible” part comes in. The future is wide open for us. No one can force us to do anything we don’t feel is right for us (though they can strongly encourage us to do what they feel is right for us). We are old enough to take our own risks. Some of us will make decisions that others will consider huge mistakes, while others will do exactly what is expected of them. But no one can tell us which decisions actually are mistakes, and which aren’t. Not everyone is intended to follow the same path.

Is it impossible to succeed despite making decisions others may consider irresponsible? No. Is it impossible to be content following the path society expects you to follow? No. Is it impossible to be happy with the choices you’ve made, despite not getting what you thought you wanted from them? Absolutely not. The risks are ours to take and whatever comes of those risks is ours to regret or cherish.

But we have to remember that when we choose one path, we are turning away from another. This is where I’d like to stress that not everything is possible. When you make a decision about what to do with your future, you are deciding against other possible plans.

I’m not trying to say that you can’t later decide you want something else, and then make that something else happen. I’m saying that the decision you make about your future right now is going to have a big impact on your life.

We are at a strange place in our lives, adolescents on the brink of adulthood. None of us are 100 percent sure what’s coming next, though most of us have a pretty good idea. It’s important for each of us to stop and think about what we want for our futures before we jump headfirst into them. Maybe we can’t follow our hearts completely, but we should strive to make sure they have a say in things.

Jazzmine Freedom, a Robertson High School senior, is an intern with the Las Vegas Optic.