“What are your plans for after you graduate high school?” This question is most dreaded by high school students, especially seniors. Some students can provide a definitive answer and are certain of their goals while others are not quite sure of themselves yet. In either scenario, the burden of stress is unbearable.

Deciding whether or not to attend college is one of the hardest life decisions as a young adult, and it makes you think, “What do I want to do for the rest of my life?” Our choices are dictated by parents, other students and financial stability. For some it feels like it is not a choice, they have to go or else they will not amount to anything. Other students are anticipating the challenges and experiences that college provides.

Personally, I plan to attend Southern Illinois University for a Bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service. The process of applying has been strenuous and tedious, not to mention frustrating.

Honestly, the easiest part of the process was the acceptance application, and after that everything became exceedingly complicated. I had to request transcripts from the school then

mail them to SIU after I was accepted. Then the never-ending forms started from filling out the FAFSA to doing an online loan class. After six months of sending in information about myself to SIU, I am still not done.

Recently, I had to take a mental health day off of school so I could submit papers that my college needed. Writer Bob Conlon said, “Most high school students experience anticipatory anxiety during their senior year or over the summer prior to college.” I am sure other students are feeling the pressure. I empathize with them because our futures are right around the corner and the uneasiness is setting in.

Speaking if uneasiness, my biggest concern about going to college is money. I was sent a tuition paper from my college that calculated the amount of debt I would be in even after applying for scholarship and loans. The grand total was about 25,000 dollars. According to Student Loan Hero, “Among the class of 2019, 69% of college students took out student loans, and they graduated with an average debt of $29,900, including both private and federal debt.” I am sure for other students going into debt is overwhelming.

On the other hand, there is the excitement of living alone. There are a lot of responsibilities when it comes to living alone: buying food, paying bills and deciding whether or not to do the dishes. All in all, the independence will be refreshing and the challenges that are ahead will be great.

Time to go. I was anxious opening this letter from SIU because I thought it was going to say I did not get accepted. Now, I have to move on into adult hood which scares me even more. But I am telling myself I can do it.