Rant & Rave

By Garrett Choy

Tuesday, June 29, 1999

Choices must be made
after high school

To the graduates of the high school class of 1999, congratulations! You've finally made it. Your hard work and perseverance has helped you to accomplish one of main goals in your early life. But don't get too comfortable.

You have a choice now to relax or start finding a job. Or you could go to another place that is much different and bigger, college.

Do you feel that you are college material? Or is a college education merely one more rite of passage done out of routine, with expectations set by your friends and family?

Surely you want you to go, because your parents believe you'll earn a good job out of the experience.

But not everyone is ready to make the leap from high school classes to college classes. I know what it's like, because I'm stuck in the same predicament. I often find myself asking myself, "What do I really want to do?"

I've tried different jobs, but found that none live up to my career expectations. On the education side, I've watched other students and friends change majors numerous times. They switch because after advancing to a certain level, they find they cannot meet the requirements for a particular program.

With all the cutbacks in school curricula, students run into many obstacles. Sometimes they get stuck with a shortage of credits and don't know what to do.

My college counselor suggests that if you are unsure if you want to go to college don't go. Don't waste your parents' money. Start when you are ready.

I have gone back and forth. Then I tried balancing work and trying to "find myself" through liberal arts and that failed. So now I'm just working.

My parents are not happy, of course. They want me to be out of school, with a good job. They also want me to start being a responsible, independent adult. I guess now it's right for me to start taking care of them after all the years they've taken care of me.

My brother has graduated, but with his degrees in liberal arts and computer science, he is having trouble finding a job. My sister has her liberal arts degree, but now is enrolled in a dental hygienist program that will take a few more years to complete.

I don't have the answers, and don't know anyone who does. Ultimately, I think it's up to the individual to know what is right, and when is the right time for school, work or to start a family, etc.

Those years spent in high school go fast, and I can't think of anyone who actually liked classes. It's only now that I'm realizing that high school was fun. And easy.

Class schedules made it easy for us to prioritize our time and keep busy. We knew where we would be every minute. Teachers made sure we knew what we were expected to do, and we knew that our reward for hard labor was the almighty "A."

These days, I think of high school as elementary school, and college is the real high school.

Now I find myself without a plan, uncertain about tomorrow. Rewards are not tangible, and they may not even show up right away.

I'm probably hoping for good luck or an easy route to a career, but I know that becoming an adult means I must be determined, self-disciplined and motivated.

Garret Choy is a graduate of McKinley High School who attended
Kapiolani Community College before opting for the work world.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
Speak up by fax at 523-8509; by answering machine at 525-8666;
snail mail at P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802;
or e-mail,

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin