When you’re in high school, you’re going to make lots of big choices.
- Drop out of high school
- Earn a high school diploma
- Go to college
- Work part-time while going to college
- Work full-time instead of going to college
- Sign up for the military instead of going to college
- Take so-and-so to the Prom instead of so-and-so
- Let bullies define your life
These are just the tip of the iceberg. After some time, you feel like you made a mistake and regret your choices. You should take a step back and evaluate the outcomes of your choices.
If you worked part-time while you attended college, your grades probably suffered and you probably didn’t create lasting relationships with any of your professors. However, you learned skills that made it easier for you to get a job after college. Most students fresh out of college, like me, found out that they lack skills to be even considered in the labor force. You’re also establishing a work history and connections you can use later on.
If you dropped out of high school, but went to work instead, then you’re creating a work history, learning skills, and making connections. If you stayed in a bubble and played video games, when you get out, you can apply to game stores and try to work there, since you’re already familiar with games and can recommend things to customers. If you joined a gang and somehow got out, at least you survived in that environment and you can turn your life around, help others get out of gangs, provide gang-free areas in high-risk neighborhoods, etc.
I won’t go through everything on my short list since you get the idea.
If you live the current average lifespan – 78 years – these choices are only a blur in your lifetime. If you spent 5 years on one of those choices, that’s only 6.4% of your life. If you spent 10 years on one of those things, that’s only 12.8% of your life. You still have a lot of time to make things right and contribute your share of good to the world.