I graduated in high school at the age of 16. One of my friends was 15 at the time. Not a big deal, really. Where I live, one usually starts high school at the age of 12, or 13. You usually graduate at the age of 16, and then start college. That is, if you (and your family) are fortunate enough to even pay for it.
Two years in preparatory school (kindergarten), six years in grade school, and four years in high school. Just 12 years of education instead of more. College is… college. It’s a different story.
This kind of education system was preferred by many people in our country, over the K-12 system. There’d be less fees to pay, and shorter time to spend in school before being able to work.
One of the changes the current government administration initiated was the K-12 education system. Many people protested, especially those who belong in the lower socio-economic status group. Sending their children to school was difficult enough as it was; they didn’t need the additional two years of hardship. What use would it be to them if they weren’t able to send their children to school altogether? Why not fix the quality of the education system first? Quality should be over quantity, after all.
I had the same sentiments as them, given that I was already in college that time. I saw parents desperately wanting their children finish their schooling, but not being able to support them because (mainly) of financial issues. I saw how difficult it was to send a child to school. They certainly didn’t need another two years of worrying where to get money for school
The government, however, pushed through with the new system (K-12). There were big changes made, here and there.
My college friend said it wasn’t that bad; seeing as the students would have more time to figure out what they really want in life, what their lifetime careers would be. They would have more time to make a big decision that will affect their lives permanently.
And then, something clicked in my mind.
My friend was right. It wasn’t that bad, if anything, it would be better (issues about tuition fees aside). More time to think about how you live your life certainly isn’t bad.
And I realized, they were luckier than me. Those students under the new system of education.
I realized, that maybe, just maybe, I was too young, at the age of sixteen, to make a decision. About what my career would be.
Part of it was my fault, I admit. At the age of sixteen I still didn’t know what I wanted to be. Hell, I still don’t know what it is that I want, now that I’m twenty. Four years ago I didn’t know that I would like photography. I liked psychology then, but the idea was readily thrown out the window by the “adults” who “know” that I wouldn’t get anywhere with a degree in psychology. Four years ago I had let them decide for me, because I knew I was too young to make a decision for myself. For years ago I didn’t know that I would hate my life in college. Four years ago I didn’t realize that I should have made that decision (of choosing psychology as my course), regardless of whether the adults agreed to it or not, because it was my life I was making a decision for.
It was funny, really. At the age of sixteen, apparently you’re still too young to try out things, to explore (i.e. “adult” things); but you’re old enough to make a decision that could either make you or break you.
In my case, it broke me down.
I don’t blame anyone or anything on what happened to my life. I don’t blame the adults who pushed me in the course I was currently taking. I don’t blame the people who told me that taking up psychology would take me nowhere. I don’t blame the government for only changing the education system just now.
I don’t have anyone to blame but myself.
I blame myself, I really do, because it was me who didn’t care then about what to put in my college application forms. It was me who didn’t know what she wanted at the age of sixteen. It was me who should have made a decision for myself. It was me who made a wrong decision. And way many more wrong decisions.
Then, at the age of sixteen, I was too young to make a decision. Now, at the age of twenty, I’m old enough to face its consequences.