Holidays New Year's

My future will unfold in 2018

YJI Reporter Owen Ferguson at a Christmas Ceilidh with his advanced history class. He is in the front row, second from right.

Doune, SCOTLAND – As a student halfway through my final year of high school, 2018 will undoubtedly be one of the most important years of my life. The past few months have been an intense ride through personal statements, college applications and Advanced Higher preparations. All with one goal in mind: my future.
The final year of high school, simply named Sixth Year, is a very different experience from the rest of my school career.
Up until now, we have been guided and taught through every step of our education but now we are left to face this on our own. It’s time to be completely independent and mature. A welcome change for sure, but a sudden one.
It will prove to be ultimately useful in the near future though, as university or full-time employment life beckons.
I hope that I will get the chance to go to university and the next five months of 2018 will likely determine that. My UCAS application (the UK-based Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) to five Scottish universities has been sent away.
Now, like most of the other 64 students in Sixth Year, I am in the waiting game. Waiting for replies, acknowledgement e-mails and hopefully offers.
You do not know anxious impatience until you have spent five weeks of refreshing your email every few hours. 2018 will soon see a change to this as universities reach their own deadline to reply to every nervous 17-year-old across Scotland.
When I receive a response, the outcome will decide the direction of my future, for better or for worse. Hopefully, for better.
Taking a step back from the big focus of my year, it’s important for me to look at other achievements and tasks I hope to work towards. I’m in the process of learning to drive for example, and by March you might just see me behind the wheel.
My part-time job, which I originally planned to hold onto for a couple of weeks, has now seen me spend every Saturday for more than a year at my work. It’s become a community that I’m now embracing. I participate in the work nights out and am becoming close friends with my colleagues.
I can say for sure that regardless of what path I will find myself on in the New Year, I will have a lot to look forward to.

Owen Ferguson is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.