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“Senior night is coming up, Katelyn,” the secretary announced to me as she began to hand me a sheet of paper, “If I could get you to fill out this announcement sheet with your future plans, that would be great!” That word stuck in my mind. Future. The secretary’s words made me think about where I was a few months ago. I entered my senior year without a clue on what I was going to do with my future- and feeling the pressure more than ever before. Sure, I spent thirteen years taking classes to ‘prepare for the future’, but if that was the case, then why did I feel so lost?

I showed up to my first day at APEX: Exploration of Health Science and Human Medicine without a single idea on what I was going to do with my future. The differences I noticed compared to my past classes stood out right away. When I drove to school, I was on my way to Des Moines University. When I walked into the building, I was surrounded by medical students. When I walked into class, I didn’t see a room full of high schoolers. I saw a class of people in professional dress, eager to learn.

I haven’t even been in APEX for a term yet, and I already feel like I’m more prepared for my future than I have ever been before. Thanks to the class, I’ve been exposed to so many possibilities for where I want to go with my future. I don’t go to school paranoid of what will happen when I’m forced venture out into the ‘real world’. I spend my time working with professionals in that ‘real world’ that I was once so scared of. Not only has this class taught me to be professional, but with that I have learned to be confident. I don’t spend my nights anxious about my undecided future. I spend my nights feeling excited about that future because I am finally prepared.

Thanks to APEX, I can finally say I’m ready to give the secretary my future plans to announce on senior night.