Being a senior can be stressful and chaotic throughout the many months of anticipation leading up to graduation. This can instill burnout and motivation loss in students, especially when juggling several different aspects of their lives at once, but Natalia Svoboda is determined to finish the year off strong and continue to thrive in her busy environment.
Natalia works at Panera Bread and is currently enrolled in Michigan Virtual. She strives to maintain her academics amongst the many hours she works. There is only so much time in a week, but Natalia uses it to her advantage to complete her list of tasks.
“I want to prepare myself for having a career in the future,” Natalia said, “and it’s nice to be able to gain experience and save for college. It definitely can be difficult [to attend both work and school on the same days].”
Amongst everything else, the looming threat of college and, overall, the future, hangs like a heavy cloud over her head. With all the anxiety that a student can face with so many unanswered questions, Natalia keeps herself grounded and focused as she explores the many sides of being a senior.
“College has always been a really important thing for me,” Natalia shared. “I’ve always been focused on what I need to do to prepare for college. [This consists of asking myself] where do I want to go and what do I want to do? So, things like working and doing well in school have always been something I’ve put my energy into so I can succeed later on.”
College is a choice, and it’s not always the right one for everybody. Many seniors choose a different, and equally as successful, path for themselves out of high school.
Throughout the turbulence and preparative times of senior year, it is important to have a family that stands by their students’ side. Family is an important thing for Natalia, even interrupting the interview to say, “Goodnight; love you too,” back through her bedroom door to her family members as they went to sleep.
She has always found solace in her family’s optimism and general support of her choices for herself and her future.
“They definitely have [influenced some of my decisions about college and my future],” Natalia said, “but they have always been very supportive. They have never forced me one way or the other, and have never said ‘you have to go to college’ or ‘you have to go to this school and do this as a career to be successful.’ They have, however, always pushed me to do the right things and make the right choices for myself, but they never really told me that I had to do something or should be doing something [in regards to a career].”
Staying motivated, especially as a senior in high school is one of the most difficult, yet important, aspects of a student’s time in school. As if academics are not rigorous enough, many teenagers juggle a job, an extracurricular, and just regular life outside of their education.
Natalia knows one slip could be fatal, so she pushes herself everyday to see the outcomes in her future as she pleases. She works so hard so that she can make her own choices, and does not allow others to influence her decisions as a display of her strong will.
“I’ve always been really motivated,” Natalia explained, “and I’ve always enjoyed putting the work in because I like having good outcomes and the outcomes I want to achieve. I think it’s important for people to focus on something they really want to accomplish. [That’s my incentive].”