High School: Prime Time for Life Decisions


Mahi Patel, a young teenage girl, who is in the process of shaping her future.

Iqra Rahim, Reporter

Settling Down

Mahi Patel, 17, a high schooler in Ames talks about how she has her life organized at this point of time. Moving from one place to another within the United States, she has settled in Iowa for the time being and plans on moving to a bigger city for further education.

Have you always lived in Iowa?

My parents were from India and then they moved to England, and I was born. We came to the US when I was a baby. We started out in Florida, where my brother was born, and then we went to South Carolina. We moved around about three times within South Carolina, then on to North Carolina for about five years, and finally we moved here. The reason we came here was due to some financial issues we had at home. My parents were offered jobs in Ames, hence they decided to work here. Now we have a steady income here, unlike the business that we had in North Carolina. I moved here in the middle of last year, and I spent my previous school semester at Ames High.

How did you feel moving to Ames?

The very first thought I had was sort of just strange or out of place. I had gone through the whole of middle school and just began high school in North Carolina. Moving to a new high school felt weird, as high school is all about insecurities and discomfort. Honestly, I hate the feeling of being lost. Whether it’s physically or mentally being lost , I consider it one of my pet peeves. I need to let go of my old life, because I am always thinking about all these friends I had, which was just fantastic. If I don’t do this, it may be very difficult for me to find a sense of belonging for myself, here in Ames.

Do you plan on staying in Iowa after high school?

I definitely love the city more because it’s fast. It also encourages me to be more productive and social. Networking is going to be everything eventually when I get older, and that’s what I’m looking for post secondary education. Chicago is specifically on my mind, as I have family there and I can turn to them during emergencies. I feel that there are so many more opportunities in a bigger city and I’m looking forward to that.

What career path do you want to follow?

I had already planned on going into medicine and that is a literal Indian stereotype, because good Indian kids go into medicine. Anyhow, I had once thought through law as well as engineering, but the engineering part did not go that well. When it came to law, I felt like I was not really good at debates, and so it was not a really good idea to go into law. Science kind of made sense to me and I really enjoyed doing it, and that is why I am going with medicine.

What do you want to specialize in?

One night, during the summer, my mother was telling me about the day my brother and I were born, and it really sounded interesting. She was talking about the deliveries, and all I could think about was that was what I wanted to do. I absolutely love babies. It would be amazing to help pregnant ladies go through the process and give birth. I had already made peace with the fact that school is going to take forever to end, and so I had a lot of time to think of what I needed to do. Now, things have gone by so fast, and I have just one year left to graduate and get a high school diploma. I am glad that I have made a decision on what I want to do further in life.

What are you doing currently to help you reach your goal?

First of all I made a decision. I figured out what profession I wanted to get into, and I made sure that my decision was a detailed one, as that would help me understand what my duties would be on a daily basis. Then I started mapping out the pathway, as I am a person who really likes planning. I need everything organized and broken down to baby steps, so that the process is not intimidating. Researching and narrowing it down to the best colleges, I have created a college list. Next, I am going to apply to my top colleges, and hope that I will get admitted into one.

At what point in life do you think you will be satisfied with yourself?

As far as career goes, of course, the first time I get paid is going to be really important to me. I will eventually feel like I have established myself, and I am building up my reputation, which will lead me to a higher post. In my mind, stability and independence is everything. Once you’re stable and you have enough money, you have the privilege of buying a house and calling it your own. The day I have a constant income, a healthy and happy lifestyle, and nothing to worry about, will be the day I reach my point of satisfaction.