I wrote this poem a few years ago, with no particular person in mind. It looks at the decisions teenagers have to make when thinking about their future. The poem ends by recognizing that adulthood is not easy, but it seems preferable to the uncertainty they have to face as teenagers.
My brothers (twins) are starting to think about university. They are doing their GCSEs and very soon they have to settle on which A-levels to choose. It’s a big decision to make at such a young age, as the subjects they take for A-level will determine which type of degree they can get onto. Watching them both pour over university prospectuses when I visited over Christmas made me see how relevant this poem is to them.
This has been a discouraging week
Unsettling thoughts disturb my sleep.
It’s getting light, insomnia’s curse
I feel like things cannot get worse.
I’m on a new and scary road
And find that life’s not as I was told.
Things are changing, I feel bemused
Ambitions and dreams are lost, confused.
What once was simple is now complex
I worry about what’s coming next.
I know that adulthood’s no halcyon glen
But how do I survive until then?
Poem by Hannah Meiklejohn (2010)