When you’re in high school, there are so many important decisions to make. In fact, it seems almost unfair to have to make some of these momentous decisions at such a young age. How do you know what your interests and goals are? How do you know which group to hang out with? How do you know whether or not to have a significant other? High school is a tremendously stressful time.
Some kids seem to know exactly where they’re headed. I was one of those people who knew in second grade that I wanted to be a writer, and my parents were always supportive. Some of my friends, though, were much more conflicted and undecided about their plans for their lives. Others had parents who weren’t supportive of their interests. I recently read that Joni Mitchell’s parents wouldn’t buy her a guitar because it wasn’t in the budget, which wrenched my heart, although she certainly managed to become a pretty good musician anyway.
In One Week of You, my character Lizzy has always wanted to become a doctor, and she’s done everything she can to prepare for that kind of future. She’s gone to summer programs, loaded up her schedule with tough classes, taken Latin to be prepared for “medicalese.” But then she becomes distracted from her goals. By wanting to be part of the world of cheerleading By her crush on the new guy, Andy. And by losing sight of values her parents have taught her, of being kind to everyone.
I was side-tracked like this in high school. Is it a terrible thing? Can you recover? Can kids get a second chance? How important are those values, anyway? Maybe the goals aren’t even the right ones. These are all the questions that I was asking myself during those years, and that Lizzy asks herself in One Week of You.