"Well? What's got you thinking so hard now?" Mr. Haskell sounded annoyed, but Dave knew his bark was much worse than his bite.
"I keep thinking about my future; it's all a blurry mess, but I can't come up with any answers." Dave had been sprinkling ashes around the base of the tomato plants to give them potash as per Mr. Haskell's instructions, but paused to reply, "Like, does it make sense to even finish high school when I can't go to college and all it will do is cut the hours I can work? And my friend is joining the Navy next year and he thinks I could do that too, but I really don't want to."
"First off, yes, get your high school diploma. Unless you're in danger of starving, it's worth it just for the possibilities that can open up. Not knowing what will happen is the best reason not to hobble your choices and it shows people you aren't a quitter." Easing back onto his lawn chair with a grunt, he continued, "As to the military, well, I was drafted into the Army. Never would have joined otherwise and hated it, but I tried to take the good with me and leave the bad behind. Although I still hate pancakes; can you believe someone could ruin pancakes? Either burnt or undercooked, bleah.
"Well, there's a lot of stories I could tell you, but the main point is that it isn't for everyone and don't rush into a decision on it. Maybe that's the key thought for the future; don't rush, try everything that comes along and keep an open mind."
Dave smiled ruefully, "It seems hard when it feels like we're being pushed to choose now what we do for the rest of our lives. It wasn't a big deal a year ago when I planned on college. Now?" He shook his head.
"Be adaptable! I wanted to be a police officer but instead I was a plumber. Probably made more money than I would have in the police. I don't regret it a bit."
Dave nodded thoughtfully before turning back to the tomatoes, feeling calmer and not as negative about the future.