Choose your own adventureSeventeen is a funny age. You’re too young to legally do anything that most teenagers romanticize about but old enough to do it anyway and know better. Seventeen is when a lot of people have their first big crush or first love.

Seventeen is also a time that you hear the word “potential” a lot. That’s a heavy word for a teenager. It can be a heavy word for adults too. You may show signs of being successful, great, smart, interesting and/or talented. But the question is, can you realize that potential? Adults start to ask you, “what you want to do with your life?” (as if you know, you’re only 17). Or ,”what’s your next move?”. It can be overwhelming.

At 17 you don’t know what your life will truly be like. It’s really about chance and the choices you make that layer the path of your life. Sometimes your choices can take you to pretty awesome places, other times not so much. It reminds me of those claw crane machines where stuffed animals and prizes are inside a glass box. If you maneuver the crane properly, you’ll get the prize you want; a watch, stuffed animal, toys. If you maneuver wrong, you don’t have anything to show for it except a little less money and some disappointment.

Life can be like that crane game. The good news is, you have several opportunities to pull something cool out of the choices that make up your life. Each try is an opportunity to learn to maneuver better. It’s a chance to learn from missed chances. It’s an opportunity to realize your potential.