Home behind, the world ahead


By Karen Neill
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Another year of grueling school work has just about come to a close and as all the seniors are trying to prepare for their next step, I want the underclassmen to consider something: how do you want to spend your high school years?  When you look back as I, and I assume all seniors, have been doing a lot recently, will you be satisfied with how you spent your time? Or will you have wished that you had done something differently? Because it’s not too late to take advantage of the last one, two or three years you have left.

‘Take the bull by the horns’— it’s what people tell us when they want us to take charge, and it’s the advice I am giving you now. The concept of high school can be a great thing. We get to learn what we’re interested in without fear of wasting our money, we get to learn what kinds of people we want to surround ourselves with and we get to learn how late we are able to stay up at night (my personal favorite). Embrace this chance to learn more about yourself and who you want to be.

The biggest problem you may have is getting out of your comfort zone, but that’s the only way we grow. Commit to the challenge of putting yourself out there and hoping for the best, to joining that club where you don’t know anyone just because it sounds cool or to taking a class that you feel totally out of your element in because you’re curious if you’re any good at it. Even if you don’t end up enjoying how things turn out, you might just come out of it a bit wiser.

If you really don’t feel comfortable trying things at school, there are always things to do in the community. You could try branching out by yourself or with a friend and volunteer or join an activity such as a martial art or a sport.

If you want to stay home, that’s cool too; for a lot of people school is tiring enough. You don’t have to join a club or even participate in school events like dances. It’s okay for the things you want to try doing to be more personal. The point isn’t to do something because it’s what you’re supposed do in high school, but because you want to. Just keep in mind that you don’t need to be afraid of trying something new, whatever it is.

When the time does come, and you are booted out of your home and you need to make a decision about what to do with your life, whether it be school related or not, it helps (as I am learning now) to know your weaknesses and strengths, your limits and your passions. So start learning now if you haven’t already. Be fearless and have a great time doing it.