The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

The East Vision

Hanna Sanford Senior Column

Hanna Sanford, News Editor

Be Elle Woods
When I was in third grade, I watched a truly life changing film. I spent months plotting how I could live out that movie in my own life. There was only one thing of which I was certain: I was going to become Elle Woods.
It just so happened that in the midst of my obsession with Legally Blonde, I found myself in Cambridge. Armed with my plaid bermuda shorts and crocs, I went to Harvard Law to promenade through my future school (pictured here).
I had already chosen both my profession and the educational institution I would use to get there, but since then, I haven’t held a conviction so strongly about either.
As evidence of my complete lack of direction, the prospective majors on my college applications included history, biology, economics, and physics, because I couldn’t even narrow it down to one area of study.
Trying to be well rounded left me with several things that I was decent at, but none of which I felt the same about as my eight year old self felt about Harvard Law. As I face the daunting task of filling out my academic interests form come June 1st and the overwhelming feeling that I’m going nowhere in life, I’m trying to focus on two things:
First, May 25th isn’t a hard deadline for having my entire life in order. In fact, there is no deadline for knowing exactly who I’m going to be, because interests change and who I thought I was going to be four or 10 years ago is not who I am now. Freshman year I thought I was going to move to Switzerland to work at the Large Hadron Collider; senior year, I got a 9/45 on my physics final exam.
Second, I have so much time to become Elle.
Four years from now, maybe I will be on a plane to Switzerland, or celebrating my acceptance to Harvard Law, or I could be just as lost as I am now, but no matter where I end up I will always remember what Elle taught me.
“It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people, and most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”
Congratulations Class of 2004 2017. We did it!
Different senior column possibility!!!!

Applying for college has the unique quality of making you think about all of the things you could have done differently. Staring at a laundry list of the things you’ve done with your life for the better part of four years on an 8.5×11 inch PDF can only be described as underwhelming.
For me, I thought about how much more I could have done. I could have volunteered more, joined more clubs, sought out more leadership positions, travelled more, done an exotic summer internship, or quite frankly, just done anything to make myself slightly more interesting than an upper class white girl humble-bragging about the unremarkable things she did throughout high school.
On the other hand, there’s someone far more interesting than I who spent all of their time doing exactly what I thought I should have been doing and still didn’t end up where they wanted to be.
Had I done all of the things that I told myself I should have, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the things that you can’t list on a college application, like screaming at the contestants on Jeopardy when they don’t know the answer to a question with my family on weeknights, or being able to go to “Susan’s house” when really I was going to Lake Michigan to celebrate the summer solstice.
As time progressed and more distance was placed between me and that November 1st deadline, I continued thinking about other things I wish I had done beyond filling my time with banal resume builders. I should have gone to more football games or been more personable, maybe I should have indulged in the clichés of the high school experience.
The beautiful thing is that I could have lived out either of these two possibilities and still been perfectly happy at the end of my high school career. Likely, high school will be the least important thing you ever do in your life.

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