Struggling for a sense of purpose


Emmeline Roney

World traveler Emmeline Roney ’19 gives her monthly insight into both the joys and frustrations of life at East Grand Rapids High School.

Emmeline Roney, Staff Writer

The last few months have been difficult – both on a national scale and within our community. We have faced rising racial and political tensions, seen evil plague our nation through violence and hate, and more locally, been forced to battle some harsh truths on a very intimate level. It has undoubtedly been a dark month, and for this reason the idea of writing a column advocating for positivity or kindness or friendships sat uneasily with me.

It is time to check your pulse. When we are struggling, we must identify what matters to us right now, instead of grappling for some distant comfort. It becomes easy to lean into toxic friendships because they are familiar, or drugs and alcohol because they easy options, but exceedingly difficult to take risks. We feel vulnerable, broken down by the corruption of the world, and engaging within oneself requires some exposure.

Last week I was looking for footing. I feel as though many of my peers, alongside myself, may be suffering from an epidemic of disengagement. When our environment goes dark, the pressure to assign ourselves a label or align ourselves with a craft heightens, and our mind muddles our sense of purpose. Check your pulse. Evaluate who and what you care about. If you’re struggling to figure out what your purpose is, figure out where your passions lie.

Remember that we only get one life, and whether or not that is enough or not, is up entirely to you. The obvious conclusion that I have come to is that we would be fools not live as fully and courageously as we can.

Many of us like to do a lot of different things that we don’t advertise as openly to our peers to comfort or to cope with trials. Grasp tightly onto the things that ground you, whether that is religion, a field of education, a person, or a hobby, and don’t let those things slip.

For me, this looks like waking up early, drinking a cup of coffee, working hard, and being ambitious. It means keeping my head up and my mind right, living well, and dressing well. It means taking baths and going for walks and spending time with my family and friends.

Ultimately, as high schoolers, we need to try a bundle of different things before banding ourselves into a single role that will limit potential opportunities that could help us grow and mature.