When do our actions start to define us?


Ben Alter

It's important to consider that our actions now affect our lives later.

Lily Hojnacki, Staff Writer

At this point, Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is about more than just him. It is a representation of the value we put on our past actions, and how large a role they should play later in our lives.

When allegations of sexual assault and misconduct were made against Kavanaugh by multiple women, investigators focused on his high school character and some troubling actions have been brought to light. During the hearing involving Christine Blasey-Ford, Kavanaugh insists that his high school days consisted solely of sports, church, and “being a good friend.” However, his self-proclaimed and boasted title as treasurer of the “Keg City Club” in his preparatory high school yearbook page suggests otherwise. Kavanaugh and his friends also bragged about their sexual conquests with a woman by calling themselves “Renate Alumnus,” which refers to Renate Schroeder Dolphin, who attended a nearby high school.

These discoveries have forced the Senate to determine if past actions and character should play a role in deciding a candidate’s fitness for one of the most important positions in our national government.

Kavanaugh supporters are quick to argue that these allegations were made when he was “only a boy,” so it isn’t reasonable to base such an important decision on who he was and what he did such a long time ago. However, in reality, making this argument sends a dangerous message to our youth today.

Although at times high school can seem very distant from the real world, how we choose to present ourselves and treat others as high schoolers are things that can, and will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Even in an era without the permanent effects of social media, choices Brett Kavanaugh chose to make many years ago have still managed to come back and hurt him. Although Kavanaugh did not have to pay the ultimate price of not gaining a spot on the Supreme Court, his reputation was damaged, and he was forced to deal with situations I’m sure he never thought he would encounter when he was a high schooler. This should be an example to everyone who believes their actions today will be left behind them for good.

Many also think that it’s a “scary time to be a guy,” because anything you do may be held against you in the future, but is this really a bad thing? Of course, as high schoolers, we will all make mistakes and learn from them the next time around, but if we believe we are allowed to walk around and act in reckless ways without caring for the consequences we will have to suffer, how will we ever learn to act in responsible ways in the future?

If we believe or support the idea that there is an invisible barrier protecting us from our character and choices in the past, we are setting ourselves up for failure later on in our lives. If you were to look back on yourself in 20 years, would you like what you see? You have the power and control over your own actions and how you will be remembered by everyone that surrounds you at this time in your life. So, make sure something you put in your high school yearbook today won’t come back to jeopardize your life and career tomorrow.