Full send it: Making the most of your time in high school
June 2, 2019
Twelve years of school later, one wacky senior year, and I have made it. My last year of high school has honestly plucked me right out of everything comfortable and forced me to take ownership of my future. I have grown more in my senior year of high school that I ever expected and have been a part of enriching classes that have helped me better understand the world around me — most notably, Mr. Szpieg’s analog photography course.
I remember one class we spent discussing how many of us live in a perpetual state of numbness — and it left me really rattled. A lot of us, (me included) have gone numb; we wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again. We are so scared of failing or hurting or feeling anything too deeply. But if I can, I hope to impress on you the most valuable lesson I have learned in high school: your dreams are not going to fall into your lap by playing it safe. Great and otherwise unforeseen opportunities come from taking risks. Stop overthinking, stop trying to please everyone else, stop degrading your aspirations. Embrace risks and allow yourself to overcome a fear of failure. Let your wanderlust carry you and don’t ever exchange your heart for one so unfamiliar that it forgets how to beat.
I have learnt that we are often defiant towards vulnerability and authenticity because stepping outside of a state of perpetual numbness forces us to confront our unhealthy coping mechanisms. For me, shooting film forced me to slow down and work deliberately; challenging the frenzy of life with introspection woke me up. I began searching for the humanity wrapped inside of every moment, and everything for me began to shift.
So, instead of asking yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you feel awake. And then do that. Because the world needs people who have come alive. We would be stupid not to live as fully and courageously as we can.