Seniors, choose to keep learning
As I, a senior at New Life Christian High School, approach the last few months of my K-12 attendance at this school (excepting one year), I am faced with many cliché thoughts concerning graduation and "growing up," such as: What am I going to do with the rest of my life? What am I going to go to college for?
I am similarly asked cliché questions by anyone who learns that I will be graduating in June, such as: What are you going to do? Where are you going to go to college? In truth, I have no idea what I want to be or where I want to go, which I've been told is common.
Thinking about the potential outcomes of the decisions I will make in the next few years of my life is very intimidating. The feeling is mutual among many high school seniors, even juniors.
When asked what the scariest thing about graduating is, senior Joe Whiteley said, "Realizing that you have to try harder in college and have more responsibility."
Junior Sonya Singh answered, "Having to grow up when you really don't want to, and not being able to rely on your parents for everything."
I also asked NLCHS Principal John Lewallen what the scariest thing about graduating was for him. He answered: "Not knowing what I was going to do in the future."
My own thoughts remind me that the life and education I have been building will greatly affect the rest of my life. The decisions I will soon make will determine large portions of my future. When I meditate on the importance of how these 17 years have shaped me, I am amazed by the fact that I still have a long way to go; 60 to 70 more years, possibly.
As I'm sure anyone who has been a senior before knows, this season in a person's life seems to be the most important while it is happening. In reality, we have many more years to live, if we are fortunate enough.
While the decisions made in and right after high school have a significant impact on our lives, there is usually a much greater amount of time afterward to make more important decisions and, of course, mistakes. Problems arise if you don't spend the rest of that time wisely.
My mom likes to say: "When you stop learning, you stop living." A person never reaches a point when they can no longer attain knowledge; they simply reach the point whey they stop trying.
So while this one-fourth of my life does affect the remaining three-fourths, it is not the most important thing that will ever happen to me, even if it seems so right now. This idea helps me to be optimistic and frightened at the same time about my future. I know that if I choose to keep learning, I will keep living.
Haley Waters is a senior at New Life Christian High School. Her column appears about every sixth week in Education.