Senior Column: ‘Make use of the time you have by living and being.’

Annie Matheis, Features Editor
May 4, 2012
Filed under Opinion

If you watched any John Hughes movie before you entered high school, you probably envisioned your secondary education the same way I did.
You probably pictured yourself as Molly Ringwald, stuck in Saturday detention eating sushi, where a principal, without the slightest concern, handed out detentions to kids like John Bender.
Or maybe a dance with everybody lined up, waiting to be asked onto the floor. But, in the end, Jake Ryan would still be waiting for you outside your sister’s wedding.
You pictured it as the time of your life.
The time of your life.
That’s what I was told high school would be.
I walked into those front doors an excited freshman, anxious for the years to come.
I was constantly reminded to enjoy these four years because I would never get them back.
Now I am a senior, soon walking out of those same doors, and I am supposed to have already had the time of my life.
That’s to say, I’m 18, and my life has already peaked. Is it all just one ginormous downward spiral from here? I’m still in my teenage years, and I have already experienced the best of life?
I mean, high school has been OK. Too many hormone-driven, dramatic people packed into such close proximity for my taste, but still, nothing horrible happened.
I enjoyed the little things, like making a day-by-day spring break staycation calendar and driving around aimlessly while singing horribly off-key.
I let my dorkiness hit an all-time high by staying home on weekends and indulging in a Harry Potter or Star Wars marathon. I attended school dances, none of which were anything like the one in “Sixteen Candles.”
Taxes and personal financial stability were never on my mind.
It’s easy to understand how high school can be construed as the end-all, be-all of our limited time on this earth.
But we shouldn’t let it become the peak of our lives. Life will never be the same, but the good will still always be available.
I will always enjoy bunking down and watching “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” My singing will never improve, and there will always be people who might react a little dramatically to certain situations.
Instead of focusing on what was supposed to be the best time, make use of the time you have by living and being. High school might have been a good time, but there will be many more times, good and bad, to come.
Whether we had a good or bad time in high school, it should not define the quality of the rest of our lives.
Unfortunately, I can never be Molly Ringwald in “Sixteen Candles” or “Breakfast Club.” Life will never be a John Hughes movie. But that’s OK because high school isn’t meant to be my life’s peak; it is only the beginning.

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