LETTERS FROM A SENIOR: Take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves


In the wise words of everyone’s favorite arguably-not-a-Disney-Princess Disney-Princess, Mulan: when will my reflection show, who I am, inside? I hope you read that with melancholy violin music playing in your head, because that’s exactly the level of melodrama I’m currently reaching for.

Between homework assignments, group projects, extracurriculars and attempting to convince the people in your life that no, you aren’t in hibernation for the winter, you’re just busy, we tend to lose our grip on the day to day. We numb ourselves to the every-day opportunities that enrich our lives and make them more exciting, choosing instead to pursue the familiar.

Don’t do that. 

Be reckless. 

I understand how, once you get into the groove of school-work-more-work, life can get a little monotonous. It feels like you’re spinning around in a hamster wheel, following a single pattern of motion until you have no choice but to feel like you peaked too soon. 

And, even as a senior, I sometimes get sucked into a similar, grey void of monotony. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be like that all the time. High school offers plenty of chances for growth, not only as a student, but as a person.  

Nobody’s expecting you to go sail a pirate ship or go on some other crazy, YA novel-esque adventure, but as AP Econ taught me (thanks, Fagan) there’s always a trade-off for the choices you make. 

Start small. Grab a pop-tart from the vending machine instead of a muffin. Or if you’re the type of eccentric who enjoys dramatics, take a pottery elective instead of your previous choice of AVID.

High school is rife with new people, places, ideas – and fears about the future. But don’t let all of those things overwhelm you. 

Now, I know you’ve already heard this from everyone and their grandmother, but bear with me: high school is the time to discover what you enjoy and where your passions lie. These are exactly the sorts of questions colleges will be asking you anyway, so you might as well start early. 

I’ve changed quite a bit between my stint as a freshman and now, and it definitely took some risks to get me where I am today. So work past your intimidation – or your apathy (I don’t know your emotional state) and explore all that Roseville High School has to offer. 

There’s something for everyone, so use this as an opportunity to expose yourself to new programs and ideas. You might just change your mindset about the world as a result and enrich your views. Consider your comfort zone and then stretch it, while creating unbreakable bonds with friends. Find new passions and new pet projects. You’re surrounded by friends, with supportive staff ready to help you grow as a person and find your niche. By process of elimination, there’s very few environments better than high school to take advantage of your opportunities.

There’s always going to be one excuse or another to hold you back, but some opportunities are once in a lifetime. Don’t let these chances pass you by when they could open up the door to something amazing. Every life experience is a story to tell, and since you’ll be here for a while yet, now is a great time to start gathering.

What I’m saying is: you (yes, you) should be doing more than just learning to stay afloat. You should be thriving. Stress is the number one cause of heart disease (don’t fact-check me on that).