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Eye of the Tiger

LETTERS FROM A SENIOR: Be decisive

ANDREW SMITH

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As you advance in high school and juggle an increasing volume of commitments, you must allot your time wisely – and use it with purpose.

As much of a time as any, high school is meant for considering your priorities. And this debate constantly plays out from the big decisions – ‘What would I enjoy doing out of high school?’ – to the everyday – ‘Do I care enough to complete this assignment and not watch Mad Men.’

Self-doubt is healthy, but too often this decision making spills over into areas that it shouldn’t.

This attitude most often manifests in students lamenting their late-night decisions from the night before as they scramble to finish their homework. And in this respect, I admire students who are truly indifferent to their school work. This mindset obviously has its consequences, but they understand what they value, homework not being a part of that, and act accordingly.

We all can benefit from this level of decisiveness, although hopefully directed in a more fruitful direction. When it’s time, weigh your options, accept the repercussions and move forward. If you decide to put off an assignment to go out with friends – an increasingly common occurrence late in your senior year – don’t let that choice sour the mood. I speak from experience: It’s an unnecessary annoyance for yourself, and an unwanted distraction for the people you’re hanging out with. Enjoy yourself.

Especially now, in my senior year, this perspective has helped me to enjoy my free time and be more productive when I work.

In some ways, when competing on the RHS golf team, this view has always been evident. It’s certainly a cliche, but for many student athletes, sports are an opportunity to blur your worries and focus on the competition. In the time that you’re in a game, match or at practice, that is what matters. For those few hours, the debate can end. In golf, I am just worried about my next shot. I made the commitment to join this team, so I should make use of the time I have here.

There is no reason that this clarity cannot carry over into the rest of your day, because at its core, everything is a choice.

As Yoda famously put it in The Empire Strikes Back: “Do. Or do not. There is no point to prolonging your worry about an upcoming assignment in AP Euro when you could just focus on the task in front of you.”

Or something to that effect.

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