I leave for college in three days. Earlier this week I got an envelope in the mail from a teacher who had us fill out random check-ins and little surveys to show our personal growth throughout the year. So as I sit here, packing my life away into bins from The Container Store, and listening to angst-y music (shout-out to Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco), I can’t help but take an introspective look into how much has changed since the start of my senior year and how much I’ve learned in just the two short months since graduating.
1. I learned how to rely on myself.
Senior year taught me that people will hurt you and that people will disappoint you but it’s okay. You can’t change the way others act and your identity does not lie in someone else’s opinion of you. It’s perfectly fine to run errands by yourself and to lay out in a park with a blanket and a good book by yourself; it’s okay to spend time by yourself. Doing something by yourself does not equate to having no friends. You don’t have to equate being alone to being lonely.
While my friends and family are a great support system and I love them all dearly, I learned that there are certain things that I need to do by myself and for myself and you can too. You are strong, you are independent and, if you’re hungry, you can eat by yourself. If sitting at home alone for a good Netflix binge is what you need, then there’s no shame in curling up with some popcorn.
2. Stay humble and stay passionate.
My best friend’s mom gave me a printed out transcript of Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech before our graduation. At the end of the speech are four words that make up two phrases that hold a pretty profound meaning to me. Jobs quoted a catalogue that he stumbled upon that said the words, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Inspired, I coined my own phrase, which was emphasized by the fact that this summer I realized that I’m a freshman again. I need to stay grounded and work hard. Delving into the real world is no small task and in order to do so you should remember that your boss or your role model was once in your shoes and worked hard to get there. With some added passion and ambition there’s really nothing that can stop you.
3. Embrace bad luck.
I have a "13th" birthday, meaning that every couple of years, my birthday falls on Friday the 13th. Fun fact: I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. Needless to say, regardless of any superstitions, I have extremely bad luck. My biography might as well be written by Lemony Snicket because my life truly is "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Ask any of my friends, coincidences are commonplace in my life - and this summer was a true testament to it. Day after day, life consistently rained down on me. The way I see it now is there are two ways to go about it when misfortune hits: cry about it or laugh about it. I chose the latter and amidst the uncanny amount of unfortunate events that happened to occur in two short months, I learned to embrace what life gave me. Low and behold, it actually made me feel better. Why bother sulking over something you can’t change? You might as well get a good story out of it.
My four years of high school (hopefully) prepared me for the educational rigor that is to come once I start classes in August, but this summer taught me more about life than I could ever learn in school.
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