Thriving amidst the unknown


Ashley Lee, A&E Editor

After listening to sentimental piano music to get into “the mood” to write for this senior issue, I’m realizing that I’m more excited than sad about the approaching end, thinking about the potential start of a better future. So I want to begin this article by assuring the seniors that whatever emotion you’re feeling at the moment is perfectly acceptable.

The first Howler issue that reached my hands in eighth grade was the Senior Issue, so I’ve been dreaming about this moment since the time I enrolled in the course. Back then, the idea of leaving that final impact on every student seemed so grand, but now, I don’t know how to start this article. I’ve considered leaving advice based on my experiences for the rest of the students here, but in all honesty, I still don’t have everything figured out.

The number one question I’ve been asked by underclassmen is “What would you have wanted to know as a freshman?” and I’ve learned that no matter what others say, we’re all bound to forget their advice and make the same mistakes as them. We never even think about why something is so problematic until we’ve gone through the same exact experience.

Without sounding too didactic (because who am I to tell you how to live your life?), the greatest lesson I learned is that nothing will ever go as you have planned. I used to plan each day to the last minute: checking Canvas courses days ahead to prepare for potential questions teachers would ask in class and thinking about college supplemental essays years before they were due…and I still love planning because it’s assuring to see that it’s possible to finish everything I want to within a given time frame, but at one point or another, there’ll be a moment when an unexpected barrier is laid across your path; if you’re not ready, you might just stare at that big rock as if you’re expecting it to move away on its own.

The greatest setback about planning is that you find yourself fixating on the future. Your current life becomes a long task list that you create to feel the pleasure of checking off another repetitive day from your monotonous life. To advise anyone to not stress out or worry about the future would be a hypocritical and impossible task, but maybe instead learn to accept the uncertainty of the unknown. Whether it be waiting for college decisions, internship opportunities or even a promposal response, there are moments when we all have to helplessly wait for others to make a decision.

Maybe it’s a crazy thought, but finding the beauty amidst the craziness of life makes it worth enduring. Finding a person or two to share life with might be the perfect place to start. So many of us are goal-oriented people who dedicate our entire lives to accomplishing something in high school, college or a career. But there’s bound to be a moment when our efforts seem to be in vain. The moment when our dreams seem to be futile and the path is endlessly long. So perhaps life is more about how you choose to walk down its path rather than your destination point because hopefully, 10 years from now, you’ll remember the conversation that moved your heart or made you laugh until tears streaked your face rather than how you messed up on an exam.