Holding out for a hero

Aaron Park

Thank you, Zombieland.

For the less educated among you, Ruben Fleischer’s 2009 zombie-apocalypse comedy is the greatest film of the modern era. In Zombieland, Jesse Eisenberg plays a character who’s survived the apocalypse by living by a set of rules. At the end of the movie, he changes one of these rules, “don’t be a hero,” to “be a hero,” so that he can go save Emma Stone from a horde of evil zombies. He saves the girl, and they all live happily ever after.

That movie has had a profound impact on my life in a couple of ways since I saw it last summer. First of all, it introduced me to the generational talent that is Emma Stone, greatest actress of our generation. But it also taught me that sometimes we need to take risks to live our lives to the fullest and realize who we can be.

Harvard-Westlake is a big place. Yes, physically big (thanks, Upper School stairs), but I’m referring more to the opportunities available to students here. Just on campus, we have 24 athletic programs.

This year was a year of a few firsts for me. My play-by-play debut for HWTV was the football season opener against Birmingham. I acted for the first time in the Playwrights Festival.

I’m not sure whether I’ll ever be a professional announcer or actor. But I know that the experiences I’ve had have been worthwhile all on their own. I learned things about myself that I’d never have otherwise known.

Life is short. And, as big as it might be, so is Harvard-Westlake, at least in the temporal sense. We’re only here for six years. Then, it’s off to college and real life and everything that entails.

So here’s my proposition: try something new this coming year. Could be anytime, whether that’s over the summer, first semester or even the month before school ends. Could be a new sport, or asking someone new on a date or maybe even stand-up comedy.

Be a hero.