Risk it for the biscuit

Patrick Ryan

As my time at Harvard-Westlake comes to a close and I’ve had some time to reflect on my experience, I wanted to give a few tips on how to make the most out of your time here.

First off, don’t get jealous. The competitive nature of the school fosters the idea that what college you go to is the be all and end all. That is simply not true. It is taboo to speak about college acceptances in the early decision period. Harboring envy for someone who got into your dream school is not warranted.

The last month or so of senior year has been refreshing. Everyone is essentially set on their future plans and is excited about wherever they are going. I only wish it had been like this throughout the entire year, where we celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

My second piece of advice is to take risks. Going into Harvard-Westlake in seventh grade I knew very few kids and told my parents I would go out to play football on a whim. I had never played before, but I gave it a try.

During warm-ups on my first day of practice, I tripped and fell over twice in a row, thoroughly embarrassing myself in front of my new teammates. But that first day of practice is when I met my first friends at Harvard-Westlake, who are still my best friends today. I played football for six years.

Going out for the team seemed like a risk, but it paid off for me. The idea that you shouldn’t waste your time doing an activity you don’t plan on continuing in college is bogus. Immerse yourself in something without any expectations and see where it takes you.

Going into sophomore year, I wanted to quit journalism but instead took my mother’s advice and joined the Chronicle. I’ve spent countless afternoons and late nights in Weiler Hall, which seems torturous for people not on Chronicle. But I and my peers on the paper have come to cherish those layout weekends we have had.

Audition for the play or try out for the sports team or even ask out the girl you like. If you take those risks, you will be rewarded and you won’t graduate with many regrets.