For high school seniors

Over the summer I got one of those handy e-mails sent by the College Board telling me what I should be doing to ensure my success in the college admissions process. The subject was “For High School Seniors.” The first thing that hit me was the idea that “whoa, I’m a senior.” The second thing was far more subtle.

For all of the advice the College Board gives in those e-mails, all of the “keep up your grades and start your applications early,” they forget to tell seniors to relax and have fun.

This summer I tried to broaden my horizons. I took a Pilates class and started power walking to feel healthier, instead of lying around on the days when I had nothing to do. That was destroyed when I diverted from Pinkberry and decided to try as many frozen yogurt stores as were at my disposal. I went to a free concert in New York with some friends and a chamber music concert with my parents for culture. I read as much and as often as I could.

At Harvard-Westlake I feel like we become so limited. Yes, we have the opportunity to try lots of different activities. But as we narrow our interests when we get older, I believe we forgo things we may want to do that don’t fit into our schedules. In past years I had found myself auditioning for shows less frequently and forgoing other activities so I could work on this newspaper. Other students give up things they love like sports or student government so they can concentrate on a previous commitment.
So this is my message “For High School Seniors:” Don’t get so bogged down in what you think will get you into college. Free up time in your schedule so you can take that art class you have always wanted to take. If you have always loved dance but have never gotten involved with the school’s program find a studio and take tap.

The school year will provide stress. There is no doubt about that. And for me personally, I worried myself sick last year. But I’ve realized where my mistake was. I was so concentrated on what I thought would affect me in the “long run,” that I found myself jealous of the people who performed in the Playwright’s Festival or went to concerts on weekends.

What is “the long run” right now probably won’t be the “long run” in the long run.

High school should be all that it’s cracked up to be in everything from “American Graffitti” to “Superbad.” 

So as I look toward college, my attitude is “que sera sera.” I’m going to try to broaden my horizons this year. I’m not going to stay in my niche, and I hope you won’t either.

And now I’m going to do something horribly embarrassing, and something I should be, frankly, ashamed of. I’m going to reference “High School Musical.” Don’t stick to the status quo. Life is too short for that. High school is too short for that.