Life goes on

By Drew Lash

Life goes on. I’m going to graduate in a few weeks, and then all that stands between college and me is a few months of summer. I can’t wait! I’m going to be living my own life. I’ll be making new friends and having my own experiences. I’ll be living with someone I’ve never met. I’ll have to solve my own problems and figure out my own routines. I’ll be taking classes that I want to take with great professors. Everyone tells me that I’m going to have the greatest time at college, and I completely believe them.

But it’s weird for me to think that everyone else is going to have his or her own experiences too. Each of us is going to be living separate lives completely independent from one another. All my friends are going to be dispersed across the country. We won’t even have weather in common anymore. Sure, there are endless means of communication today—sporadic phone calls, texts, e-mails, Facebook messages, and video chats—but none of them guarantee any sort of relationship with the person on the other end. And that’s what scares me.

A few days ago, a recent alumna came to talk to my dean group. She said that when you graduate from high school, you imagine yourself keeping in touch with everyone, but in reality, you can only manage to truly keep up with two or three friends from home. It makes sense when you think about it. Like I said, each of us will be making new friends and having our own experiences. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for the everyday details of too many other friends’ lives that are completely different from our own. That terrifies me.

I’ve been going to school with these friends for the past six years. We’ve grown up together. We started as timid little 12-year-olds awkwardly going to Bat Mitzvahs together, and now we’re adults who can vote. And because of that, we’ve made bonds that can’t ever be recreated. I don’t want my friendships to simply vanish into thin air just because we have to finish growing up separately.

Life at home doesn’t stop either. Just because I’m not there, doesn’t mean my family will stop living their lives. My sister will go to school without me, my family will eat dinner without me, have conversations without me, joke around without me—things will change without me. Life at home doesn’t just pop in and out of existence according to my schedule.

If Harvard-Westlake has taught me anything, it’s that it’s all about the effort we’re willing to put in. If you don’t care, you can write the entire paper the night before it’s due and accept that you didn’t do your best. Or you can put in the effort. You can write a draft a couple weeks early, have your teacher look at it and give you feedback, which can be the sounding board for improvement. You wanted it, so you made it happen. It’s right there in the motto “They can because they think they can.” If I want to keep in touch with my friends and stay up to speed with my family while we all live separate lives, all I have to do is put in the effort.