Driving on with a goal in sight

By Emily Khaykin

No matter what the band Rascal Flatts says, life is most definitely not a highway. There is no straight path that leads to success, no formula which yields a correct answer. And there is no better place that exemplifies this better than Harvard-Westlake. This year, especially, I have seen so many of my closest friends choose to follow their passions, whether it be creative writing, science, engineering, theatre, art, political science, math, or music (the list goes on).

Last week, a close friend approached me and asked me about my thoughts on my future out of concern for theirs. And I shared with my friend that I thought that there was not one person at this school whose future I would ever be worried about. Even though at times we may crash, we need to have the courage to heal and continue on our journey down the road. We are all smart, intelligent people who will get where we need to be one way or another.

When the subject of success is brought up, I believe that one must tread cautiously. The definition of “success” is long and varied and has a different meaning for each person. For example, to me, success is achieving my personal goals.

That way, I am in control of my own choices and the road that I’m going to take. There are times in school, I believe, where everyone questions the road they’ve chosen. I know I have. But in the end, I have to remember to be who I am and not try to follow someone else’s path, one I was not meant for.

And although I know many reading this paper will skip straight to the matriculation spread in this year’s senior supplement (don’t worry, I’ve done it too), everyone should remember that life is not all about gold stars and grades on papers.

Years from now, when we all get our first jobs, your boss will never give you a letter grade on your presentation at a meeting or a smiley face sticker on your report of the company’s financial status.

In the past 13 years of my school career, and out of the eight schools that I’ve attended in three different states, never have I enjoyed the school community more than I have at Harvard-Westlake.

And so, my friends, I feel that there is no need to say good-bye because wherever our roads take us, our experience here together will always be a bridge that connects us. All I can say is drive safe and buckle up because you are in for the ride of your life.