Slow down and step back

By Judd Liebman

During sophomore year, we fill out the “Three Year Plan,” outlining our ideas about our future classes. Our decisions in 10th grade could dictate the rest of our high school career. And that is what high school is supposed to be.

Harvard-Westlake teaches us to prepare for the future and to be aware of the consequences of our decisions and actions. That’s all great, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could slow down for a minute?

We race through sophomore year so we can rise from the status of the “bottom-feeders” in the quad as quickly as we can. Be careful what you wish for though, because junior year is tough. The second we step into the Advanced Placement or Honors classes and the college process starts, we want to get through junior year fast. And I mean fast. Junior year lives up to its reputation of being a challenging year, but we have much to look forward to: senior year.

Now I am a senior, knee-deep in the college process and waiting for a letter of decision. Obviously, I hope for an acceptance letter, so I will be done with the process. Dec. 15 cannot come soon enough. I want these days to fly. Then, I will want first semester to wrap up quickly, so I can be a second semester senior. That’s the goal, right? To get into college and be able to relax a little bit. But then I long for the time after AP tests so I have enormous amounts of free time. And then, I excitedly wait for graduation. And then…it’s over. High school is finished. I will leave a school that has treated me so well.

Anticipating the next step in high school is important to make good decisions and to have something to look forward to (especially during the brutal junior year), but that is just half of what we need to do.

Enjoy the moment. Even if it may be hard to step back and relish in your challenges, it is a necessity to stay sane. And who knows, you might enjoy yourself. Put the science lab on hold for an hour and sit with yourself, loving life. I’ll admit, when you’re in the thick of a tough year or even week, this task may be difficult, but try it. Take a deep breath and realize that everything will be okay.

Some say high school is the best time of their lives, so enjoy it. Before you know it, you’ll be the one attending your last home football game, or running your last cross country race and eventually, be the one shaking President Tom Hudnut’s hand at graduation.