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THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Senior Reflection: A little inspiration while you wait

Submitted Jen Fox

Jen Fox, Editor-in-Chief

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Graduation day has finally arrived, and just in time- I’ve officially checked out of high school. All I can think about is enjoying one last amazing, carefree summer with my best friends before we all head off to different places around the world.

There’s also something else at the back of my mind, though- something of the anxiety I’ve felt during the most stressful parts of high school, when my teachers surely conspired together and all assigned ten projects and tests for the same week. I’m finished though, aren’t I? What am I worried about? It’s over! I’ve graduated! I win!

Except the longer I think about it, the more I understand what graduation truly means. Because everything we’ve done in high school, everything we’ve learned, really hasn’t been for that diploma.

This August I’ll be attending my first year of college. Four more years of school. I applied to college because that’s what I felt I was supposed to do- what my parents expected, what most of my peers were doing. And now I sit back and continue to wonder- why? What is this all for?

And the further I consider this, the closer I get to realizing that graduation doesn’t signify an end at all, but rather the beginning of all the things I want to try, to achieve, to impact; it signifies that everything I’ve learned has been leading up to the answer of the exciting final question of what the heck I’m going to do with this education.

Throughout my high school career, I always referred to a “they” when I discussed the happenings of the world around me. “They” make kids pay expensive parking fees; “they” need to stop manifesting political segregation; “they” will definitely do something about climate change, before it’s too late. And as we graduate high school and take the next step in our young lives, whatever this step may entail, we join the nameless group of “they,” the anonymous mass of society in charge of making things right and blamed when things go wrong. It’s not “them,” and it never was “them.” It’s just us.

What makes me think that other people are going to take care of everything, or that somehow there’s always a group to blame when things go wrong? The misnomer lies in not accepting myself as an adult in this world. When I spoke of “they,” I didn’t hold myself accountable for the way a system worked or for the outcomes I experienced.

With this develops the fundamental driver of stagnancy of progress: we assume that somewhere in the world are natural altruists, automatically designated by the universe to give their lives to patching up the world and all its problems.

We decide the character of the world we’re about to enter. Our opinions and our actions represent votes for how we as a society understand and prioritize causes in our world. This is on us now. These are our fights, and it’s us who must (and will!) change the world.

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The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA
Senior Reflection: A little inspiration while you wait