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THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Senior Reflection: Homage to our future failures

Submitted Jen Fox

Submitted Jen Fox

Katelyn Li, Staff Writer

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It’s impossible to pinpoint my exact feelings about finishing high school. Some days, I’m overtaken by bouts of nostalgia- for the small town nestled in suburbia that I will always call home, for the starry nights spent engrossed in deep conversation with friends, for all the people I’ve met and learned from and loved. Other days, I’m impatient, ready to break out of this stifling bubble and breathe in some long-awaited freedom. As I say my goodbyes to the unassuming girl I used to be, I welcome the confident woman I’m growing into, someone who is more cognizant of the glaring injustices of the world, but also more appreciative of its beauty. I’m grateful. I’m eager. I’m proud. I’m uncertain. Most of all, I’m terrified, not of the future, but of how I will face it.

I see unbelievable talent in my classmates. Time and time again, I find myself in awe of their vast potential to become groundbreaking artists, innovative scientists, witty comedians, and brilliant political leaders. But I’m afraid that, when the time comes, we’ll all forget what we’re capable of and settle for the ordinary.

I read a book called “The Opposite of Loneliness,” in which the author captures what it means to be young and ambitious, yet so incredibly fearful of being rejected by the world. She writes, “There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense…that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.” At a certain point, we cease the relentless pursuit of our dreams. We give in to our doubts.

If I could make a list of all the things I yearned to try in high school, but never did, it would stretch a mile long. I wanted to write poetry, learn to code, create art more profound than stick figures, sing acapella, improve my public speaking skills. I could easily have pursued these missions, if I had just had the courage. The dangers of failure, however, loomed over the horizon, goading me to stay away. And I listened.

As I move into the next stage of my life, my biggest fear has become stagnation. We are still so young. We still have so much life to live. There is so much time to make mistakes and to mess up, to challenge ourselves and to discover new passions.

As for now, I say cheers to the first research proposal I submit- the one that fails to get approved for its poor design. I raise my glass to the first marathon I attempt to run- the one where I sprain my ankle and drop out, one mile from the finish. I applaud the first time I travel overseas on my own- despite the fact that I miss my layover flight and get stuck in the Czech Republic for twenty-seven hours.

I’m grateful for these future failures. They’ll enrich my life, grant me new wisdom, give me the strength to take the next leap. And, if nothing else, I’ll have a lifetime’s worth of stories to tell my grandchildren someday.

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The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA
Senior Reflection: Homage to our future failures