Senior Reflection: The enigma of the ‘real world’


submitted Cassidy Wang

Cassidy Wang, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout high school, like the typical privileged, suburban teenager, I was always naturally inclined to look forward to the future, to this magical land called the “real world.”

I would unconsciously complain at least twice a day about my plight.

“Ugh. I’m so done with this place. I can’t wait for the real world!”

I found that teachers too contributed to my perception of the “real world.” They would describe the importance of the skills we’re learning for life outside Algonquin. It seems that, in education, “real world” applications are important.

Then, there are the condescending adults who made remarks like, “Wait until you get out there in the real world, kid. Then you’ll understand…”

Inevitably, I had cultivated in my mind the idea that the world beyond the confines of Algonquin and surrounding Northborough and Southborough was a daunting, yet exciting new sphere, full of new opportunities, creative freedom and incredible people.

But now that we’re on the brink of entering this “real world,” I’m left believing that Algonquin was a microcosm of the real world I was so excited to enter, in addition to preparing me for it.

It was through the trials and errors of high school, through taking a plethora of classes (some I’ve regretted, some I’ve loved) that I’ve learned where my strengths and interests fall. It was through spending endless hours in the publications room that I realized how far a true passion could carry me. It was through the transparency that the school community and administration afforded that I, and others, were able to fearlessly tell stories, without bounds. It was the teachers here that showed me the value of little moments, through being present, from our discouraging talk of politics to discussions on what I should be doing with my life. They truly care about their students, and we have all learned a bit about compassion from them.

Although Algonquin is far from perfect and high school was a rollercoaster with deep troughs and high peaks, the experience parallels what I had coveted in my picture of the “real world.” As anxious humans, we’re always looking forward to the next best thing, yearning for the next exciting phase of life, but it’s important to look around us and discover the value of the world we currently live in.